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CASE STUDY: Samson Canada Oil & Gas – New Workplace Values, Outstanding Results


samson oil & gas
The Scenario: When Bill Dirks, a dynamic and open-minded leader with a highly creative approach, became president and CEO of Samson Canada Oil & Gas, he faced a high-achieving team that was focused on the technical side of attaining results. Bill’s goal was to achieve sustained growth, but he sensed that his team would need a shift in mindset to obtain the level of performance required to meet this goal.


The Challenge: Bill’s belief in the measurable benefits of working with a coach was not easy to sell to his team of rational, technically-oriented employees. He needed to convince them to take a leap of faith and to begin to acknowledge and implement new concepts their into their work style: concepts that were not measurable, but which would in fact improve their performance.


A Creative Solution: Bill hired InnerWarrior consultant Richard Monette and Doug Macnamara of Banff Executive Leadership to coach his team on adapting a new and original approach to increasing productivity. The program Richard and Doug created included:
  • Strategic Planning: Richard and Doug assisted Samson leadership in developing a strategic plan to double the size of the company over a 6-year period. This strategic plan was highly technical, enabling management to communicate clear measures to their technically-oriented team.

  • Introducing Intangibles: With the goals of the strategic plan in place, Richard and Doug organized workshops and corporate retreats to begin to familiarize the team with new concepts which, when implemented, would assist them with improving measurable performance, both individually and as a team. These included:
    • Personality style;
    • Leadership style;
    • Visioning; and
    • Mental skills required to improve an already high level of performance.
    The presentations and discussions were all tailored to address the technical mindset of this highly trained team of scientists and engineers.

  • Executive Coaching: The consultants set up a schedule to meet with each VP once per month; to hold a triad meeting among each VP, the consultants, and the president each quarter; and to organize a corporate retreat every six months. The individual meetings defined areas of focus for each VP, and the other meetings ensured alignment of approach throughout the company.

  • Developing Leaders: Richard and Doug developed a leadership secession program for managers, delivering a week-long intensive workshop on ‘The Fundamentals of Leadership’.

The Outcome: Across the company, the team’s mindset shifted as they saw that enhanced human skills leveraged technical abilities. The results proved resoundingly successful. Samson Canada attained the rate of growth targeted in their strategic plan. In the fall of 2006, an exit strategy was successfully executed and Samson Oil & Gas was acquired by other oil & gas producers.


Testimonials: “The complexity and time commitment required from most Executive Change Programs makes many leadership teams shy away from what could well be a value-adding initiative. Richard Monette, however, has a unique style that cuts out the “fluff” and focuses on simple, easy to comprehend and easy to execute improvements. His background in coaching world-class athletes and sports teams instantly translates into improved performance for corporations, and helps Richard build a proactive, dynamic approach to executive coaching. I recommend Richard to anyone interested in improving the bottom-line results generated by their leadership teams.”

-- Bill Dirks, former president and CEO of Samson Canada
(Current President and CEO of Tecton Energy and Tecton Energy Canada)



"One of Richard's greatest strengths is that he has inherent business wisdom – it doesn't matter the discipline within an industry or crossing industry boundaries, his grasp of business principles and the inter-relationship of, between and with management and employees comes naturally to him and he grasps a situation quickly. As well, his varied industry sports/business experience bring an effective and highly interesting twist to his coaching – it allows for Richard to coach an executive and provide them with extremely helpful insights assisting the executive or manager, helping them better understand and manage their daily tasks and deliver the organization’s strategic goals."

-- Jim Urquhart
Vice-President Land and Development, Samson Canada
Coached by Richard



PDF version of Samson Canada Case Study