Many here in the US are happy to see an American, from Mississippi no less, in charge of BP and his focus on culture change but the video has received many thumbs down and negative remarks from viewers. Bob Dudley certainly has the confidence to push change but questions remain.
The first question is whether such a large company is capable of making sweeping changes that prevent disaster. To this, former BP/Amoco executive Thomas Lee believes it can. In his well written article How BP Can Change Its Safety Culture he points to systemic problems within the safety culture of Amoco which quickly ended after BP acquired the company and pushed sweeping, safety related, change. In summary he writes ” Through a comprehensive intervention, in which I played a role, that company dramatically changed its safety culture. If Amoco can do it, so can BP. It won’t be easy, but it can be done.”
The second question is whether Bob Dudley’s message will reverberate down the ladder to operational managers and individual workers. I believe it can but only if he understands the human element of the problem. New safety devices and procedures can help but they can also add an additional layer of complexity to a system many workers already struggle to understand. Org charts, reporting forms, processes and additional equipment all need to be understood and maintained by the line workers otherwise these additional layers of safety create additional workload and burden to the end user… making it difficult to stay focused on the task at hand.
gCaptain has high hopes for BP’s future and remains committed to the human side of this story… a story featuring a new chapter featuring one human and his passionate message of regret and change; Bob Dudley.
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