We initially engaged Tom Fritsch (Allen Austin) to work with the Global Drilling and Completions organization in Hess Corporation. We wanted to elevate the performance of the organization and the quality of its primary product – oil and gas wells delivered around the world in land, offshore and Deepwater offshore locations. Wells represent the largest capital spend in Hess and are critical to the company’s success. They are the conduit to produce the oil and gas that are the lifeblood of the company.
The work often represents the most challenging part of the business given the safety and environmental risks, especially if the work is not planned and executed well. In 2009, Hess was in the 3rd quartile of industry drilling and completion performance before the beginning of our Well Delivery Excellence (WDX) program. Tom was instrumental in helping us build a strong vision of where we needed to be and a viable strategy to get there. It started with my leadership team and with me. If I did not demonstrate the values and behaviors needed to achieve our vision, we were doomed from the start.
Tom was instrumental in providing one on one leadership coaching starting with me and extending to my leadership team. He used quite of bit of inquiry to help us find who we needed and wanted to be as leaders – he did not “give us the answers in the back of the book”. The ability to be a great leader was within each of us and Tom helped bring that out in each of us. He worked with us on our leadership team dynamic – how we could become not just high-performing leaders but a high-performance leadership team. We brought this strong leadership to the rest of the drilling and completions organization as well as to our internal customers in Hess and our contractor companies. We touched every part of the organization, including and especially our field supervisors. They very much appreciated being a key part of our overall transformation and providing their valuable insight and experience to help shape our vision and journey planning. In the end we elevated the company’s drilling and completions performance to the top quartile in each part of our business – land, offshore, and Deepwater, and we maintained that high performance year after year. For example, in a critical Deepwater drilling project in Ghana we delivered the best 7 Deepwater wells ever drilled in West Africa at the time.
Tom was not just a consultant; he was a member of our team. I very much appreciate the impact Tom had a me as a leader, and the impact he had on our performance for Hess. I very much support Tom for anyone looking to elevate their performance and to make sustainable, positive change in their organization. Tom has a calm demeanor, but he has a fire inside to help others improve. He is a great listener and seeks to understand before jumping to conclusions. He showed the ability to work one on one with leaders at all levels and work with teams at all levels. He has extensive knowledge and experience of working with organizations to improve their performance and to keep it at an elevated level. I was very happy to have Tom part of the team and the impact he had on me continued well beyond my time leading the Wells organization.