Sure, it's easy to beat up on BP, which is ultimately responsible for a disaster that killed 11 people and is laying waste to the Gulf of Mexico's ecosystem. But "my purpose today is not to bury BP but to praise it," writes Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post. "For all its blunders, BP didn't cut and run.” Corporations instinctively bunker down in the face of crisis, but BP's done the opposite, taking full responsibility.
Right away, BP waived any liability limits it was entitled to. Its CEO moved to the Gulf to personally oversee operations. It mobilized a fleet of ships and planes to disperse the oil, flew in experts from around the world, initiated an internal investigation, and cut $25 million checks to affected states. The list goes on. Yes, there have been blunders, but it's possible this will one day go down “as the classic business school case study on crisis management.” (Read more British Petroleum stories.)