I recently attended the 6th Annual Marketing Symposium at the Rice Jones Graduate School of Business, and while I was there to sharpen my marketing skills, one of the panel sessions covering how oil and gas companies are incorporating marketing into their organizations featured a very interesting discussion around the challenges the panelists saw for the near future in their industry. Jane Gasdaska, Manager, Planning and Optimization for Phillips 66 had this to say,
“We are a relatively mature industry, in certain areas we have systems and processes that have been in place for a long time, and they cost a lot of money to put there. We are slow to change and we are relatively slow on the innovation side. One of the biggest things that’s going to hit us over the next five to ten years is loss of knowledge. We have an aging population and we have a lot of expertise built up, on the extraction, production and development sides of the business. That is a big challenge for us as I look at what’s coming down the pipe, is how do we extract that knowledge?”
Gasdaska’s comments reinforce everything we have been hearing from other big players in the industry. As a completely new workforce starts to filter into the oil and gas industry, capturing mind-share and best practices from retiring employees is incredibly important for protecting the large investments energy companies have made, both in technology and people.
For more on why knowledge management is so important for the oil and gas industry, you can get a summary from a recent knowledge management panel our director of consulting participated in, on how to simulate “old heads on young shoulders.”
Or you can find a broader discussion on how companies could better utilize SharePoint to solve pressing knowledge management concerns related to this generation gap in the oil and gas industry.