APPEA 2018 Daily Digest

APPEA Daily brought to you by APPEA and Deloitte – Official Social Media Partner of #APPEA2018.

Day Three – Innovation, information and insights for today and tomorrow

It’s hard to believe it’s already come to Day Three of the #APPEA2018 Conference. Across a diverse range of presentations, posters and sessions, we have seen a jam-packed schedule of speakers – with content being debated and explored across panels.

What has been your most interesting takeaway?

Day Three focused on the themes of innovation and technology – and the way in which they are inextricably linked in driving progress and success across the new energy landscape. Woven into these themes has been the underlying message of the need to be resilient. Because it is the resilience and fortitude around disruption that will enable organisations and leaders to tackle any challenges and unleash the power of innovation and technology.

While innovation can often be a buzzword that is used freely in conversations, workshops and meetings, we need to move above and beyond this. Sentiment from conference presentations expressed that we need to start focusing on how we can make the impact of innovation a reality. Questions from Day Three focused on:

How can we be more creative when we think about towards innovation? How can we turn challenges into opportunities? Where are we at with innovation?

As we conclude the #APPEA2018 Conference, here are five fundamental insights from Day Three to keep high on your agenda:

#1 Driving collaboration between research and the wider industry is critical

A central theme that emerged when discussing innovation, was that we need more action and collaboration. Collaboration has been a staple this week. But more needs to be done. Government, businesses and communities need to continue working together to drive a strong and robust collaboration – to then unlock the key drivers of technology and innovation.

In a volatile world, the role of collaboration is more significant than ever. Just as this conference brings together a diversity of experts, so too across our sector do we need to work together to put forward best practice ideas and techniques to drive a digital and innovative perspective.

The way in which we can unlock opportunities is by advocating for more cross-collaboration across skillsets and perspectives. It all starts with reaching out to others, beyond your immediate network.

#2 Technology is shaping our energy future

What lies ahead when it comes to technology and digital enhancements? A lot! We are in the midst of a rapidly changing landscape where success in the new energy market will be fuelled by technology.

It was said during presentations today that technology helps us to find and extract resources – ultimately bringing our resources to our customers. Whoever is best positioned to harness the advantages and power of technology will be a front runner in the industry.

We also need to realise that the time of disruption is not over. It might have only just started – time will tell. Therefore, it’s important to take stock now and start thinking ahead. From automation to robotics, artificial intelligence (AI) and more – the pace of change is certainly accelerating. And the impact might be on a scale not seen before.

It’s up to all of us to plan and prepare for what’s next – as well as leverage the opportunities – that come from technological change.

#3 Innovation is here – accelerated by technology  

What timeframes or reference points do you use for envisioning the rate of change? We are currently often used to measuring timeframes in years – but when it comes to the impact of digital changes – we need to start thinking more in weeks! The pace is on.

Every week, every day and every minute we are seeing new technology being developed. We need to shift our mindset and think about our projects and what they involve in terms of deadlines, deliverables and implementation processes end-to-end.

Once solutions have been formulated or technologies developed to an extent that they are ready to be shared, the key is to scale and leverage them fast – to get traction. It was emphasised though that scaling across a network involving an organisation, suppliers, contractors and partners can be very challenging – and this process needs strict focus and structure.

From document analysis to dashboard development, AI and digital are changing the way we consume information and the timeframe in which we can receive a diversity of data points quickly, accurately and in a format that provides increased understanding and strategic insight. Across written, video, analytics, workflows and more – the sky is the limit when it comes to the role of AI and the way it can provide a short, sharp and succinct display of data.

#4 Connectivity will drive creativity and productivity

From sensors to digital drivers and more, the power of technology is immense. But how connected is your organisation and how connected are the elements within your organisation to each other?

Leaders need to ensure they are bringing together and configuring their best skillsets and capabilities to drive creativity, innovation and ultimately productivity. From a purely people perspective, as Day Two revealed, there is great power in diversity of thought. In order to achieve this, organisations need to ensure that connectivity is front and centre.

It’s important to set a big mindset and focus on the future of what’s possible. From virtual environments to digital twins and more, technology will continue to play a key role in training and preparing workforces for the new environments of the future.

