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Title: Preparing to transfer and accept the duty of care
Downloadable: Yes 
Project No.:
Research Agency:
Catalog No.: 2400s
Date of Publication: 2017-03-01
Price: $25.00 US
Authors: Eric Lang and Chris F Yoxall
Abstract: THE OIL AND GAS pipeline industry is at a tipping point with regard to transferring the duty of care from its current leaders to the next generation. If we do nothing, we risk the loss of the knowledge and experience gained within the pipeline industry over the last 20 years. However, if the industry aggressively and collectively works toward the retention and development of the next generation as well as toward the transfer of knowledge from its subject-matter experts to those prepared to accept it, instead of a potential loss it could be a step-change opportunity for the industry.

The retention of the next generation will likely require some adaptation of more- traditional management approaches and methodologies often in use within the oil and gas pipeline industry. For example, where previous generations might have had ambitious goals, members of the next generation will inform you of them almost immediately and without apology. It is very important not to discount their ambition, but rather to help them understand the role they are reaching for, what it will take to get there, and most importantly, hold them accountable for behaviour not aligned with their ambition.

The transfer of knowledge, specifically at the rate required, will involve much more effort than management modifications and is likely more critical. The next generation must prepare themselves to accept the duty of care through high performance at their position to absorb as much knowledge as possible, as well as efforts to gain knowledge and experience outside of their day-to-day efforts through industry opportunities and committees. The transfer of knowledge will also require a significant effort from the industry’s leaders. It will require them to seek out opportunities to mentor and coach, to participate and encourage those and offer assistance and support to those preparing themselves to accept the duty of care, and to encourage their peers to do the same. It will also require leaders to appreciate the next generation for its strengths and ensure that all are technically very competent, supporting the ability to find more- efficient and effective ways to problem identification and solving, and being fearless when it comes to taking on technical challenges.

If the industry collectively gets behind its leaders, and its emerging leaders, and the different generations leverage one another’s strengths to address the knowledge gap in the near term, the industry’s goal of ‘zero spills’ would be that much more attainable in the future, and we would achieve this in a collaborative spirit, and hopefully sooner than later.

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