Harnessing resiliency, disruption & collaboration for a sustainable future
Yesterday I spent the day at the ONS conference in Stavanger, Norway. The program included a number of CEOs from the Oil & Gas sector as well as Norway’s political and royal leadership. One recurring message was the importance of acknowledging the realities and demands we are challenged with today, while having the courage to take actions that will sustain us into the future.
We know this is a cyclical industry with peaks and troughs. For the past two years, we have been stuck in the trough part of the cycle as oil prices have gone through a period of volatility. Still, CEOs and leaders at every level of the organization need to focus on what we can control. Only then can we navigate through this challenging time and emerge stronger.
I joined a panel discussion yesterday on Leading Through Transitions with Kristian Røkke, Svein Richard Brandtzæg, Berit Svendsen, Dr. Thomas Becker and Marcus Ericsson. I thought I’d post here on the top 3 things I think about and apply every day to navigate through uncertainty.
1 - Be Resilient
What does it mean to be resilient? It’s facing something difficult and having the ability to recover from it quickly. In the oil and gas industry we often go through cycles and we must focus on what we can control as organizations and as individuals. When I think about what we can control, I take a look at what will make an impact and what I can influence. Then what comes in the middle of those two is what we work on. I don’t have control over oil prices; however, I make sure I know what they are and how they impact the business so we can make the best decisions at the right times.
I described the team in Peru who have demonstrated their commitment, focus and adaptability in the execution of a major inspection on the Peru LNG train a few months ago. The scope of work undertaken across five weeks saw the majority of actions advanced ahead of schedule, bringing together more than 150 people to bring outage excellence.
2 - Be Disruptive
Disruption is going to happen. So, leaders need to be in a position to harness it and even instigate disruption. To be disruptive you have to adapt a new mindset that challenges the status quo and do something entirely different to provide the market with new, valuable solutions. When you’re disruptive, legacy structures change and industries transform for the better.
We are constantly testing and working across three disruptive areas: leading a new era of human partnerships and co-creation, introducing smarter and more cost-effective technologies, and leading the way into a new digital industrial revolution. At GE, we embody an entrepreneur mindset and use an approach called FastWorks. To grow as leaders, we need to encourage ongoing learning from testing and failing, so we continue to grow and feel empowered to try new things. In our everyday work, we must question old habits that no longer serve us and create a faster and more flexible environment. This approach has helped us make disruptive changes to improve our performance while leveraging our scale.
For example, we applied the FastWorks approach to launch the NovaLT16 16.5MW gas turbine, which will provide 37% mechanical efficiency and raise the standards for reliability. Through leveraging FastWorks, it was produced in just 30 months, cutting the normal development time by more than 50%.
3 - Be Collaborative
When you collaborate and build partnerships, you can create new business models, disruptive technology, step changes for the industry, and co-creation leveraging the GE Store, which refers to how we share innovation across the GE business units.
For example, GE Oil & Gas and Technip are partnering on a joint project to co-develop digital solutions for the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry. Combining our complementary areas of expertise allows us to explore new digital capabilities for LNG that can be applied from the design and build phases, all the way through to the operations. This partnership marks a milestone for the oil and gas industry’s digital journey.
Every day I strive towards these qualities in my role: driving simplification, adding value, and engaging with teams while providing clear direction as we navigate this volatile cycle.
How do you lead through challenging times?
I look forward to reading your comments below and learning what may be working well in your own organizations. I also invite you to join in on our conversations on Standardization, and Subsea Power & Processing on our TechTalks page, an online, topic-based discussion platform for oil & gas professionals.