Mining corporation

Developing great organisations ...
 ... in a sea of change

Mining corporation

Problem: The company was a large mining corporation.  It was realised that there was a high degree of redundancy and duplication between corporate HQ and the various operating companies around the world.  A specific issue was that the upcoming annual conference of senior people in a variety of senior roles in the OpCos had traditionally been a forum for political positioning, and less about taking decisions to improve overall performance.  Both issues needed to be tackled.  A priority in performance terms was to reduce the number of accidents arising from the use of industrial processes using dangerous, often toxic substances.

Result: Varied organisational cultures were identified, with different business-priority focuses. Generally, collaboration on exploration policy, budgetary control and project management was less than ideal.  There was a previously unidentified demand for exchange of knowledge and expertise between the OpCos to be improved, with the Technology function acting as a clearing house.  A better linkage between various technology-focused functions and the business at large was also desired.  The annual conference was characterised by two things.  One - delegates were observed to be 'tearing up their mental private agendas’.  Two - the whole event generated a number of key decisions, with unanimous consent, instead of infighting, that had previously been the norm.  These included:

  • A new, consolidated staff recruitment regime
  • The worldwide adoption of the Australian model for managing capital projects
  • A dual HQ / OpCo unit to handle issues of corporate governance
  • The setting up of a co-ordination unit to handle what had been tricky R & D decisions