Chief Inspirator Terry Barber Says 3 Steps to BP's Recovery


We’re really starting to like author Terry Barber’s straightforward approach to things so we wanted to share his recent column about BP – British Petroleum – and their continue disaster on the Gulf Coast.’

BP CEO Tony Hayward

When you consider the key findings of what makes for a Most Inspiring Company, it would be fair to say that BP is the complete antithesis of those principles.  So, I get this call from a radio station out of D.C. the other day asking me if I would be willing to comment on what it would take for BP to ever become a Most Inspiring Company.


Here goes.  And can you believe I am offering this up to BP for free if anyone reading can get this message to them… please let Tony know I will happily guide them down this path.

1. Become authentic! Hmmm, that would mean being able to somehow vicariously feel what the victims on the Gulf Coast feel.  Even if Tony is not available or capable for the task, what about deploying 1,000 BP employees and go serve the people on the Gulf Coast.  Knock on doors, answer questions, clear out the bureaucracy and burdensome so called “due-diligence” for claims, mop up oil… don’t just pay hired guns… touch it, feel it, experience it first hand, on your hands.

2.  Let America help! BP seems to think that they can fix the devastation by throwing lots of money at it.  But, what they have missed is the opportunity to rally America, the most generous people on the globe to help.  How?  Donate 10 of that 20 Billion Dollars to the charities who are on the front line as a challenge grant.  Meaning, if the charities will rally their donors from around the country to give towards the clean up and restoration of the coast, BP will match their gift dollar for dollar with no limits.  Imagine the outpouring of support.  And I have a feeling it would not be nearly as difficult for the victims to qualify for support with the charities as it does with BP.  Speak of which brings me to number 3.

3.  Remove the burden of accounting from these fishermen! True story… I am from south Louisiana.  I know some of these fishermen.  My friend, I will simply call Al, is a fourth generation shrimper out of Houma, Louisiana.  He goes to the BP claims office and attempts to file a claim.  BP claims officer says, “bring me 5 years of income statements and we will see if you qualify.”  The next day he comes back to the claims office, waits in line, brings his box of records and the best he can come up with is three years worth of income statements.  “Sorry, we need five, not three.” Al leaves.. truly destitute because of some pinhead type policy of BP‘s.

Will BP ever have the makings of a Most Inspiring Company?  It won’t happen through more spin, that’s for sure.  But to even have the potential to be so, they have got to begin now to choose the path they have resisted to this point.

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