Connectivity also comes into play when we talk about visualising the data sets. By connecting the dots and the vast amounts of information, technology plays a role in displaying material in a way that we can easily digest. The key here is that the visualisation still needs to illustrate a high level of insight but in a way that make sense – turning complex concepts into strategic and clear outcomes.

#5 Creating a culture of innovation

Sentiments from Day Three also focused not merely on innovation, but creating value from the innovation. Fundamentally, innovation can be encouraged by creating a dynamic culture and environment – where valuable ideas are workshopped.

Technology can provide you with the tools needed to start driving innovation, but you still need the right culture to create actual change. People are at the heart of change (echoing the insights from Day Two) and this theme of people being an organisation’s greatest asset continues to be top of mind.

It’s clear that you need to bring your people on the technological journey with you. Show them what’s possible. Inspire them. This is your chance to activate the enthusiasm in your workforce. Innovation and technology can yield incredible results and if you have the passion of your people, that can be an enormous driver overall.

That’s a wrap!

To recap on our themes, it has been a busy three days with many plenaries and concurrent sessions. There has been a focus on:

Resilience: How resilient is your business? And how resilient are you? A myriad of challenges exist across the energy terrain and resilience will be needed – by both leaders and the organisations in which they operate – to tackle the issues and to turn uncertainty into opportunity.

Diversity: To drive a sustainable, secure and successful energy future, diversity will be paramount. This extends through the full spectrum of diversity – from diversity of thought to gender equity and more – with a focus on inclusivity.

Innovation: Driven by digital, it was clear that we need to re-think our timeframes on the new energy future. Change is hurtling towards us faster than we think. By harnessing the power of people, reinvigorating culture and using digital technologies, we can all continue to unleash the sector’s growth, development and focus on innovation.

Thank you to all the wonderful speakers, presenters, delegates, sponsors and all those behind the scenes.

Make sure to follow @APPEACONFERENCE on Twitter and on LinkedIn.

Day Two – Diversity, debate and driving inclusivity

How do we go beyond the tick box?

Day Two of #APPEA2018 focused on diversity and inclusion across the sector and how we can all drive change and progress. It was clear that we need to be asking more and more questions. By putting the topics on the table and asking the right questions, leaders and organisations can see where they sit at present and what they need to do more of when it comes to creating inclusivity.

There is no easy solution. To create a sustainable path and to drive change, we need to look (collectively) at how we can take steps to create meaningful change and long term impact.

Yesterday we focused on five insights and in this blog we have synthesised five key questions for leaders and readers to consider, based on today’s presentations:

#1 Is your organisation focused on diversity and inclusion?

From gender equity to age diversity to diversity of race – it’s imperative that leaders and organisations within the energy sector and indeed across all of industries, put diversity and inclusion front and centre.

Data from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency shows us that when it comes to workforce composition by gender and employment status, there is still a gender distinction. It was expressed that as a percentage, male representation in the workforce is still higher than women, which it is interesting given that women enter and leave University and training institutions in often equal or greater proportion to men.

It was stated that if we can get higher female participation overall in the workforce, we can grow the whole economy. We need to ensure that collectively we are building an increased focus on diversity and inclusion so that women – who are 51% of the population – feel supported, encouraged and engaged in pursuing opportunities at all levels across resources companies.

Diversity and inclusion is an important economic topic. We need to create more equal opportunities driven by a focus from organisations to continue to put this topic high on the agenda.

#2 How well do you understand the people around you?

We’ve all heard the workforce mantras around “people being your greatest asset” – but how well do you know, understand and appreciate the skills, diverse capabilities and perspectives within your organisation?

True productivity and growth starts with understanding your people and delivering inclusive policies – whether that be related to internal programs, client related activities or community initiatives and involvement. From your immediate colleagues, to clients and the wider community – taking the time to properly understand and reflect on the insights, capabilities and feedback of these groups is critical in driving greater understanding, respect and inclusion.

As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “change is the only constant” – and this typifies the rapidly changing energy landscape that we’re all a part of it. The only way to navigate this change and to drive improvement and innovation is to ensure that you have the trust, support and confidence of the people around you.

Sentiments expressed during Day Two was that the challenge for services companies is that we need to move beyond a transient presence in local indigenous communities, and that a long term commitment and respect is needed with the local communities. Local indigenous communities don’t want people flying in and giving handouts. They want partnerships which will deliver long term sustainable value to create benefit to the communities. Social licence to operate is critical and traditional owners, contractors and suppliers need to combine their energy and focus to drive growth.

