The Leadership Skills Gap 2018

Last month many of you responded to our 2018 survey on the skills gap in the oil and gas industry. It’s not intended to be a sophisticated analysis of the whole industry, but taken together with other reviews of the industry, it highlights some key issues that face senior management and HR professionals in the business over the next few years. Results are broadly similar to previous years. The three biggest gaps lie in leadership skills, in long term strategic planning and in the ability to innovate. Full results, including some specific to HR departments, are in the 2018 Skills Gap White Paper (Click here).  [Read more…]

Becoming a Leader – The Transition from Management to Leadership

Our course participants and newsletter subscribers regularly emphasise the issue of Leadership in the Energy industry. We asked Leadership expert Dr Yanos Michopoulos for his views on the transition from management to leadership and to discuss some of the attributes of great leaders.

Yanos will be delivering our Leadership programme in London in June. He has 25 years’ experience in Oil & Gas, Renewables, Shipping and related industries and is an acclaimed lecturer in Leadership with various business schools and institutions. Here are his thoughts on the Leadership question:

Defining the key characteristics of a great leader always makes for an interesting start of any Leadership programme. “Great leaders are born, not made”, some would argue, usually citing Winston Churchill or Nelson Mandela as examples. Others disagree: leadership involves a range of skills that people can learn, just as they learn how to assess Oil and Gas reserves or to structure a production offtake agreement. Naturally, there are some innate personality traits that might help (e.g. a high EQ score), but most leadership skills can be developed over the course of a career. [Read more…]

Will rising oil prices lead to a renewed shale boom?

Will shale’s return on investment be higher and faster with a rising oil price or does it lose its competitive advantage above $60? Jonathan Green, upstream oil and gas business analyst, provides some provocative food for thought on shale as we approach the end of 2017.

Hydrocarbons are effectively an infinite resource. It just depends on how much you are prepared to spend to exploit them. Many shale players are stating that they can profitably produce at US$40/bbl and that they are well positioned to ramp up production massively as the price of WTI moves beyond US$60/bbl. However, shale’s resilience has to a large extent relied on the willingness of the capital markets to fund persisting cash-flow deficits in E&P companies. [Read more…]

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…]

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