Important Father's Day Information

Today, I will once again attempt to walk the thin grey line between what technical readers want to read and what I actually feel like writing about. Being non-technical by nature, I prefer to make fun of ‘technical stuff’ as a way of disguising my lack of intellect. Long integers and simultaneous equations are easy targets, so why not take advantage…right?

I am not going to make fun of hapless numbers, instead I am going to talk about a complex matter sure to delight the technical few who read on. This article covers an area that I am more familiar with than most, and I feel no need to hide my lack of intellect or to make fun of the subject. I should add that the idea for this article came to me on Sunday in September last year – Father’s Day. To preface this – I am the father of five children, have been married for 29 years, and am 49 years old. Three of my children are boys and two are girls and their ages range from 7 to 17 years old. I work in the digital transformation industry with a focus on oil and gas, and I struggle every minute of every day with this subject. End of preface.

I am going to talk about the data trends we are seeing in ‘work life balance’ in the oil and gas sector. Like many things in life, it can take a hard knock to the head before you start to see the wood for the trees, especially when looking at a subject you have been immersed in for a long time. You think that after all your years of being a husband or wife and parent that you must know how the whole thing works – but when it comes to kids and marriage nothing is certain or predictable.

I have received many hard knocks to the head in my life, and if you have ever had the displeasure of meeting me, you would have been confronted with the visual evidence of these as I approached. One of those smacks to the cranium came in the form of a beautifully written Father’s Day card sitting on my bedside table one Sunday morning. The card, written by my 17 year old daughter, detailed a story that she recalled about the two of us when she was 4 years old. She printed a photo of me holding her as a baby for the front cover and put glitter and sequins around the outside of it – the card clearly took some time to make and for that work, I was very grateful.

I sat in bed on Father’s Day with my token cup of ‘coffee in bed’ looking at the photo for quite some time and wondered where all the time has gone? This drilling program, that IT project, this new venture, and that conference I attended – all occupying the time that could have been spent on the loved ones – the ones that really matter when you reflect. I began to think that she chose to write about that single event because there was nothing else she could write about that we had done together in the last decade and, scariest of all, I had a sinking feeling that she might be right.

So many studies show that work life balance, particularly in the oil and gas sector, is not trending towards improved quality of life. In fact, the decreasing workforce in the oil and gas sector is seeing many working harder and longer to ensure they can survive the market conditions and budget cuts. They hope to be one of the lucky few that get to keep their jobs. Sadly, budget cuts in major oil and gas companies often don’t take into account how hard anyone works. Further to this, in an article I wrote previously for Preview Magazine, I suggested that new entrants to the industry get very focused on their role and find a niche to make themselves indispensable. Working smarter, not harder is the measure that many larger companies look for in the quality of their employees.

This great quote by Brian Dyson, former CEO of Coca Cola, is one that after 25 years in the industry I am only just starting to get: ‘Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit – and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.’

So further to this quote, he offers a quote that rounds out this article very nicely. Even in this industry of decline and uncertainty, one must ‘work efficiently during office hours and leave on time. Give the required time to your family, friends, and have proper rest.’ If even one person who reads this goes home on time as a result, even if it is just for one day this week, I will be one happy chappy.

Happy Father's Day everyone.

Adapted from a previous article written by Guy Holmes As published in The Australian Society of Exploration Geophysics - Preview Magazine Issue 178 Oct 20, 2015.

Comment /Source

Guy Holmes

Guy is a graduate of Geophysics from Macquarie University in Sydney, and has completed a Masters of Business Administration (Technology Management) from Deakin University in Melbourne. 

Guy is a successful leader with a proven track record in the growth of start up and turn around businesses in the IT, medical and information management sectors.

Guy has extensive experience in the oil and gas, minerals, medical, and information management industries in Australia and the Asia Pacific and is a highly regarded entrepreneur.

Guy’s experience includes:

• Sourcing Venture Capital
• Acquisitions and Sales of businesses
• Commercial technology development
• Research and development for internal and external products
• International business development
• Product and service marketing, development, and management
• Multimillion dollar contract negotiations with government and private sectors (International and domestic)
• Development of business and marketing plans, strategy documents , and other executive level documents
• Industry leader in information management, data management, archiving strategies, legacy technology with a particular focus on the management of oil and gas and minerals information and data on a global scale.
• Operational management and refinement to seek maximum profitability
• Grant applications, financing arrangements, and seeking alternative funding

The results that Guy has achieved in his varied roles stand testimony to his abilities to:

• Manage organizational resources to achieve results
• Develop and drive technology solutions to achieve business goals
• Grow businesses that are both start-up and/or stagnant
• Successfully land, negotiate, perform and complete projects both domestically and internationally

Guy has been married for 24 years and has five children. He enjoys playing ice hockey, travel, mountaineering and spending time with his family and reading. 

