Transforming Values into Actions
One of the biggest oil and gas group of companies in the Gulf region developed a commercialisation project as part of a critical infrastructure strategic program for UAE to meet future gas demand, and to provide an integrated end-to-end system, combining upstream and downstream capabilities in one entity.
One of the group subsidiaries had the aspiration to be the world leader in producing and commercialising Sour Gas, as well as be the best-in-class gas-producing company worldwide. Since the company was in the pre-launch phase of the commercialisation (i.e. selling it to end customer), the CEO observed that not all members of the company’s team were committed and connected to the company’s values. In other words, his staff did not exhibit the desired behaviours that augment shareholder value.
In addition, while approaching the launch date a number of issues surfaced:
- Conflicts among departments due to different priorities
- Behaviours across various departments were causing some tension, and delays in work processes
- Lack of employee engagement and morals
However, the pressure of delaying the launch and losing around 1,5 million dollars per day of delay began to cripple the company.
The client needed a transformative journey, starting with aligning the leadership’s vision, mission and strategy across the organisation. It was crucial to set a value framework at all levels of the organisation as the guiding principal for achieving new heights of excellence. It was clear that a value dictionary needed to be established, by clearly defining the desired and the unwanted behaviours for every value, in a unified manner in order to set the tone for the entire company culture.
TTM associates’ solutions focused on the existing Core values of the company, in the following manner: Respect -Teamwork -Continual Improvement–Innovation–Integrity
The project went through 3 phases:
Phase 1- Critical Values Determination
The first phase focused on determining the benchmark for each Core Value and also the existing benchmark gap for each Value. Moreover, the critical values were determined, that needed to be addressed as soon as possible in order to meet the company’s objectives for the years 2013 -2014.
In addition, each Value were broken down into 3 essential components that were derived from the company’s definition for each one. TTM associates’ team did not question/alter the definition of each Core Value, during the first phase. At the same time, this process provided the framework for each Value and a context in which these will be followed all individuals working in the organisation, regardless of their Hierarchical level.
TTM’s methodology focused on the following parameters:
- Defining the benchmark per Value
- Defining the Performance Gap in each Value
- Defining the spectrum of desired and undesired actions for each Value
- Defining the priority in terms of which Value to tackle first in order to support the 2014 commissioning
Phase 2- Methodology implementation
In order to meet the objectives of phase 1, the methodology used was spread in 3 major activities:
- One to one semi-structured interviews
- Focus Groups for Managers and Delegates/Staff level employees
- Online survey principally targeting Staff level employees, which included Team leaders and Supervisors
The methodology used was based on various models/techniques. This included elements from Gupta, B,L (Badrilal) 1960 and Sanghi, Seema 1961, Dubois 1993, such as :
- Behavioural Description Interview
- 360 Degree assessment
- 5 point rating scale per value per level
- Whole brain technology which looked at values (definitions & descriptors) as follows:
- Skills – practicing
- The output
Phase 3- Development
This phase consisted of a 2-year developmental transformation journey, entailing workshops, internal mentoring sessions,
one-on-one coaching, group coaching, town hall sessions, and champions training (train the trainer). The selection criteria for the Champions were vital to the success of the team. It has been observed that the selection criteria of champions had a direct impact on the pace of change, as well as the performance of the team.
Based on the Findings of phase 1, TTM recommended the customer the following:
- Communicate the findings of Phase 1 & align the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) on the desired behaviours of each value across the organisation.
- Conduct a review and streamlining process in order to minimise bureaucracy, support empowerment, counteract organisational silos, and enhance communication and collaboration between field team members and support functions.
- Develop and roll out a customised Management Academy in order to implement immediately the leadership initiatives and most importantly, to create coherence between senior management and delegate level.
- Review and update internal HR processes (recruitment, Performance Management, Reward and policies) to accommodate the various element of the Values by making use to the company Values dictionary.
- Update immediately the recruitment methodology, by using values as a core element in the recruitment. Also, designing a solid on boarding process for ALL new recruits.
- Review and align the performance management system with the new company Values Dictionary.
The development journey continued for two years across all layers (ELT, directors, Managers, Team Leaders and Staff). Given the behavioural development methodologies implemented, the final outcome was:
- Alignment of all employees on the expected behaviours, based on the organisation’s Values.
- Harmonisation of behaviours across the company, which enhanced employees’ engagement and decreased conflict. Also, the execution time of certain projects was decreased.
- The Harmonised Behavioural Safety Leadership across all layers accelerated the commercialisation efforts.
- The much needed harmony across the organisation, together with the conflicts reduction, saved the company millions of dollars, given the estimated loss of 1.5 million dollars for each day of delay for the launch of the commercialisation project.