Times to think different: the Intelligence Revolution

Posted in Global Energy January 2020

An executive training program recently carried out by Pemex Exploration & Production PE&P, allowed an important pause, to meet a representative group of mid & high level executives, and held discussions and reflections, on relevant issues, related to technical best practices and strategic thinking to strength   leadership, and effective communications for that select audience, that today has the responsibility to move the national oil company to new stadiums of efficiency.

The extraordinary order – or disorder – of the changes that are taking place at speeds never imagined before, demands different creative approaches from people and government institutions to face challenges, some are relatively simple to handle, but most of them are complex themes, and I some cases very unique situations. Young people, young professionals, love this environment, they navigate on it comfortably. Contemporary adults simply work daily to understand and adapt; but it is the senior adults, whom have suffered the most.

This reality has been understood by the business world, and today, companies are looking for people who think creatively, to create innovative solutions, and adapt fast to this unstoppable knowledge. However, each day it is more difficult for companies to get such people and they have to create spaces or “creativity rooms” internally to develop such skills and abilities. These fundamental concepts of change were discussed throughout more than 130 hours of work in this interesting program developed for PE&P.

The program discussions allows us to raise some important reflections that have to do with education, since it seems that time and technology have made educational models obsolete, and in many places it is already questioned whether current teaching models stimulate, teach , and promote creativity, or simply, if schools kill or discard opportunities to have a teaching model that educates student, better with a minimum basis of understanding, so that they can pursue creativity and make it the tool of competition or competitiveness of the professional novel in the future.

For some time now, several international experts have been warning that mass education were designed to produce workers for the industrial age, but this education model does not prepare them to face the new global challenges. Current reality requires a large-scale transformation, with the premise that intelligence and the creative process are diverse, dynamic, and distinct, and an academic exploration of the evolution of mass education and attitudes toward intelligence and creativity is needed. This model must be promoted by the state and private industry, with the active participation of politicians, social and community leaders, educators, human resources professionals and business leaders. We could say a true revolution of intelligence or a profound transformation, to be in accordance with current political times.

This initiative has been understood by many companies, in particular by the oil companies that have devoted themselves to the preparation of their technicians and executives, creating programs that allow them to shape the professional that is required and in accordance with the growth plan that it is developed for each professional; In any case, what companies seek is to develop the creative thinking and initiative of their people, to effectively guide them along the path of business leadership.

Some fundamental ideas that sustain these new realities have to do with the human attitude to imagine, create and innovate. This attitude most of the time is innate in the person, but this quality is only a guide; therefore, people must be educated for the modern world in that new and challenging landscape. Another aspect of capital importance has to do with society, which is facing an unprecedented change of pace and scale due to demographic growth and the advancement of technology. This forces societies to rethink the current premises of the educational system, because until now the intellect has been treated separately from human emotion and this has been a condition that has influenced in a significant way the development of educational systems. The systems also start from the assumption that certain academic disciplines have more economic value than others, and this creates a hierarchy of subjects in school systems.

Companies understand that dealing with the increasing complexity of the global environment requires developing a culture of creativity; but many of the solutions lies in the educational system, not in commercial companies. Executives look for creative people who communicate effectively, collaborate as a team, and are agile enough to respond to change; but misconceptions about creativity can hinder your agility, as many people believe that every individual is creative or not. The reality is that we all have an innate creative ability that grows with our personal growth and professional development.

This ability begins with education and for this reason we consider that the three responsibilities of an educational system with respect to students must consider: personal preparation, cultural training and economic training. The latter allows students to develop to perform in the labor market. Cultural training gives them the basis of support to understand the spaces for their development, and personal preparation works the principles and values that serve as a guide to face the adversity they will encounter as they advance in their growth.

Many companies say they have trouble finding creative workers who can communicate effectively and works in collaborative spaces. Studies and consults carried out allow the companies to know that certainly universities do not develop those skills. But the reality is that many companies, instead of prioritizing talent and offering professional development, only put the emphasis on hiring, seeking to solve specific problems, without a people development strategy in the medium and long term. For this reason, many young professionals are deciding to start very early as entrepreneurs in startups, in order to develop their creative capacity.

Businesses can develop an innovative organizational culture by focusing on three related but distinct processes: imagination, creativity, and innovation. The imagination sees an idea or a future that does not yet exist. Creativity is the process of generating valuable ideas. Innovation makes those ideas come true. Creative leaders cultivate innovation through an environment where new ideas are promoted. They give freedom to take risks and experiment, and finally put systems in place to measure and evaluate.