In this article and video clip, Marcia McNutt, who heads up the US Geological Services, gives a first-person, on the scenes account of how many disparate groups, each with widely different values, priorities, and expertise, were ultimately able to marshal their collective knowledge to work together and plug the biggest oil leak in American history.

Applying boundary spanning to the drilling and plugging of oil miles under the Earth’s surface was not a topic I ever considered. Yet, Marcia McNutt clearly saw a connection based on the several months she spent down in the Gulf.

Likewise, CCL is currently developing a new boundary spanning program for another large global energy company. It’s a multi-level engagement focusing on the intersection of boundary spanning and creating an organization-wide safety culture.  “Danger knows no boundaries, ” as one of the company executives put it. “As such, our safety culture must know no boundaries too.” The premise is that by developing leaders capable of sharing knowledge, information, and resources across levels, functions, and areas of specialization, increased safety will follow.

As this engagement unfolds, I’ll report back with updates.

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