Post-Enron management philosophies for surviving uncertain times.
Jennifer Alvey is associate editor at Public Utilities Fortnightly.
Managing an energy company used to be so much simpler. Your company was called a utility, your earnings were regulated, and you didn't have to know how to deal with pesky little problems like mergers with a partner that you thought was worth the fire-sale price of $9 billion, but in reality was worth maybe $270 million. Maybe.
Welcome to Chuck Watson's world. It may be more like your own world than you care to think.
From a meager staff of six in 1985, Watson has built Dynegy into a 6,600-employee company with a $9 billion equity market value in 2001, and a compounded growth rate of 45 percent. Yet, even with such impressive company performance, Watson has remained focused on what he calls the Dynegy vision: striving to be a leading global energy company respected for the manner in which it delivers value to stockholders. That philosophy, Watson says, is something he has had with him all along, and was formalized into a vision statement at Dynegy about two years ago. And, he says, it's a philosophy shared by all senior management at Dynegy.
Watson is a big believer that senior management must all buy into the same philosophy if the company is to be run consistently. At Dynegy, he says, most of the senior management has been together for years, and have "grown up" in the company with the same Dynegy vision that Watson espouses.