Andrew Wood, chief executive officer of WorleyParsons, discusses how continually analyzing the cost structure of your business and empowering employees can deliver the best results.
Read the transcript below.
ANDREW WOOD: The business was facing a number of challenges, largely market-driven. So as a result, they cut back their spending dramatically, probably harder than we'd seen in a number of decades. So it left a workload for the business and a changed market environment that we just had to respond to.
The first proof point really was in that identification phase—what could be achieved, analyzing, comparing the base cost structures of the business, and the opportunities that were there for taking the appropriate levels of cost out of the business. Really, that was the first proof point was to say, "We've got a good handle on what the potential is."
Then from there, it was, you know, getting those early wins around starting to realize those costs. It's all about an accumulation of a lot of small outcomes delivering a very large one. The sense of achievement as you start to see the actual monthly cost coming down and also seeing people respond to being given a bit more latitude and freedom within the area in which they worked, and to be challenged to deliver outcomes at that revised cost point.
That's when things started to really resonate within the business, because you had to start doing things differently. And once you start doing things differently, you get to empower people more. The ability for them to feel as though they're making a serious contribution to the success of the business—they're the things that resonate probably even more so than just seeing the numbers on a sheet of paper.
That's the stuff that started to build the enthusiasm in the business. A never-ending task is to continually look at the cost structure in your business as the business changes and morphs over time. And we've continued to use those processes.