Crisis Management & Business Resiliency Forum, Houston – Covid-19 | Thursday 23rd April

  • Uncategorized

FWB Park Brown hosted a Crisis Management & Business Resiliency Roundtable on Thursday April 23, 2020 as a Q&A with Mark Niblett, Chief Security and Resiliency Officer of Weatherford to share ideas, talk about the challenges in the current atmosphere and act as a place of support.  A few highlights of the roundtable included communication between employer and employees, the future workplace, technology in Oil & Gas and mitigating risk moving forward.


When approaching crisis management, communication is one of the most important factors to consider, both externally and internally.

Within organisations represented at the roundtable, leaders are spending more time listening to their employees, thinking about their wellbeing and safety, and communicating the actions they are taking for their employees.  Organisations are using many different methods to make sure lines of communication stay open.  Some leaders have created special teams for this situation, representing all functions, to work together in taking actions as well as in communicating across the organisation and with employees.  Some companies have created online forums where employees can ask questions and voice their concerns with direct access to the company’s leaders.  Other companies are having weekly or bi-weekly virtual townhalls where leaders are communicating how they are moving forward in terms of keeping employees safe and healthy, whether that is in manufacturing, in the field, or in the office.  The general thought is that more open and transparent communication will give employees a sense of security in these uncertain times.

The Future Workplace

Regardless of the company, workplaces have all changed in the past month in multiple ways.  For example, in manufacturing facilities, companies are working with skeleton crews, staggering shifts, supplying PPE to employees and following the CDC’s suggestions. In the corporate setting, leaders are putting precautions into place so employees will feel safe in the office environment – working split shifts, locking the breakroom door, encouraging  lunches in cars, and enforcing what the local governments are suggesting (i.e. wearing masks at work, increased sanitization, etc.).  As working from home has shown great potential, organisations are considering this to be a part of the new workplace going forward.  Some individuals do prefer to work in an office environment and be in close proximity to their peers; however, it is becoming evident now that there are others that thrive working from home.  It was discussed that leaders need to recognise the differences and know how to motivate each employee uniquely.

Technology in Oil & Gas

With technology enabling a work from home environment, leaders are acknowledging that working from home can lead to more productivity than previously thought.  Also, with the travel ban, leaders have been forced to rely on video conferencing for meetings, interviews and even training. In many ways this has led to a streamlining of processes, making many functions and even the leaders themselves more productive and effective.  Some critical decisions have been taken faster as leaders have had to convene online and necessity has become a virtue.

The Oil & Gas industry is often characterised for being a bit traditional and conservative in adopting new technology, which is in many ways both inaccurate and unfair. Great strides have been taken in the application of technology, particularly in the offshore & subsea sectors where incredible technology has been developed and deployed over the past several years.

As with other downturns, the current situation will continue to challenge the oil & gas community to adopt innovative new technologies to solve a variety of problems and achieve cost reduction. One example mentioned is the increase in remote inspections taking place now, which in most instances are more cost effective and timely than ever before.

Mitigating Risk Going Forward

There is considerable uncertainty as to how long we will be in this environment, how we will emerge and what ‘the other side’ will look like – the ‘new normal’.

Our forum also discussed how the industry will look at mitigating risk as it moves forward.  The thought was shared that business risk will be different and, while we do not exactly know what it will look like, it is starting to take shape now.  The idea of continued digitisation and increased virtual capacity will increase the industry’s IT and infrastructure risk.  Also impacted, among others, are the risks of supply chain, international trade, manufacturing and potential material and equipment shortages.  While the sub-sectors within Oil & Gas do look different when it comes to risk, one resounding commonality amongst the leaders present was the continued risk of global travel and employee health & safety.

For a downloadable copy of the above article please click here.

The Americas Crisis Management & Business Continuity Virtual Roundtable will be hosted on Zoom every couple of weeks with the core session lasting an hour, with a further 30 minutes available for informal discussion and networking for those who wish. For further details on this, or future events, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mary McIntyre ( or Lauren Vielock (

[divider line_type=”Full Width Line” line_thickness=”1″ divider_color=”default”]

FWB Park Brown
FWB Park Brown continues to deliver its full range of services which includes providing support and advice during the Covid-19 Public Health and developing global economic crisis.
We have established a range of cross sector as well as sector focused discussion forums for Chairs, NEDs, CEOs and all the main business management disciplines.  We are also working closely with the Scottish HR Leadership Group to provide constructive support including discussion forums and Q & As.
Summaries of the discussions will be posted on our news section and also on LinkedIn.
For further information about any of these forums please contact us via

Get in touch

Contact the team at FWB Park Brown to discuss your individual or company requirements, or to discover more about our specialist services.