If you have a company that’s had two massive transition points—first a Tornado and then an Avalanche—you have two options. First, you may have to sell. Even worse, of course, you could simply go under, with nothing to show for all of your hard work. Your best alternative, though, is to follow the path of Devon Energy.
In a previous blog, I told the story of Devon Energy: Having survived their Avalanche, merged with a second company, and moved into the subsequent consolidation period, they knew needed to get their people and processes in shape before they could even begin to talk about technology.
Then and only then were they were ready to look at IT. They asked the following questions:
- Which pieces of our current technology do we still need?
- What do we have that doesn’t meet our needs?
- What new technology do we need that we don’t have?
Answering these questions allowed them to put together a blueprint for how they were going to operationalize their new processes.
I worked with Devon Energy to first consolidate their IT. We found all the pieces that were duplication between the two companies. We then found the pieces that needed to be integrated so that existing technology could support the processes. Devon Energy needed single points of entry without any points of failure. From the wellhead to the distribution point, information had to be consistent.
We created new processes and brought in new technology to make that happen.
Once this was done, margins soared way above where they were at the end of the last Tornado. Devon Energy’s story demonstrates how a company can use the Business Storm Cycle as a positive event that leads to more growth, to more iterations of the company’s identity. To get this first enormous transformation done right, the company brought in people from the outside along with their own people. The program took us several years of solid work to pull everything together and then to implement. The next step was to educate everyone so that the entire company would be able to meet the demands of their next growth cycle. And sure enough, when another Tornado came along for Devon Energy, brought about by their drilling of Eagle Ford Shale in Texas, the company was ready.
Once you’ve been through the Business Storm Cycle and have come out the other side, it’s time to rebalance your people, processes, and IT. The punishing weather you’ve endured has almost certainly pushed things out of alignment and only by rethinking all three can you hope to be ready for your next ‘go round.
Safeguard long-term business success with my storm cycle model. Download a free chapter of my book, Surviving the Business Storm Cycle: How to Weather Your Business’s Ups and Downs. Take my complimentary Business Storm Cycle Assessment to empower your people to work better, faster, and smarter.