Leading through COVID-19

Grete Møgster, CEO Abelon Group, leading through COVID-19

Leadership in times of crisis requires courage, resilience and transparency. Abelon Groups’s Grete Møgster shares her experience on management and motivation through challenging times where distance is the new norm:

– In which way has the COVID-19 outbreak affected Abelon?

“The Abelon Group operates in a market with tough competition and strict requirements for quality and delivery precision. Risk assessment lies in the genes of anyone working in the oil and gas industry. The global outbreak of Covid-19 in March this year was, however, a “black swan”, an off-chart event no one could predict or fully prepare for.

As a supplier of crew and personnel, we had to quickly put in place new procedures and measures to comply with national guidelines and recommendations for leading through COVID-19. Abelon is a relatively new organization, but the collective willingness to face the challenge and adapt among employees both onshore and offshore has been quite impressive. We have learned new systems and collaboration methods in record time. I think there are many, including Abelon, who will come out of the crisis stronger than before.

In many ways, we have been through a quarter-long emergency response exercise. We have gained valuable understanding of the importance of leadership, involvement, and tripartite cooperation for efficient and safe operations. Not least, the corona situation has given us a useful reminder of how we can save both time and the environment by traveling less and meeting digitally!”


“I think there are many, including Abelon, who will come out of the crisis stronger than before.”


– How does Abelon work to keep its head above water?

“We, like most others in the industry, were hit hard as we realized the scale and severity of the situation. Shutdown of workplaces and delayed start-up of several projects forced temporary layoffs. With a willingness to change and the ability to think new together with our employees, we believe that we will soon be able to see more normal operations and increasing activity. At the same time, it is important to stay focused on the demanding situation we are still in. I think of this period as a time where everybody is willing to contribute for the common good. Focus on infection control and compliance with restrictions and measures are big parts of everyday life where distance has become the new norm. ”

– Do you have any advice on how to take care of each other – keeping the distance?

“Even with daily video meetings and phone calls, it can be difficult to see each one and understand the needs of each employee. As a leader, I need to make important and quick decisions in uncharted or uncertain terrain. I am fortunate to work in a company that has so many wise and understanding colleagues who have faced the challenges head on. We work hard to ensure close and good follow-up of each employee and we have established a forum to ensure the best possible communication – from a distance. My best advice is to listen more than you talk and to be open about the fact that we do not know for sure when we will be back to normal. Most people understand that this is a difficult landscape to navigate for all of us, globally. You come a long way with respect and openness.”

– The way forward?

“I encourage all our employees to give feedback on how we can improve together. What do you see at the operative end as improvement on your part?  How are we communicating between ourselves and with the outside world?  Do you perceive a need for more information – and if so, what information?  Are you in contact with potential customers or do you see possibilities for new projects? Give us your feedback and let us make this a success together!”


Interested in learning more about Abelon and our services? Feel free to contact us for an informal chat: https://abelon.no/contact us