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Building a culture to energise our people: Helen's story

Published:
22 April 2020
Having been with BP for a decade and contributed to the digital transformation first-hand, Helen is excited by the pace and impact of digitalisation across the company

Graduating from Brighton University with a degree in history and philosophy, Helen has always been passionate about understanding human behaviour and societal change.Today, Helen applies those skills in her digitalisation projects at BP. Joining the company ten years ago, she is currently the IT director for alternative energy, mergers & acquisitions, and a number of corporate functions including group communications, legal and group technology. 

 

When asked what this means on a daily basis, she explains: 

No two days are the same! I'm working directly with some of the most exciting businesses in BP Alternative Energy, such as the Wind Energy business based in Houston as well as indirectly with joint ventures such as BP Bunge Bioenergia (our Biofuels joint venture in Brazil) and Lightsource BP our solar joint venture. We are growing this renewables portfolio (soon to become Gas and Low Carbon Energy group as we re-invent the company) as just part of our ambition to be net zero by 2050.

Driving technological change

 

Having been with BP for a decade and contributed to the digital transformation first-hand, she is excited by the pace and impact of digitalisation across the company: “The sheer variety in the  application of digital technology in BP is staggering. Whether it’s robots or drones doing inspections at our rigs and refineries, the use of voice technology at our retail outlets, or the potential use of AI to analyse blade condition images from our wind farms. It’s an exciting time for BP.”

 

As part of the extended leadership team for the IT organisation, Helen has been helping to shape and deliver the modernisation and transformation of IT, the goal of which is to deliver the systems, technologies, capabilities and culture we need to be successful in a fast-paced digital world. 

 

As part of this change, Helen highlights the criticality of the people element: “I have helped lead my team through our ‘Modernize IT’ agenda, which addresses how we work and organise ourselves, but more importantly, how we create a new culture and mind-set and how we develop and energise our people. Technological and cultural change need to go hand in hand!”

 

Championing personal growth 

 

Helen likes to explore life outside of the comfort zone. After university, Helen travelled and lived in Australia and New Zealand for a number of years, providing her with incredible experiences and precious memories. 

 

At the start of her career with BP, Helen joined Aspire, a talent development programme that explores what motivates people in life and provides valuable development opportunities. Looking back, Helen is grateful for that experience: “The programme gave me access to a great network of colleagues from across the business. It gave me an amazing foundation to grow my career at BP. I've also had many opportunities to join external networks and access to development activities including coaching - all of which have in some way helped to influence the decisions I’ve made and the direction I’ve taken.”

 

Today, she is taking her experiences and seeking to nurture her team and encourage an open and inclusive exchange of ideas: 

I really try to foster an environment where people can bring their ideas to the forefront. Where everyone can be entrepreneurial and innovative – we value and reward that mind-set at BP.

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