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An agent of change within bp: Karen’s story

Published:
28 June 2021

Karen is thriving in a role that enables change. She discusses how she embraces being an agent of change within bp, always pushing herself to develop engaging and transformative sessions for her colleagues

Growing up, Karen first considered becoming a vet before discovering that she couldn’t just treat the cute, fluffy animals! Then, after studying Business at the University of Bath, she knew she wanted to work in a finance-related environment. This led her to join KPMG on their Accountancy graduate scheme. While there, bp was a client and she became aware that they were looking to build process expertise within their tax team. “As I enjoyed having bp as a client, it was a really easy decision for me to apply for the role!”, she says. 

 

Six years later, her current role is as finance, culture, change and engagement manager. She provides change management expertise for teams across finance – providing support and building capability in this critical skillset. She explains that 

 

the Reinvent bp journey is not just about changing what we do as a business, but also how we do it – so the culture element of my role is focused on that aspect.

 Thriving in a role that enables change 

 

Karen embraces being an agent of change within bp, always pushing herself to develop engaging and transformative sessions for her colleagues. Recently, she has been participating in a programme called Purposeful Connections. Its aim is to get teams to think about what they do, how they do it, building a high level of trust, and ultimately enabling them to work together more efficiently and strongly. “It really enables you think about yourself and what drives you at work.” 

 

A key part of Karen’s role is driving the adoption of organisational Agility.

 

Agile ways of working are something that we know will make a real difference across Finance. It will help us to prioritize the work that we need to focus on, make sure that we’re always undertaking valuable work, while also instilling a growth mindset.

Crucially, Karen believes that the value of change management is also hugely important for bp’s transition to an integrated energy company -

 

I strongly believe that we will not achieve the full potential of bp’s transition without deeply embedding change management expertise across the organisation.

Continuous opportunities to learn and grow

 

“One of the reasons I came to bp was for the people, but also the opportunity to work in different areas and disciplines”, she reflects. 

 

bp support your personal and career development. The learning curve has been huge. bp leadership support your transferrable skills and grant you opportunities to learn and develop as an individual, even though it might not necessarily be what’s best for the company in the short-term.

That freedom to grow has also translated into the opportunity to work with teams all over the world. From Trinidad, India, the U.S., Brazil, Singapore, China, Australia, to name just a few. “To work with and support teams from across the globe and gain an understanding of their business and what they do has been an incredible experience”, she says. 

 

Ultimately Karen’s career has been built on reaping the rewards of putting herself out of her comfort zone. “I very much like a challenge, delivering value and learning new things. Sometimes you think, ‘Oh goodness! Why have I taken this on?’, but importantly I always feel supported, and then energised after delivering it, as I have been able to learn something new, develop my skills and make a difference.”

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