Turning a traditional shipping company into a flat, agile and empowered organization - driven by our motivations.
- Fewer bosses, more leaders
- Splitting the traditional line manager role into 3
- Abandoning departments and static titles by focusing on cross functional project teams and professions
- Growing talent, working with individual talent developers
Teekay Stavanger is a business unit with approx. 100 employees, managing more than 30 vessels that transport and store oil in the North Sea and offshore Brazil.
We are a part of Teekay Corporation, an operational leader and project developer in the marine midstream space, responsible for managing and operating consolidated assets of over $11 billion, comprised of approximately 170 liquefied gas, offshore, and conventional tanker assets. We have offices in 16 countries and approximately 6,400 seagoing and shore-based employees.
Teekay was founded 40 years ago and has its headquarter in Vancouver, Canada.
We saw a need to reduce cost, to increase cost control & transparency, and to build an agile and empowered organization that can meet the challenges of the future. It was critical to be able to move fast, to be able to constantly react to the ever changing business environment, to turn opportunities into new business and to encourage innovation.
We had a very open change process, inviting all employees to the table, when we kicked off the change project 14 months ago.
There was agreement that change was needed and based on many open workshops and input from various stakeholders, we articulated a need to reinvent the organization going away from static hierarchies, departments, the role of the traditional lime manager and titles.
The idea was to create an agile organization with a focus on flexibility, accountability, and front line decision making. We wanted to create a team of self-led professionals, driven by their motivations.
The main challenge was a change of mind set away from Taylor’s management theory and the hierarchical thinking most of us have grown up with. To let go and see the benefits of not having departments, titles, and static structures.
Having a very open communication process over 14 months from kick-off to implementation, and reducing the amount of employees in the office by approx. 20% at the same time was another challenge we were faced with.
However, I think that having an open communication process was not only a challenge but a big part of the solution at the same time. In order to be successful, fundamental change needs time, the ability to develop and the consideration of many views and stand points. Having a culture of openness, trust and sharing, in a combination with senior leaders that act as role models, was the key to success.
What we can see is that we managed to release energy, become more aligned, flexible and faster while being more efficient and having clearer accountabilities.
One lesson learned is that a very open communication processes might be more difficult and time consuming, but creates a feeling of belonging. Through this, you can achieve buy-in and ownership in large parts of the organization, especially if you are listing and are flexible in your action.
Another lesson learned is that it is all about the philosophy, and the idea and motivations behind the change. The rest is just about finding the right way, and there certainly is more than one that gets you to where you want to go.
Credit should go to the head of the business unit who really is the architect behind the management innovation, as well as the entire leadership team who was open and approachable throughout the process, walking the talk and acting as role models. From day one, they were open in their communication, invited everyone to the table, listened, and considered all the input they received very seriously.