Thoughts and Insights on Business Excellence in the Energy and Heavy Process Industries
The North American Refining business exists in a competitive world market, and now faces an increasing emphasis by consumers on the environmental footprint of not only the manufacturing process, but also the product itself. This will impact demand with some refiners facing the pressure of additional imports and others with the opportunity to supply an increasing demand for exports. In addition, refineries and terminals must exceed the ever growing expectations and demands of their local communities and investors, coupled with the reality of low to negative demand growth.
We recently attended the Marcus Evans Power Plant Management & Generation Summit, where we participated in discussions with utility industry leaders related to key drivers shaping the future of the industry.
Recently I attended an industry conference for a cross section of people in the petrochemical and refining industry, which included a very diverse group of people in terms of backgrounds, roles and companies. However, everyone was a technical person (very few if any HR people) that had direct accountability for managing an asset base and driving business improvement. What struck me at this conference was how many of the presentations and one-on-one conversations focused on culture—culture of ownership, culture of continuous improvement, culture of safety and reliability. I found this interesting for a variety of reasons. First, as someone who works with companies in capital-intensive industries to leverage culture change as an engine for business improvement, it was exciting—wow! Second, it struck me that even just a few years ago, “culture” was not a thing that would be discussed at a conference like this—in fact many people would have politely disengaged at the mention of the word.
“Is that a Project Management activity or a Change Management activity?”
In 2015, reacting to the drop in oil prices was the primary focus for Oil & Gas companies and it was all about costs.... cutting Opex, reducing CapEx and reducing staffing levels.
We looked at people with a Growth Mindset first; I would now like to turn our attention to the Fixed Mindset.
I’ve been wondering recently why there are some people who readily adapt to change, while others seem to struggle with even minor deviations from their routines. What makes these people think so differently?
Consultants go away at the end of any Change project, so any sustainable change must engage and involve your employees – the people who actually do the work.
Data – empirical evidence – is most certainly on the critical path to getting your organization engaged in a change effort.
Back in the days that paddlewheel steamboats plied their way up and down America’s mighty Mississippi and Ohio rivers, carrying passengers and cargo, one of the critical activities for the boat’s crew was the regular testing of the depth of the river.