Inclusion can be a part of a long term sustainable industry and it was emphasised during Day Two presentations that partnering with indigenous organisations is critical in achieving greater levels of indigenous employment.



#3 What does it mean to be a leader and are you driving change?

We are all leaders. No matter what level of an organisation we are at, every single member of the industry has a role in driving change and incorporating a diversity discussion during their roadmap in 2018 and beyond.

The advent of technology and automation has also changed the evolving energy landscape. We have seen the development of changes that have moved the industry forward in creating new roles, opportunities and projects – creating access to a more diverse range of people and skills.

Women however are still grossly under-represented within the sector. Leaders of today need to take the responsibility (and accountability) of being champions of change when it comes to diversity and inclusion across the sector.

It’s also incumbent that leaders of today realise the potential for tomorrow. The jobs of the future are being created as we speak and a diverse pool of talent and skills will be needed to drive ambitious plans.

#4 Are you ready to start and continue the diversity conversation?  

Diversity and inclusion will only get a seat at the table if there are advocates within a business driving it forward. It can only be brought to life through the passion of people – who want to make headway for creating new opportunities and providing future leaders with a path for transparency, openness and two-way dialogue.

Flexibility will be needed to create workable solutions and workplace arrangements. Those organisations that role model flexible workplace arrangements will be the ones that are able to drive a culture of support and inclusivity.

Starting the diversity conversation and then continuing it is key. And to do that takes visibility and role modelling – with leaders stepping up to the task of putting the topic of diversity on meeting agendas across business.

Conference presentations and questions from the audience reflected a discussion around the role of targets and quotas – a topic for debate and discussion. It was expressed that targets can help drive change through greater networking and collaboration and creating a step in the right direction – as well as illuminating the talent that is already available.

We also need to do more about the overall talent pipeline by investing in the leaders of the future, right now.



#5 Do you encourage diversity of thought?

Diversity really comes to life when we talk about diversity of thought and ideas. This is where we can find robust results around the fact that a diversity of perspectives and insights can drive innovation, change, improvement and a different way of looking at things.

Moving beyond the notion of group think will be critical for those organisations looking to lead the way on tackling disruption and securing their future.

As the conference itself reveals, by having a diverse range of presentations and sessions across three days, there are a plethora of insights and diversity of perspectives being shared, debated and discussed.

This is the power of diversity of thought – it gives a voice to people and yields a range of insights for organisations to harness and implement on current projects. Diversity of thought enables leaders and companies to refine, enhance and improve their understanding of the different facets that exist when it comes to taking a stand on a topic or pursuing a particular course of action.

The download of the day?

From quotas to influencers, leadership role models to increasing visibility, we need to put an on-going spotlight on diversity and inclusion – to track progress and impact. From an industry perspective, there is more work to be done.

Deloitte National Oil & Gas Leader Bernadette Cullinane on ABC News


Day One – Resilience, roadmaps and redefining the way forward in 2018  

Ready to be inspired by energy insights?

The 2018 APPEA Conference in Adelaide kicked off with a perfect opportunity to network, collaborate and share insights at the Conference Welcome Reception. There was energy and enthusiasm in the air as delegates embarked on three days of powerful perspectives and presentations.

Day One of APPEA focused on the central theme around building resilience and achieving success in the new energy market. With an impressive schedule of speakers, panels and discussions, attendees were presented with the latest insights, case studies and updates from local and global perspectives.

So how resilient are you? This was a question and theme that wove its way through presentations. One could argue that there is brilliance in resilience, if we think of the power in seeing things from a different perspective. It can mean slightly shifting the mindset to identify opportunities and ways to tackle the emerging issues across the rapidly changing energy landscape.

Based on all the speakers and presenters from Day One, there are five fundamental insights, synthesised here – for every leader, participant, organisation and reader to take away:

#1 We need to bring a solutions-focused voice  

It was discussed that from a local perspective, we are about to become the world’s largest gas exporter. Debate focused on the fact that we need to collectively illuminate the benefits of the oil and gas sector beyond exports.

The challenge for us all is to find ways in which to continuing driving the support of a strong sector to those outside this conference room and use our voice to discuss the implications, opportunities and latest information with the rest of the community. To truly involve the broader Australian community in the industry and listen to their thoughts, concerns and suggestions.

