For the fifth consecutive year, Egon Zehnder was honored to be a strategic partner at IHS CERAWeek 2016. This year’s event - “Energy Transition: Strategies for a New World” - brought together top-ranking leaders and experts from the global energy community to discuss effective responses to the current market volatility and look at what lies ahead in energy provision and effective responses to current market volatility. Once again, Egon Zehnder convened the CEO Breakfast Panel at IHS CERAWeek, bringing together top energy decision-makers from around the world for a moderated panel discussion. Here is what we heard.
In the current slump energy companies face a tough balancing act between preserving their balance sheets and protecting their talent pipeline, reports Rigzone “CEOs and boards are recognizing that even though there’s a significant downturn, there has to be a continued focus on development,” notes Egon Zehnder’s US Energy Practice Leader Steve Goodman. In his experience, energy firms are now focused on identifying high-potential leaders who can engage others and drive results. According to Goodman, energy firms, “need people who are engaged enough to come forward and say ‘I can innovate around processes and […] in the ideas that I bring forward to help us be more operationally efficient.”
Industry players want US presidential candidates to pay more attention to energy policy, reports EnergyWire covering this year’s CERAWeek in Houston. According to Egon Zehnder consultant Trent Aulbaugh, "The political process that we're going through now is just a microcosm of a broader issue that's been there for 20 or 30 years, which is we really don't have any agreed-to energy strategy." Aulbaugh admits that the industry itself is partly to blame. "I think the industry has done such a good job making energy so prevalent and so available that it's fallen off the radar screen a little bit," he explains. For Aulbaugh, "The problem is down the road […] if all the capex [capital expenditure] gets pulled out of the industry."
A number of energy specialist recruiters polled by Hunt Scanlon Media over the last several weeks said ‘economic uncertainty’ and ‘political volatility’ were having a significant impact on petroleum and natural gas companies, but new leadership requirements were surfacing as a result. According to Steve Goodman, who leads the North American energy search practice for Egon Zehnder, it is during difficult times when leadership and innovation are most in demand. Downturns, he said, are all about finding the right balance between positioning to survive and positioning for coming growth.
From exploration to distribution, the energy industry is confronting historic challenges and opportunities that are testing the ability of its leaders to navigate uncertainty; manage innovation in a time of cost cutting; and prevent a repeat of the “lost generation” that hampered growth a decade ago. To hear firsthand how industry leaders are confronting these issues, we convened our annual CEO Breakfast Panel discussion at CERAWeek 2016.
IHS Video Interview: Leadership During an Industry Downturn
Maintaining leadership development and talent management is essential for energy companies during the oil industry downturn. This is a key insight offered by Carol SingletonSlade, Global Head of the Energy Practice and Roger Aguirre, Global Head of the Oilfield Services Practice, in an interview with Atul Arya of IHS. The interview was taped on site at the 2016 CERAWeek conference in Houston.