Disrupting the Business Model – when Partners become Competitors

News that Schlumberger is investing in its clients’ projects has resurrected an idea that could disrupt the traditional E&P business model. David Finlayson & Peter Smith look at the pros and cons of the initiative and what it means for careers and corporate culture. [Read more…]

Oil & Gas in a Word

Advertising guru Maurice Saatchi created the concept of one-word equity – using a single word to capture a brand’s value to its stakeholders. Can the same idea be applied to an entire industry? We posed the question (What’s one word to describe the Oil & Gas industry?) to 60,000 contacts and our wider industry network via LinkedIn and Twitter last month. See the word clouds for some of the many “Oil & Gas in a word” responses. [Read more…]

Oil & Gas Careers: Freelance vs Staff

For many, stepping out of the corporate world and into a freelance role is the fulfilment of their oil & gas careers.  It represents a chance for personal growth, building your own business, and testing your business skills in a competitive world.  For HR teams, it also offers benefits, but with some risks.  The financial rewards for the individual can be substantial: in good times, O&G day rates of $500 to $3,000+/day are readily achievable.

Why do it?

But of course it’s never just about the money. For some it’s a different way to develop a leadership role – leading projects, leading people, setting up a new business.  Some individuals go on to assume positions of significant influence, perhaps advising Boards, executives or governments – and maybe commanding $5,000 a day or more.  [Read more…]

Leadership Styles – What’s Yours? The role of EQ

How do you move from functional management into leadership? Course delegates – particularly those on our 3 Day MBA programmes – often ask this question. The first step is to have a career plan (see our recent white paper). It also helps to understand the different styles of leadership and most importantly, to understand your own leadership style. In this blog, we attempt to summarise some of the more well-known aspects of leadership and make some suggestions as to how managers in oil & gas might apply them to their own career development. [Read more…]

Oil & Gas Talent Management – 2017 & Beyond

The industry’s managers have a talent management problem. In our latest white paper we look at the need for changes in strategy as companies compete in a new market environment.  New strategies will be based on innovation and collaboration, but at their heart is the issue of talent: having the capabilities to implement the new strategy. Companies have laid off thousands of experienced staff, many of whom have said they are not coming back to the oil business. Many experienced staff who remain are close to retirement. There’s a new generation of Millennials who are not that keen on the existing management styles of the oil business – and don’t see it as a particularly attractive industry to work in. This might not matter much if the industry was in terminal decline. [Read more…]

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk….”

As Mark Zuckerberg continued, “…in a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks”.  The risk of doing nothing is now a regular topic in our conversations with clients about risk management.

Bruised by the battering the industry has taken in the past three years, painfully aware, after Deepwater Horizon, of the potential for disaster, often led by legal advice, and conscious of the rise of alternative energy sources, companies and investors could be forgiven for sitting on the sidelines, minimising their risk with a lack of activity.

But would they be mistaken? [Read more…]

What are the prospects for 2017?

How do you feel about prospects for the oil business and your career in 2017? Where will the oil price be in 12 month’s time? What are the biggest skills gaps in the E&P sector? What skills would you want to develop? Please join in our annual survey [Read more…]

Project Governance and 2017 Challenges

We are delighted to announce that Bob Laidler, our Project Governance Course Director, has joined the Board of WBC Training. Bob’s expertise lies in helping individuals and businesses in the oversight of complex projects, with a particular emphasis on effective decision making and stakeholder buy-in.  In his first blog for us, Bob explains the importance of effective project governance in today’s market: [Read more…]

8 Steps to Managing Your Career

In an industry caught up in a whirlwind of market forces, economic uncertainty, and regulatory and technological change it’s often easy to feel that there’s little you can do about your career prospects. We disagree, and we invited Ken McKellar, an expert on helping oil and gas executives manage their careers, to provide us with some advice on how to aim for career success even in the toughest of markets. [Read more…]

2016 Climate Change Survey Results

The 2016 results of our annual Climate Change survey are out. Every year we ask our network of some 7,000+ oil and gas professionals for their views on this contentious topic; our aim is to understand what they believe and feel about the issues, and what the implications for management are – it is not a survey to establish the rights and wrongs of a particular scientific argument. Over the years most respondents (92%) now agree that climate change is happening, but only 50% say it is due to human activities rather than natural causes – this is in contrast to the general population, where surveys in the US and worldwide tend to show a majority assuming it is due to human causes. [Read more…]

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