Profit stems from wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge tempered by experience.
At no time has the petroleum industry been more conscious of its manpower quality. Surmounting our many problems - profitably - requires a level of productivity and "imagineering" well above that we used to expect. This in turn demands that we rethink - and change - many traditional and comfortable approaches.
My primary emphasis here is on what we have traditionally called training. I do not like this term for as used traditionally it denotes a d experience which is more closely tied to "continuing education" than job experience. We will probably continue to use it. But... let us use it in a broader manner. This is why I have used the words "manpower development" rather than "training" in my title.
I make this distinction to emphasize that the philosophy of what we call training must make a subtle, but darn important, change to meet its t needs.
First of all, the role of our professionals has changed in at least one real way. Traditionally, the engineer spent a large part of , his time making calculations and preparing recommendations. Handling numbers in an organized fashion was his forte. Somewhat by default, he was stuck with the drudgery of "grinding out" the equations and laws contained in his "bag of tools". This often took so much time that judgment, intuition and all informal thought processes. that distinguish the true professional had. to be "tacked on" to the end of his total effort. Time to really think has always been our greatest enemy.
The computer has changed this problem. We can turn out an avalanche of precise numbers in a short time. We can out-compute our real knowledge. The answer is not, substituting arithmetic for professional expertise. Merely trying to superimpose the computer on top of traditional approaches is not economically sound. It dilutes real productivity per dollar expended. Stated simply - computers and people are, not miscible in all proportions.
There is a second aspect of this problem. Any one man has had to make judgments based largely on his own limited experiences. As he matured, his data points increased. These limited number of data points become less significant as our total technology balloons; needed, is ready access to a broader base of experience - instant experience. The computer makes this more feasible.
Training - properly planned and conducted - can be a significant factor to alleviate these problems. The proper approach must stress attitude toward, and utilization of, facts; as much as the facts themselves. To accomplish this y requires a partial "overhaul" of many training practices. This is one part of what I call the e approach.
One of the rather inane concerns that is floating around is "How can we motivate our employees?" We then go through a lot of contrived procedures to accomplish this. It is interesting gamesmanship but too often produces very little benefit per dollar expended - e rate of return.