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Reflecting on Microsoft’s Oil & Gas Leadership Summit

Oil and Gas Construction

On Tuesday, Microsoft hosted the inaugural Oil and Gas Leadership Summit in Houston, Texas. We were honored to have distinguished guests from EY, EgonZehnder, Chesapeake Energy, and the McChrystal Group join us.

Digitization is transforming the oil and gas industry. The opportunity for top line growth and operating profit expansion is breathtaking, and the future health of oil and gas companies is contingent upon our ability to drive transformation.

As I reflect on the event, there were four conversations that are particularly thought-provoking:

Technology Investment

With urgency around containing costs, technology like robotics process automation and IoT can help drive efficiency. However, the key to unlocking return on investment is not to adopt technology for the sake of digitization, but to adopt technology that is grounded in business-driven purpose. It’s crucial to prioritize investment in areas that will have meaningful business impact.

Unlocking Agility

In an ever-changing world, organizations must be adaptive to survive. We have to fight the tendency to double down on the plays that have worked in the past but aren’t working now. We must be willing to have candid conversations about what isn’t working. Agility is also cultivated by democratizing decision making. We need to empower the people closest to a problem to solve it instead of waiting for the chain of command.

Leadership Transformation

Transformation can be driven by technological investment and advancement, but it’s important to remember the human element. As leaders, we have to change in order to successfully lead change. It is essential that we shape and balance the paradoxes that exist between harnessing our organizations and unleashing them – all the while recognizing that what got us here, is not what will get us there.

Shifting Culture

A technology shift is often accompanied by a need to shift our culture. We must unlock the creativity in our organizations to survive and thrive in the creative economy. What’s more, it is essential that we create space for candid self-reflection on how we need to evolve as individuals to drive the cultures we want to see.

Ultimately, we’re at an important moment in the oil and gas industry. As we continue to see disruption in energy, it’s time to transform technology, processes, and culture so we can unleash agility, top line growth, and operating profit expansion like never before.

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