What Can We All Learn From an Oil Company?

Apparently, a lot. 

Though often portrayed a the typical evil corporation archetype, some of them are doing some pretty amazing and innovative work around operating organizations on a massive scale.  

I recently heard Statoil‘s Bjarte Bogsnes give a wonderful talk at LKNA ’14 on how this  23,000-employee, publicly-traded Norwegian oil company is managing its budgeting process and business performance in general. 

I was so impressed with the company, that I did some more digging around and uncovered this gem: 

The Statoil (employee) Book

It’s one of better employee handbooks that I’ve ever seen. Here’s why I think it’s awesome: 

  • Company Values (p10-13)
    • Strong framing of the company’s purpose
    • Only 4 top values that are unique (unlikely to find this particular set of values elsewhere)
    • Values are broken down to be actionable
  • People and Leadership (p14-21)
    • Defining the partnership between the company and the individual (rare, brilliant)
    • Defining what leadership means at Statoil in a detailed enough resolution to build effective evaluation, coaching and training around
    • Tying the performance review cycle to values and strategy
    • Defining cross company career tracks (“leadership” and “professional”)
  • Corporate Policies (p54-74)
    • Concise and in plain English – only 20 pages! (how long are your company’s?) 
    • Simple, consistent and clear structure: our approach -> we are committed to -> how we work

What’s the best handbook you’ve seen out there? (don’t say Valve)

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What Can We All Learn From an Oil Company?

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