NEW STRUCTURES FOR FOCUSING
POWER AND ACCOUNTABILITY
With a new governance structure, OilCo has placed its people into a new set of ambiguities. New semi-autonomous companies exist throughout OilCo, including refineries that employ thousands of people.
In interviews, senior managers talk consistently about the rewards of not controlling. They want to step back, to let subsidiaries have the autonomy to succeed or fail.
Meanwhile, the managers within this system are still figuring out the kind of stance that will help them thrive in a new power structure. New dilemmas center around the questions of who has control and who has responsibility. These questions have no final answer. They can only be dealt with through negotiation, brokering, responsiveness and relationship.
This system, rather than being set in stone, is making itself up as it goes along. A great deal remains undiscussed (and may be undiscussable). Yet this theme contains a great sense of exhilaration. Many OilCo managers felt forced to take the "quest for financial literacy." But they have chosen the governance journey themselves.
The history of the governance changes began with the OilCo leaders', including the current CEO's, desire to act with more autonomy.