Oil spill an epic leadership failure (Editor’s notes)

Culture is set from the top down
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 06/16/2010

This issue’s Executive Series (see article #7959) features highlights from a seminar with organizational psychologist Tom Tavares in which he made the provocative statement “management is broken.”

There is no better example of this than the oil gushing from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. At press time, no end was in sight to this ecological disaster — the so-called “top kill” and “junk shot” methods failed and experts are saying it will likely take until August to stop the flow. The oil industry, to put it mildly, has some explaining to do.

The finger pointing has begun in earnest and what’s trickling out is an epic story of leadership failure on the part of BP, subcontractors and government regulators. A report from the United States government — produced by the Interior Department — revealed federal inspectors overseeing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico accepted meals and tickets to sporting events from the companies they were monitoring.