Two serious failings of BP…..
1. A first lesson in management is that one can delegate authority but one cannot delegate responsibility. Before the Congress Committee the CE of BP in reply to a question stated that he knew nothing of the decisions taken in respect of the relevant undersea drilling risk – and thus was not to blame. He then put this particular fire out with gasoline by stating that BP had hundreds of drilling operations at work at any one time.
2. BP were amongst the “early adopters” of racy, fashionable, “stakeholder based” CSR mantras – going so far as to change BP from meaning British Petroleum to Beyond Petroleum. The less faddish and much criticised advice from Friedman to the present has always been - companies have no comparative advantage as quasi social and environmental welfare agencies they should concentrate exclusively on what they do know something about. In this case oil drilling and its risks.