In need of a rewrite of the following Executive Summary:
The global oil market is approximately $1.7 trillion per year, which makes it one of the most valuable industries in the world (“Global Oil Industry and Market,” 2016). Despite this wealth, firms must devote much of their profits back into the firm for safety, new products, and new technologies. Firms have taken this proactive stance to prevent accidents from happening. However, when an accident happens, these firms are now placed in a defensive stance for they must respond appropriately to the accident. A misstep here can ruin a company. British Petroleum (BP) experienced this as part of their Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010. One key misstep almost destroyed a legend in the oil industry.
BP is one of the largest oil companies in the world with an average annual revenue of around $200 billion. They began their start in 1901, survived WWII, and survived conflicts in the Middle East to become a leader in the oil producing industry. Their dedication to improving their business operations while making sure that their employees were a key focus planted the foundation to deal with a changing world. The Deepwater Horizon incident tested their ability to survive the crisis of all crises.
The Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010 was a challenge to BP not because of what happened but how BP responded. Here you have an oil spill in which the equipment did not belong to BP, but the firm tried to shift the blame to the owner of the equipment for the spill. This strategy failed as the public reacted strongly to BP’s lack of accountability. This required BP to implement a new strategy, one of transparency and accountability. BP began to use social media to highlight the cleanup process showing they were accountable and caring. To reinforce this new strategy, they even provided funds to firms affected by the oil spill. BP has now convinced the public that was accountable and transparent.
This incident is a stark reminder that firms, like BP, are held to high standards. They cannot hide from their faults or mistakes. When things go awry, they must take the lead for accountability and transparency. Firms who do this will survive in our global market by being the problem-solvers and leaders that society expects of them. BP’s actions in the Deepwater Horizon incident is a playbook that firms must follow.
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