And how do we do that? By showcasing the enormous benefits that this sector contributes to a range of topics – from productivity to employment, innovation to future-focused plans. Collectively we have a strong voice and we need to all be more proactive in sharing our insights with those outside our immediate networks.

The energy, oil and gas industry is a great contributor to the overall prosperity of the business and community sector. This conference continues to grow in statue – and acts as a leading voice in shaping and cultivating a community of thought leaders to drive new solutions and ideas. It’s important that we highlight the strong links that our sector has with the lives of everyone, every single day.

#2 The time to think about tomorrow, is right now

As the landscape continues to evolve, the resilience that we show in debating, discussing and pushing forward new ideas is what will shape the future of our industry.

It was clear from presenters that we need to use the moments of today to plan and prepare for the energy future – that is hurtling towards us faster than we think.

From promoting jobs to delivering independence and fuel security overall, we need to continue to think through what the future will hold and how we can drive, develop and deliver a practical roadmap.

From a cost perspective, our industry needs to reflect on and redefine a way forward. To open up new areas, it was explored that we need to continue to attract investment – against a backdrop of increased transparency from an environmental and safety perspective.

An overriding theme from presenters when thinking about the future of energy was that there has never been a more critical time for the industry to unite.



#3 Collaboration and listening: the dynamic duo

Collaboration is extremely powerful and a much needed commodity across the landscape. Coupled with this, as a sector, we need to listen more to those around us. Accurate information is the most powerful driver when it comes to shaping a roadmap for 2018 and beyond.

To that extent, it was clear that we all have a fundamental role to play – but we first have to unite with achievable goals. It’s important that we collectively understand how to tackle these challenges and look at policy ideas and ways to gain community support.

Challenges and hurdles are certainly not new to the Australian oil and gas industry. This year’s Conference – number 58 – is testament to our strong dedication, commitment and ability to overcome any challenges. It’s a continued focus on driving thought leadership and providing a forum for sharing insights.

Sentiments from Day One indicated that we need to listen more and we need to be more open to being a part of the issues that really matter to Australia across this sector. We will make great headways and progress if we engage further in business conversations and put a spotlight on collaborative discussions. As was expressed today, it’s time to move the conversation beyond the screens of our phones and to the lounge rooms and coffee tables across the community and sector.

#4 Seeing challenges as opportunities   

A diversity of questions exist that every leader and organisation needs to ask themselves when assessing how to navigate the transforming sector. It’s about asking the right questions to yield interesting insights and outcomes.

What is needed for organisations to transform? How can we all tackle this unprecedented transformation (and disruption) across the energy landscape? How can we turn challenges into opportunities?

Conference sentiments focused on the fact that we need to use our collective experience – locally, regionally and globally – to drive a productive energy transformation that addresses the issues and creates a future that is prosperous and sustainable. By using our expert insights and deep knowledge of the sector, opportunity is there for the taking.

Technology will be a key driver in being able to unleash a sustainable future and to turn challenges into opportunities. Digital and computerised technologies – from Silicon Valley, China, Europe and more – are driving improvements and new ways of looking at things across the sector.

From drones to Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and more – these sophisticated technologies are fuelling a focus on productivity and the delivery of what was previously not possible.



#5 Science, research and innovation – a trio for unlocking potential

A key takeaway from Day One was that science can solve problems that many might previously have thought of as unsolvable. We need to further harness the power of industry leading science and research to power innovation and ultimately unlock potential across the sector.

How can we drive this change? It was expressed that innovation is about getting ahead of  customer’s needs and that it takes a strong and bold vision of the energy future. It is important to recognise that rigorous science is critical – as it can help us all understand the future and what we can do now to prepare.

We all have a role to play in embracing technological innovation. Science and research can help us see things differently – as well as acting as key drivers in promoting education and understanding of key issues and developments.

It’s also important that we look outside and beyond our own immediate group of viewpoints and reference points. Diversity of thought (another topic coming up at the Conference) is important to activate innovation.



What’s next?

From innovation to excellence, navigating challenges to harnessing opportunities, it was clear on Day One that leaders need to be resilient and think ahead – every step of the way. There is a role for us in this vital task. By working and collaborating together, the sector can continue to thrive, grow, innovate and prosper.

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