From a Shell Insider
I found this statement by Tony Hayward in a 2007 Management Today article to be a 180 degree contrast to what we have been clearly hearing from Peter Voser, Tom Botts and Tom Purves. I find this interesting that while it looks like Mr Voser is following Mr Haywards lead on reorganization (staff reduction), he chooses a different tact here. Communications to Shell sites clearly stated that there was too much consensus, and that there would be more direction.
The message was the exact opposite of what we have learned was valuable in a high performing organization. The message was taken as shut up, do as you are told, and your morale is not my responsibility.
Morale is at an all time low, managers and supervisors are more focused on the fear of job stability than effective leadership. Many who have not been affected by the current staff reduction exercises are scared, and some are looking for a way out of Shell.
Some have been let go because they were not yes men or ladies, and spoke up about things that genuinely upset the effectiveness of the organization, or the safe operation of plants.
I do not wish to be identified on the website at this time.
Here is the excerpt from the MT article:
Addressing an audience in Houston last year, in the wake of a blast at the firm’s Texas City refinery, which killed 15 people, Mr Hayward attacked BP’s management style.
“We have a leadership style that is too directive and doesn’t listen sufficiently well,” Mr Hayward was reported to have said. “The top of the organization doesn’t listen sufficiently to what the bottom is saying.”
Employees – particularly disgruntled staff in the US – will be looking to see if Mr Hayward introduces a new, perhaps more consensual, leadership style when he takes over the reins.