Tank Storage Sustainability Initiative

The most important question we seek to answer is: ‘how can tank storage terminals and refineries sustain themselves in a VUCA world (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) and are not harming life, the environment, and social cohesion?Because we understand our planet as a living system which depend on interrelated networks, we use and need feedback (information) to verify and test sustainability. This knowledge allows organisations to understand that disorder in the form of unsustainability is inevitable if their foundation is not adaptive to change. We have to understand organisations as complex,  adaptive organisations of communication and integrated and coherently functioning systems. Their long term existence depends on the connectivity and interaction of all activities and relationships. Enhanced sustainability is the way to be sustained for the long term. Regulators and governments demand more compliance to an ever growing number of rules and laws are deemed necessary to pr…

Isgott 6 2020 Updated Edition to be published in July

ISGOTT was first published in 1978 by combining the Tanker Safety Guide (Petroleum) published by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Oil Tanker and Terminal Safety Guide published on behalf of the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF). This Sixth Edition updates and replaces the 2006 Fifth Edition and has been reviewed by OCIMF and ICS together with the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH). Support has also been provided by other industry associations, including INTERTANKO, the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) and the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF), as well as specialists in topics such as human factors. The authors believe that ISGOTT continues to provide the best technical guidance on oil tanker and terminal operations. All operators are urged to ensure that the recommendations in this Sixth Edition are fully understood and are incorporated in safety management systems and procedur…

Tank Terminals: The New Normal?

Gradually the world is returning to the New Normal. But what is that Normal, is it normal or abnormal? Does normal mean the same as before the Corona crisis, back to business as usual? Fritjof Capra, the famous physicist said that only an dramatic event would change people’s behaviour, which has actually happened. Careless people were suddenly reminded that they too are mortals, but the issue is that fear of death replaced intelligence by reactionary measures that spelled misery for the most of us for the long term. Whilst many people died from complications accelerated by the virus, billions more suddenly are facing immediate poverty because they are forbidden to work any longer and imprisoned in draconian lockdowns resulting in dehumanising effects. The Central Bank in the Netherlands has issued a warning that unemployment could double and that economic restabilisation was not to be expected any time soon. So how can we go back to business as usual if the business is no longer there…

Linear or Non Linear Management Style? Tank Storage Awards 2020

What research shows is that our industry is often managed by linear thinking and actions only which makes management styles reactive rather than proactive or preventive. Linear causality means cause and effect thinking, but our industry is too complex to manage by an outdated cause and effect approach only. Linear management depends on written procedures, guidelines, rules or compliance methods to control risk and manage organisations. Younger, highly educated types of managers are recruited, but often lack the needed on the job experience, making communication between the workers and him or her difficult. This often leads to decisions made on incomplete information. (THE MAIN CAUSE OF INCIDENTS and ACCIDENTS) Non linear management to control complex systems such as our industry uses information as its energy to steer the organisation (system), rather than control or regulate it. Linear management is risky; I’ll give you some examples: Some technical equipment is not working properly…

Conversation & Risk Management

The beauty of conversation is the exchange of ideas. We may not always agree, but it is the best human method to listen and learn. But what happens when you think you have exchanged ideas and one party nods as if he has listened, but then turns around and does the opposite? I was recently asked to assess a company because human errors were costing money. The management asked me to find so called 'learning gaps.' I found them, but not just at the workers level, but mainly in management. The managers were holding on to a top-down, hierarchical management system which was outdated and was blocking the information feedback flow needed to control, manage and steer the company. So, I advised that management needed training and to learn a new way of systems thinking and cybernetics. Despite the proof I offered and the solutions I suggested, these were contemptuously rejected as if Bertrand Russell was still alive. He wrote the 'Value of Philosophy' and stated that philosophy…

2020 The Year of Sustainability

2020 This will be the year for sustainability. The question is how can we change an unsustainable industry like ours into a sustainable one? When we look at the drastic plans of governments demanding us to be hydrocarbon free within 10 years from now, we must work together to phase out the transport, storage and use of hydrocarbon based products and replace them with non toxic, non CO2 emitting substances. When we look closely we all know that our storage and transport industry is unsustainable in its current form for the long term. But how can storage terminals which depend on the storage and distribution of oil, gas and chemicals survive when its business model will be rendered obsolete within 10 years? There is a saying which I find very appropriate: ‘You can’t have your cake and eat it too’. This means that we have to make a choice and ask ourselves in which direction will our industry be heading? If we can’t ship, store or pump environmentally harmful products any longer, we have…

Information = Energy

Energy and information obey the same laws of physics like everything else. Information is the energy to create order and structure, not only in the cosmos, but in organisations, business, politics, body and mind. Therefore, our training programs are based on information theory and cybernetics, because without using all relevant feedback a system is not able to learn and can’t be adapting in real time. This is a major breakthrough and is used by us as a non linear Risk Management tool of Complex Systems. The erasure, denial, ignoring of information increases disorder (entropy). Information reduces uncertainty. Just look at our world today and you understand why it is in chaos.
Training your people will then become much easier; we can ask 'do you have enough information to manage and control your operations? We can determine what is there and understand what is needed?
This makes training much more effective.