The presence of Enbridge CEO Pat Daniel on the front lines of the pipeline spill in Michigan apparently has some people stumped. Why is he spending so much time in Michigan, talking to people and making sure the right information gets out? Shouldn’t he be in Calgary? Isn’t that micromanagement?
It’s simple really. Pat Daniel understands the driving force behind Enbridge’s business: its pipeline network. Without pipelines, Enbridge’s business model basically disappears. After all, the company exists to distribute oil and gas through pipelines. There are other activities, but that’s pretty much its business.
The spill in Michigan, and what appears to be a smaller spill in Illinois last week, potentially threaten the viability of the enterprise. That’s why the CEO has to be on the front lines, leading and managing the situation, to make sure that it gets resolved quickly and satisfactorily for all stakeholders. If they get it right, they increase their chances of continuing their strategy of investing in new lines to ship Alberta oil to the U.S. Failure in this endeavour would endanger the whole business.
Richard Martin is founder and president of Alcera Consulting Inc. He brings his military and business leadership experience to bear for executives and organizations seeking to exploit change, maximize opportunity, and minimize risk.
© 2010 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes are permitted with proper attribution.