Client: Perenco

Assignment: Designing and delivering a programme to improve leadership, and develop a more effective performance culture

Leadership Improvement Develops New Performance Culture

The Problem

The leaders in the new operation had to move away from the traditional and somewhat restricted approach of a large multinational operator, to one of a more pragmatic and focused operator at the sharp end of maximising and extending the profitable life of gas assets beyond that previously thought possible.

Changing culture and leadership behaviour is difficult at the best of times. But, add the complexity of a rugged working environment, unsociable shift patterns and demands for improvements in performance from a new parent company – the leaders of the business had a significant challenge.

Bourton Group was brought in to focus on developing a support programme for leaders by applying pragmatic leadership principles, driving application of topics and methods learnt and creating a more ‘can-do’ culture in operations.

The Solution

Over three years we have worked with Perenco UK leaders and managers from offshore operations, onshore functional teams and the senior management team.

As with all change programmes, we needed an approach that would:

  • Raise awareness and energise a base of stakeholders, from the top team to the offshore operations
  • Develop individual and organisational capabilities in leading teams, tasks and individuals
  • Deliver sustainable change in organisational culture and business performance

Programme Set Up

In the first phase we engaged with the senior management team of the UK operation, establishing their perception of the current performance of the leaders, key issues, and how they would envisage future ‘excellent’ performance to be. We also spent time offshore on gas compression platforms to get a clear understanding of the operational constraints and the leadership challenges that the environment provides.

After this initial diagnostic, an outline programme was developed, presented to the senior managers and UK Head of Operations, and fine-tuned to meet the exact needs of the business at that time.


The programme ran with six week intervals between three core modules. These intervals allowed leaders to apply their learning in the workplace, carry out diagnostics on current activity on their teams, and participate in peer learning and reviews. The programme modules covered topic s of Leading and Managing Task Achievement, Leading and Developing Teams, Leading and Developing Individuals.

Actions in the workplace focused on improving task planning and management, development of operational teams and coaching key individuals to improve performance.

Key topics included:

  • Goal, Objective Setting and Planning Framework
  • Task Achievement Toolkit
  • Team Meeting Framework
  • Team Dynamics Toolkit
  • Key Learner Framework

At key stages of the programme, we used diagnostic tools to identify culture and performance improvement. This programme has now been delivered to three groups, with measures taken at key stages to track business benefits and organisational culture shift. In addition, coaching support has been given to key resources to overcome particular operational challenges.

Our consultants also worked closely with the senior management team to oversee the programme and to ensure transfer of learning to the workplace.

Aspects of the programme and ways of working developed by teams were shared with the global operations, and the country operational heads. This sharing of best practice was a significant recognition of the integration of the UK operations into Perenco’s global business environment and operating culture.

The Benefits

Value Delivered

  • Over 80 leaders developed through the programme
  • Suite of customised organisational development and evaluation materials created
  • Leadership improvement projects initiated and performance improved
  • Team based action and improvement plans created and monitored

Benefits Achieved

  • A measurable achieved shift in organisational culture towards a ‘task and performance focused’ environment developing teams and cross functional communications
  • Organisational culture continuously benchmarked and ongoing actions for improvement identified and implemented
  • Individuals feeling more ‘empowered’ with responsibility and accountability to deliver within an agreed framework and achieving measurable results in improved ways of working and business performance
  • New capability of the operational Senior Management Team to ensure focus and develop ownership and accountability

Download Case Study in PDF Format

Download Case Study

What Perenco said about us

Bourton’s approach to understanding the business prior to developing the programme – including visits to operational sites offshore – was refreshing and gave me confidence we were on the right track with the correct company. Feedback from each of the sessions was positive and I am convinced this has played a major part in transforming the operating culture to a ‘can do’ culture where empowerment is the norm. On the back of this success we now want to work with Bourton to help shape the longer term Perenco UK operating culture with the senior management team.

John Sewell, UK Head of Operations