Recession-proof Christian Life
7/20/10 at 11:48 AM 0 Comments

BP can rebuild its reputation after containing the Oil Spill.

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BP is facing a cleanup and possible legal bill of over $60Billion. Implications of damage to image are probably much more severe. BP's sins are said to have been exacerbated by several wrong moves which include:

  • Downplaying the news
  •  Misjudgement of the public sentiment
  • Hiding behind its "green" propaganda as an "Environment leader"
  • Blaming others

Experts suggest that BP must flood journalists with constantly updated information about the Deepwater Horizon - a step the company has already taken by placing footage of the cleanup efforts on its site. According to a recent article in Time Magazine, Can BP Ever Rebuild Its Reputation? "BP will "need a total brand overhaul," including even perhaps a name change "in order to hit the delete button on the bad history." Many predict BP will get a new CEO once the oil spill is over - most likely someone unconnected to the current management..."

The Bible does not conceal the many blotches of its protagonists. One can expect greater implications for disasters committed against God yet we learn that recovery is possible.

Saul disobeyed God for fear of the people (or so he claims) ... and when Samuel points out the grossness of his misdeed...Saul downplays the entire issue, misjudges God's anger, blames the people and now wants to hide behind Samuel - the Prophet of God. Saul's approach is a quick-fix approach relying on the Prophet to cover up for him...shifting the accountability unashamedly on Samuel.

I Samuel 15 [24] And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. [25] Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.

Saul ended very badly.

David on the contrary had a much worse scandal to deal with...murder, adultery, lies and deception. Nathan the Prophet spoke in equally clear terms but unlike Saul, David responded very differently not to cover and protect himself.

II Samuel 12[13] And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. ...[16] ... and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. [17] And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.

David did not just recover but his name was still honoured. He was not replaced. Bathsheba after the death of her child by David gave birth to another son, Solomon who reigned as one of the great Kings of Israel. A new door emerged even in the many troubles.

It remains to be seen what BP will do. However, lessons from the Bible teach me that recovery is possible with God if the following are in place.

1. Open public admission of wrong and unfeigned repentance/apology - coupled with preparedness to face the implications and not evade or downplay it.

2. Instead of clever self-protection and expensive image laundering administered by PR consultants and lawyers, demonstrate heartfelt sorrow and genuine corporate pain that touches all in contact with BP. The real bitter tears, open regret and readiness to make amends laundered the soiled image of David not PR.

3. Resisting the temptation to dilute accountability by apportioning blame to partners or interests that could be "roped" in.

4. Integrity, honesty and generosity in settling the full bill to alleviate the impact on those adversely affected - even if this seems suicidal to corporate interest. Sympathy can be a very fickle emotion...soon the aggressor becomes its friend. David became a spectacle of sympathy.

5. Planning and expecting to come out but not through a quick-fix "delete" button. There is a new open door hiding in most valleys though only few find it. BP for example can fashion out a new winning paradigm (not PR gimmick) for corporate ethics and responsibility - especially as it relates to environmental protection...truly emerging as a new corporate leader.

For the overwhelmed BP executive wondering what next ... Jesus - the friend of the accused - says "He is the Open Door" and waits. Go to Him.

John 8 [7] So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

More articles by the author on the BP Oil Spill found in  

God bless you.


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