In conversations with our oil and energy clients, we’ve been noticing a repeating theme: a strategic shift from an emphasis on top-line growth towards an emphasis on profitability. So how are these companies effectively and efficiently making this shift?
Executive leaders in Fortune 1000 oil and energy companies are scratching their heads on how to execute this simple transition. After all, companies are still providing the same goods and services and serving the same clients. The critical transformation that needs to be made relates to an organization’s employee base and its understanding of two important questions:
- What does profitability mean in my job?’
- What changes must I make accordingly?
One of our clients, a provider of oilfield services & products, realized that in order to see this through, a fundamental disruption in their workflow processes would have to occur. As we poured over their organizational chart, which had become flatter over time, it became apparent than mid-level leaders were serving as the bridge that could influence up to upper-level management and manage down as something akin to a union rep for lower level employees. They could translate organizational changes into language that individual contributors could understand.
This would have been one of the more straightforward projects to execute had our client not also been facing the challenge of motivating and retaining young talent within their organization, a common problem in the oil and energy sector.
When we analyzed this client’s organizational chart and workflow, we realized that fewer than 25% of their employees had access to mentoring or coaching. If a company wishes to implement a major disruption in its workforce and change the thinking that drives its culture, then this lack of mentorship won’t work.
So Forum partnered with this client to implement a mentoring program throughout its ranks. We also focused on the core tenets of clarity, unity, and agility as driving principles behind our client’s growth and successes.
Clarity in vision across all tiers of the organization. Employees need to be clear on what their job means to the organization, and how they can most productively contribute to a greater vision.
Unity in collective action. As tiers and divisions are aligned, the workforce becomes ‘greater than the sum of its parts’, and operational synergies are established where dissonance once existed.
Agility in reaction and response. As an organization shifts its fundamental focus (such as shifting from top-line growth to a targeted strategy), it is imperative that teams are able to collaborate across divisions, that employees are equipped with the skills to respond to dynamic market conditions, and that units are able to shift direction smoothly to minimize opportunity cost.
For this client in the oil and energy sector, a combination of clarity, unity and agility, and the appropriate skill sets and competencies in leadership, enabled a smooth transition that is translatable to any company going through a transition.
For another story of how one company successfully made a strategic shift, check out our recent webinar, Fostering Behavior Change to Create a Lasting Business Impact.