by Harvey Lau

The Challenge

When a small energy company acquired a large natural gas asset in 2017 to become one of the largest gas producers in the US, its workforce more than tripled from 60 to over 220 employees. Leaders had aggressive plans to monetize the new asset. But they were concerned that the organization was not prepared to meet the demands of rapid operational expansion. It was clear that scaling up the company's operations would demand new skills, organizational capabilities, and ways of working together. The company engaged Point B to conduct an organizational assessment and develop recommendations in line with its aim: to become a major industry player.

An eye-opening assessment

We designed the organizational assessment to give everyone a voice—existing employees, newly acquired employees, and new hires companywide. By ensuring confidentiality and engaging all employees, we created goodwill and netted an outstanding 94 percent response rate on the company's first all-employee survey. We also did a deep dive through more than 40 stakeholder interviews and a series of focus groups. Our assessment focused on five areas: strategy alignment, capabilities, culture, structure and roles, and leadership. What we found surprised leadership and set the stage for laying the foundation for rapid growth.

We distilled our findings into key themes of strategic importance. For example, it was clear that leadership was not aligned, and that employees struggled with receiving mixed messages. Another finding: the company's growth required not only more leaders, but also a more progressive style of leadership to replace its traditional command-and-control approach. Leadership needed to delegate to the next level of leaders and trust them with growing responsibilities.

New clarity, new confidence

Based on the key themes identified, we presented a series of concrete recommendations and a methodical approach to acting on them. Our recommendations tapped into the full force of Point B's gas and oil experts and best practices in organizational development. Together with the executive leadership, we created a roadmap of initiatives across four work streams: vision and core values, internal communications, people management, and project management for strategic initiatives. We helped them gain quick wins, which boosted morale and momentum.

Inside of eight weeks, Point B gave our client a clear picture of where they were, and a roadmap to get where they want to go. With a new understanding of organizational dynamics, the company has begun to develop the culture, talent, and people management competencies to power its ambitious goals for growth.