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Case Study: Getting the Top Team to Share Decision-Making Better

New Orleans-based DM Petroleum Operations Company was created solely to provide management and operating services to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) project.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) was established in the aftermath of the 1973 Arab oil embargo. Its mission is to store crude oil to reduce the adverse economic impact of a major petroleum supply interruption to the United States and carry out obligations under the International Energy Program.

DM began its tenure in 1993, by providing management and manpower to operate and maintain the SPR and related pipeline systems as the Department of Energy’s primary contractor. In 2003, the contract was re-bid and DM was selected to continue as the SPR M&O contractor for a 10-year period.

Since 2001, the company has been lead by President and CEO Robert McGough, who retired from the U.S. Army as a Colonel in 1989 after serving in numerous command and staff positions revolving around petroleum logistics. McGough engaged ConvergencyPartners in order to enrich team building and connectivity. McGough’s cadre of leaders at DM had never worked together, and they needed a go-forward plan.

ConvergencyPartners assessed the top talent at DM, and then helped define each leader’s role, responsibility and accountability. In the process, a charter for DM’s management team was developed.

Today, the leaders at DM speak openly and freely in meetings, bring issues to positive resolution, provide constructive feedback, and, for the most part, share decision-making at the company much more even-handedly.


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