Yesterday’s post began a discussion of the culture of the industry and how the inertia of the industries routines and capabilities made for formidable obstacles to change. Thankfully we are not focusing on changing any of the cultural inertia in the oil and gas industry. We are trying to change the bureaucracies and the systems to recognize the routines, capabilities and inertia of the Joint Operating Committee. This does however require the retirement or fading of the bureaucracy in its current form.
And institutional change, we argue, can often take place through the more or less slow dying out of obsolete institutions in a population and their replacement by better-adapted institutions - rather than by the conscious adaptation of existing institutions in the face of change. p. 6
Thankfully the bureaucracy does not sustain its own inertia. It is a forced or contrived existence that serves the purposes of a few within the organization, and these needs can be replaced by the Joint Operating Committee. I’m thinking of the command and control, budget and finance functions. What we have said we are doing with the Preliminary Specification is moving to the natural form of organization of the oil and gas industry, the Joint Operating Committee. I don’t foresee difficulties in making the transition from the bureaucracies forced ways to the more natural way of doing things with the Joint Operating Committee.
Another aspect of capabilities that has recently received a great deal of attention is organizational culture. In practice, not all organizations may be equally able to cope with change, as existing patterns of behavior involving both executives and subordinates may be resistant to change. Organizations develop collective habits or ways of thinking that can be altered only gradually. To the extent that a given culture is either flexible or consistent with a proposed change in product or process technology, the transition to the new regime will be relatively easy. If, however, the culture is incompatible with the needs posed by the change and is inflexible, the viability of the change will be threatened (Robertson, 1990; Langlois 1991; Camerer and Vepsalainen, 1988). p. 9
And the proposition that this transition will occur has been threatened by the bureaucracy. They hold the budget and have exercised it in not providing any funding towards People, Ideas & Objects. In this fashion the bureaucracy has been self-serving and looking after its own interests and has abandoned the future of the industry. What will the situation be like in five or ten years. Will their ways still be the methods in which the industry functions? What if they fail?
Teece... fails to note that the inflexibility, or inertia, induced by routines and the capabilities that they generate can raise to prohibitive levels the cost of adopting a new technology or entering new fields. Such inertia can develop to the extent that existing rules are both hard to discard and inconsistent with types of change that might otherwise be profitable. p. 10
McKinsey Consulting suggest that large populations will be joining the middle class in the next 20 years. This will have a dramatic effect on the levels of demand for energy. If the oil and gas industry fails to respond to these demands due to the bureaucracies lethargic ways, will anyone note that there were these alternatives proposed.
Whereas major competence enhancing innovations may, in time, be assimilated, the creation of entirely new organizations may be needed to deal with innovations that undermine the capabilities or competences of existing firms. p. 11
Tomorrow we will begin our fourth pass through the Accounting Voucher.
For the industry to successfully provide for the consumers energy demands, it’s necessary to build the systems that identify and support the Joint Operating Committee. Building the Preliminary Specification is the focus of People, Ideas & Objects. Producers are encouraged to contact me in order to support our Revenue Model and begin their participation in these communities. Those individuals that are interested in joining People, Ideas & Objects can join me here and begin building the software necessary for the successful and innovative oil and gas industry.
Please note what Google+ provides us is the opportunity to prove that People, Ideas & Objects are committed to developing this community. That this is user developed software, not change that is driven from the top down. Join me on the People, Ideas & Objects Google+ Circle (private circle, accessible by members only) and begin building the community for the development of the Preliminary Specification.