By Brandt DeLany At Deloitte’s 2010 oil and gas conference industry experts called for the government and industry to work together to move past the Macondo incident and chart a path forward, “taking seriously the public’s concern with safety and environmental impacts.” Key findings point to a “lack of a suitable approach for anticipating and managing the inherent risks, uncertainties and dangers…and a failure to learn from previous near misses.” What went wrong in the Gulf is indicative of growing challenges facing the oil and gas sector, as well as many of today’s industries. And those challenges involve effectively managing risk within increasingly technology-driven production, operational and business environments. Most organizations lag far behind in implementing sophisticated risk management technologies capable of dealing with today’s complex systems. Many are still attempting to manage risk with outdated methodologies and mindsets. Unfortunately, managing risk and safety this way is no longer effective. There are two sides to evolving the risk management culture in any industry: policy/procedures and behavior. Often, the toughest to change is behavior, the culture. Most of us are inherently resistant to change; we fear what we don’t know and find comfort and connection in what we do know. Yet, tragedies like Macondo motivate us toward the vision of a safer and more sustainable approach to what we do. When lives are lost, environments damaged and assets destroyed, it’s a wake-up call to do things differently and better; to push forward and make necessary changes to ensure this never happens again. We now have the technologies to develop better risk management and safety policies and procedures that will reduce incidents such as Macondo. Now, it is up to us to act responsibly and commit to evolving our behavior and culture to take full advantage of those technologies. Brandt DeLany is the Process Safety Consultant for Dyadem in Houston.