Thriving in the New Normal

posted by WMC

The Oil economy has undergone a transformational change and many of us have found a way to adjust and survive.

Now, how do we thrive again?


Those who are hanging on and waiting for oil prices to recover are missing a massive opportunity to dramatically change their world for the better.

As leaders we must harness this burning platform for change to create a future that reduces our company’s exposure to this risk and maximizes the upside potential at the same time… a future that will allow us and our people to thrive in the New Normal.

Here are a few strategic elements to consider:

1. Values-Based Leadership

Values make you strong.  Living your values shows your team and customers what they can consistently expect.  Now is the time for you and your team to recommit.

In times of strife and change, teams must consciously take the time to re-form before they can reach and exceed prior levels of performance…. miss this critical step and it will haunt you for years!

Ensure that everyone knows your values and implement Leadership Accountabilities deep into your organization to ensure everyone knows their part in making these values come to life.

2. Deconstruct Your Business

Science tells us that in order for a caterpillar to become a butterfly it deconstructs itself.  Some organs stay intact. Others, like muscles, break down into clumps of cells that can be reused, like a Lego sculpture decomposing into bricks.

What are your “Cells” or basic building blocks?  How can you reassemble them to create new offerings that reach new markets?

Engage your team to discover these and work together to make these a sustainable current and future reality.

3. Change the Scenery

This situation has clearly shown that sticking to our own backyard is comfortable but precludes many opportunities.  You don’t have to go far, just over to the neighbors, to change the scenery.

Or go abroad… there is both advice and financial help to tackle foreign markets.  Examples include:

Export Development Canada (EDC) and Western Economic Diversification

Follow your customers if you must… because building a lasting diversified platform will help withstand regional business cycles.

4. Swim Upstream

Your team will be more valuable the more of the value chain you “own”!  By moving into offerings that are “upstream” of your current offering you can control more of the variables that ultimately affect success.

If you build things, help design them or even help define what should be built in the first place.  Swimming upstream is not easy but it is essential for long-term sustainability.

5. “Spoiler Alert” – It’s All About the People

Leaders never miss the chance to strengthen their teams.  This is more important now than ever; to win we need great players.

Steve Jobs said “the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

This means continuing to hire and develop people even as we reduce overall headcount using a scalpel, not a hatchet.  It means continuing to work with expert advisors to build capability and support transition while cutting costs in other areas.    It also means leading by example so those we lead believe us and understand we are all in this together.

The New Normal is here, at least for a while.  Seize the opportunity to find new ways to thrive and the long-term benefits will be


Mauro Meneghetti – Director WMC Calgary

Click here to see Mauro’s article on LinkedIn.

The opinions represented here do not necessarily represent WMC’s views as a whole.