The Big Picture – Embracing Change

The Big Picture – Embracing Change

Posted: September 2, 2020

By Gunvald Falkum – General Manager, Stavanger Facility

It is something of a truism that change is very exciting for some, and for others it can almost feel like the opposite. Similar to many in the industry over the past few years, we, at Proserv’s Stavanger facility, have faced a rough market. However, for us, things started to change in 2018 and by 2019 our prospects were looking very good. 2020 began on a high and I was very excited when I started my new role as General Manager on March 11, 2020. Then Covid-19 hit in earnest across Europe and Norway went into lockdown the following day.

Change is a continual process and I’d like to think that our facility at Stavanger represents a ‘change’ success story. Helped by a rapid response from the Norwegian government, we adapted with online meetings and introduced strict hygiene and social distancing measures. In some ways, it’s still early days but, so far, we have been able to weather the Covid-19 storm. I was therefore determined to find a way to celebrate the team’s hard work and commitment over these past months – indeed, over the last few years. That’s when I came up with the idea of creating a unique artwork that sums up who we are here at Proserv in Stavanger.

Celebrating the big picture

The starting point for the piece actually came a few years ago. A large chalkboard was put on the wall in our reception area where we could write positive messages about the company or our colleagues. However, as people got used to seeing the board, they lost enthusiasm and fewer team members contributed. This can happen with initiatives like these, especially when there is no overall ownership of an idea. In the end it can become just that – an idea. Ever since I took over as General Manager for the facility, I had been looking at the empty and faded chalkboard. I recognised its potential and saw an opportunity to do something new with the space.

Once I settled on the idea of a new painting, I contacted local artist Linda Tendenes to help me with the project. We determined the painting needed to be finished over the course of a weekend so that when my colleagues returned to work, they could get the full impact of the change from forgotten chalkboard to fresh artwork. We wanted a piece celebrating everything that has made Proserv the company it is today: from our continued success in the oil and gas industry, recognising our trusted suppliers, to our future in renewables.

A timelapse of the artwork in progress

Embracing change

But as much as I love the final result (and I really do!), what I appreciate most about this painting is that the artwork itself represents the process of change perfectly. This is not just due to the decision to transform an old, dusty chalkboard into something new and exciting. At the 30-second mark in the video above, you can see the artist initially wanted to paint the Proserv letters floating freely in the waves, but quickly found that this did not look right. She then covered them over and decided to paint the Proserv logo as it is now, with the waves surrounding it.

The way she chose to change and adapt can be used to inform our everyday lives. This is especially true as we deal with the constant flux around us. We can either choose to do things as we always have done, and hope this still works well, or open up to the possibility that change can be good and might lead to even better approaches and outcomes.

Is it dangerous to try something new or can it actually be exciting and help to grow a business? At Proserv, we take the latter approach. We are not afraid to take a step back and re-evaluate, before moving forwards. Our artist did this with the Proserv logo; Proserv itself did the same last year when we consolidated our business and focused on what we do best – controls technology.

Ready for the future

On a more local level, our approach to change and flexibility to cope with the Covid-19 situation has worked well for us so far, to the point where I’m delighted to say we are once again increasing headcount in Stavanger. Our goal over the coming months, and into 2021, is to continue to adapt to the unfolding Covid-19 situation, while still working on our overall strategy of being the preferred partner of choice for our customers.

We can only achieve this by daring to think of new ways of doing things and providing trusted expertise and solutions that make our clients’ lives easier – in short, by embracing change. When you can do that, it’s easy to see the big picture.

Gunvald Falkum with the artwork at Proserv's Stavanger facility
Gunvald Falkum, General Manager, Stavanger Facility, with the Stavanger Artwork

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