Organization at a crossroads secures a new future

Despite a distinguished history as one of Scotland’s leading employers and Europe’s oldest and largest chemical processing and refining site, this organization was failing to meet its economic potential. Just one year later it posted its first profits and boosted safety by more than 300%.

At a glance

Industry: Oil & Gas

Challenge: Revive operations despite a history of losses and competitive lag

Objective: Rectify safety issues, reduce costs, improve performance and profitability

JMW Approach: Develop strong leadership, accountability and collaboration at all levels

Results: Safety metrics up over $300%, costs lowest on record, first profits in a decade

The Challenge

Despite a distinguished history as one of Scotland’s leading employers and Europe’s oldest and largest chemical processing and refining site, this organization was failing to meet its economic potential. The situation was compounded by safety concerns and an economic downturn.

Moreover, the site was a high-profile operations base with three major business units in one location, all operating autonomously and maintaining powerful identities and cultures. Due to the tremendous complexity and capacity of the site’s operations, restoring its competitiveness would require a transformation.

With the future of the facility at stake, the company worked with JMW to generate a new site-wide identity and performance culture to rectify safety issues, reduce costs, and improve performance and integration throughout the three business units.

JMW Approach

JMW worked closely with senior executives to create a new leadership team capable of establishing a new culture focused on performance and delivery. Through a series of leadership development sessions, these 15 individuals worked together to formulate a site-wide agenda and performance contract, which established accountability and leadership at the top as it moved forward.

To help the organization move away from a “silo” work culture, JMW assisted the team in establishing a culture of responsibility and accountability, which required a major shift from a static co-existence between business units to a sense of collaboration and synergy. Leaders at all levels learned firsthand that they could make a significant impact on those with whom they worked, even in the face of risk and rapid change.

JMW also helped managers organization-wide to align with the company’s new vision. Through work with JMW’s consultants and participation in leadership development programs, the managers generated new ways of thinking and working—taking the lead on initiatives in a way that engaged their staff and inspired them to succeed.

Senior executives formed a “Transformation Team” to work with JMW to identify new and lasting ways for the business units to support one another.

The Result

After one year, the company posted its first profits in a decade, improved plant availability from 88% to 95% and boosted safety statistics by over 300%. Fixed costs dropped to the lowest ever recorded. This turnaround was created by site leaders moving swiftly to develop stronger leadership, accountability and collaboration across the site’s interdependent business channels. This fundamental shift in how people approached their work laid the groundwork for performance as a progressive and synchronized entity.