The oil and gas industry can emulate the successes of other industries on how they coped with the up and down cycles in their respective industries, industry captains said during the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) Asia 2016.
The plenary session titled “Achieving Excellence in Asia: Leadership Stories”, received food for thought from panelists from the aviation, electronic and banking sectors; Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, John Rice and Mukhtar Malik Hussain respectively. “In weathering through the storm that is attached to every cycle of every industry, we need to bear in mind that oil prices at US$120 a barrel and at US$20 a barrel is part of a cycle.
“What we have to do is work our way through the cycles and come out stronger after each cycle. This is where knowing how to respond to the crisis is important and has to be part of your culture before the next cycle hits. “The simple logic is, if you want to play, you have to be prepared to work through the crisis rather than succumb to it,” said General Electric Company vice chairman John Rice. Echoing the thought, AirAsia chief executive officer Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said too many businesses live in the good times and often do not prepare for the down time of every cycle.
“Despite the ringgit and low oil price environments, we should consider these as temporary painkillers. But why waste a good crisis when we can grow from it?
“We need to push the envelope to be the best and operate from outside our comfort zones. While what we have adopted may not be a perfect fit for other industries, we can do better with a disruptive and different way of managing our businesses,” said Tony.
The session received warm attendance with a lively debate and fruitful knowledge sharing by all the panelists as well as lesson learned in emerging stronger after the storm has passed. Meanwhile, Iclif chief executive officer and executive director Rajeev Peshawaria said it was crucial to adopt a leadership style that had essence and could drive the organisation to survive not only in good but at bad times as well.
All three panelists agreed on the importance of leaders understanding the importance of leadership.
“Success is not only about one person and we can’t lose sight of that. It is important to check ourselves in making decisions and practice the communication culture when making them.
“Autocratic leadership is now an old fashioned way of managing companies. To cater to the young generation, we need accountability and empowerment for us to score lower in the power distance index. “We need to make disruptive decisions that are out of the box in keeping up with the new leadership styles to cater to the younger generation,” he told the audience.
First published New Strait Times