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Why use Change Management in a Downturn?

Posted Friday, April 10th, 2015

oil-price-drop-300x225Since September 2014 there has been a steady and significant decline in benchmark energy prices worldwide. Energy companies have reacted by cutting essential and non-essential spending. There have been major cutbacks to projects and new capital spending. Under the stress of declining revenues, there is the tendency for energy companies to cut all costs possible. Companies view it as the only way to survive. Conserve until prices recover, then slowly rebuild critical resources.

There are problems with this approach. The survivalist corporate culture does not encourage new, potentially value-added practices – “let’s make do with what we have” becomes the expected outcome. Cutting resources to skeleton operations leaves remaining employees little time to plan or implement innovative changes. Promising initiatives are shelved as resources capable of implementing them leave, and restarting usually means an expensive “do-over”. Even companies who see the downturn as an opportunity to buy out competitors and merge operations are not positioned to introduce the leadership and culture necessary to foster positive innovation or create efficient behaviours. Their focus is survival and recovery, not leading significant change.

The smart energy companies are already preparing for the inevitable return of higher prices. They are examining their operations for areas requiring leaps forward. They are carefully assessing strategic growth opportunities. They are building capacity not only to grow again, but to manage growth and change in a structured, improved way.

Darwin’s enterprise “change management in a box” gives companies the tools required to reorient employees and drive new, efficient behaviours. Employees resisting change are readily identified. Valuable resources are not wasted convincing employees already on side. Corporate leaders are seamlessly aligned to support major projects and change initiatives.

Even in a time of economic and financial stress, Darwin enables companies to focus on the very goal of transition – improving the bottom line and enhancing financial returns through structured change initiatives.

The choice for energy companies is clear – continue (hopefully) in survival mode or evolve to take advantage when market conditions inevitably change. Darwin is change. Managed.

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