As a ConocoPhillips’s employee I’ll offer you some insight into our new company. And don’t forget (because our managers and leaders won’t) WE are taking over YOU.
(1) For your career and annual ratings/rewards, it’s better to look good than be good. Impressive PowerPoint presentations, “introspective” brown nosing, yes-men succeed. Be careful what you say and how you say it: agreeing with management will get you ahead rather than speaking the truth.
(2) Finance and Exploration organization are the worst functions in the company (and that says a lot). These organizations are the most inbred incestuous factions (yes, I mean that word, not functional disciplines), and it will be difficult for an “outsider” to get ahead no matter how competent. In fact, competency will be seen as a threat. This will be especially true for the few survivors in exploration. After years of the repeated “this is finally the big one!” lie, over and over again, the exploration cuts this time will be deservedly medieval.
(3) Massive bureaucracy. Focus is not on production, reserves, value, earnings, or stockholders, instead it’s on feeding information upwards. If you want to succeed, get accurate mistake-free answers in pretty slides upwards quickly.
(3a) All information is comparison: this is what we have for budget submital #1, this is what we changed, this is what we made you change, this is our new budget/LRP, this is what was changed, this is final budget, here’s what it looks now that January actuals have come in and you can spot our lies, this is why we were not lying, here’s our new year forecast vs our budget and why it’s changed.... etc etc etc for 18 months then we start a new year. This entire bureaucracy is built to provide excuses on why we did not meet our budget. Regarding “annual” performance reviews, these are finalized in February and completed in September (because the systems and bureaucracy and review meetings are endless), so you only get reviewed at your “annual” review for 7 months of work. The annual bonus is paid at the end of February because it takes an entire two months to determine who has done what and how badly.
(4) We have the most arrogant narcissistic leadership in the industry. Consistent history of inconsistency (see “the dividend is sacrosanct” to “there will be no layoffs this year...”). They don’t listen/learn because they believe they already know everything. They absolutely LOVE talking SPIRIT values but they don’t walk the talk. Yes, when they leave the bathroom, they are actually 100% confident it smells better in there.
(5) Infrastructure asset-wise, everything is massively over-engineered, over-built to handle future expected exaggerated imaginary peak production. Same is true for drilling everything.
(6) We take massive pride in our HSE skills set, but in reality this is wasted time: more meetings and reporting, with indecipherable useless metrics no one in the company understands.
(7) The hyped metric in the company is “cost of supply” which, because of oil vs gas prices and differentials, there’s no consistency, so this is gamed by those in the know.
(8) Managing your career (we have talent teams!) receives a lot of attention and time, but in reality this is all smoke and mirrors. We have a secretive “High Potential” program that identifies “leaders” early in their careers (in practice, the folks who look best), and these are the ones who have their careers managed. Heads up: if you’re not receiving stock, you’re not on the list.
(9) Gird your loins for the worst supervisors/managers in the history of capitalism. Micro-managing control freaks, world-class jerks, insecure man-childs, and narcissistic pretty-boys, we have the worst of the worst.
(10) Because of the price collapse this year, ConocoPhillips’s was planning significant employee reductions. They always follow what everyone else is doing. But because of this acquisition, they decided to wait and then get this all done at the same time as they “right size” this new combined company. So expect significant reductions on both sides, with many managers getting their desired enhanced severance packages or alternatively taking care of themselves (if they are not ready to retire) and ruthlessly cutting anyone who has ever disagreed with them in the past. Been there done that.
Let the Hunger Games begin.
If you want to succeed, brown-nose and get a powerful rising mentor.