Are you interested in learning how to architect & build a data lake solution?

Join us at the latest AWS Learning Series — Harnessing the Power of Data where Tape Ark will be contributing to the Perth event as an Amazon Web Services Technology Partner. These events are an awesome opportunity to learn more about how AWS (and Tape Ark) can assist you in harnessing the power and value of your data. Come and say hi to Guy C. Holmes and Kyle Evans to find out more.

AWS Data Driven Decisions Learning Series_August 2018.jpg

 

 

The Podcasts That Helped Launch Tape Ark

In June 2017, my article “My New Digital Classroom” was published in the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysics Magazine entitled “Preview”.

I have found a ton of inspiration in the podcasts that I have been listening to.  In fact, I have taken both guidance and inspiration from several of the podcasts that I listen to to help me create my new start-up Tape Ark. I listen to numerous podcasts to keep me up to speed on developments in the oil and gas and technology industries as well as for just entertainment. 

If you don’t know what a podcast is here is the Wikipedia definition: ‘A podcast is an episodic series of digital audio files which a user can subscribe to so that new episodes are automatically downloaded via web syndication to the user’s own local computer, mobile application, or portable media player’. The name came from the combination of the words iPod and broadcast.

Since I started listening to podcasts, my taste in content has evolved, and of course fellow podcast listeners (some of which I turned on to podcasts) started to recommend new ones to me.

I thought I would offer an update on my recommendations for people working in oil and gas, technology, and data management.

My previous recommendation plus a few new ones include:

Entrepreneurial and Start Up Scene

"How I Built This" hosted by Guy Raz @guyraz from NPR radio is focussed on innovators and entrepreneurs.  This is an absolute favorite of mine.  It covers companies like Airbnb, Instagram, and Spankz, how they started, and the drive and determination of the founders.

"Start Up" from Gimlet media is a series about what it’s really like to start a business.

"The Pitch" – Hosted by Josh Muccio @joshmuccio I am a massive fan of this one. This one is also produced by the team at Gimlet Media.  If you have ever tried to raise capital, or are thinking about doing it.  The show has a panel of guests including Jilian Manus @ManusJillian of Structure Capital @structureVC and Phil Nadell @NadelPhil  of Forefront Venture Partners forefrontvp.com This one is a must listen.

Technology, Scalability, and General Awareness of Where Industries are going

The ‘Ted Radio Hour’, which is a choice TED talk mixed with in depth interviews from the speakers who gave the talk put out by NPR. The is also hosted by Guy Raz @guyraz .

The "AWS podcast" (Amazon Web Services), which details all of the new developments in cloud based computing, storage, etc. on the Amazon platform.

"Masters of Scale" – Hosted by Reid Hoffman @reidhoffman (Founder of LinkedIn and Partner at Greylock).  Great commentary on how to scale a business.  This show rocks.

Geoscience

The Society of Exploration Geophysics has a podcast called “Seismic Soundoff” hosted by Andrew Geary.  A series of in depth conversations in applied geophysics. 

The “Geology Flannelcast” made by three grad students who purportedly ‘discuss geology topics that no one else dares to touch’. It just so happens that the podcast is one that I don’t dare to touch either. But if you like soil analysis and Milankovitch cycles, this one may be for you.

General Entertainment

If you are not in a working mood, try these great entertaining podcasts:

S Town”  - A reporter investigates a supposed murder in Alabama, and open the doors to an incredible story where murder is far from what you need to worry about.  Written and Narrated by @BriHReed.

Here’s The Thing” hosted by Alec Baldwin @AlecBaldwin bring you into the lives of artists, performers and policy makers.  Alec is a great interviewer.

Heavyweight” – A brief window into the lives of common people, with uncommon humor, Jonathan Goldstein @J_Goldstein

I highly recommend subscribing to a few podcasts and giving them a try. Anyone who has a commute to the office of more than 15 minutes can use that time to learn about a new topic in an entertaining format that takes no effort at all to consume.

Let me know if you pick any of these podcasts up.  I would love feedback on your favorites as well.

 

Comment

Guy Holmes

Guy is a graduate of Geophysics from Macquarie University in Sydney, and has completed a Masters of Business Administration (Technology Management) from Deakin University in Melbourne. 

Guy is a successful leader with a proven track record in the growth of start up and turn around businesses in the IT, medical and information management sectors.

Guy has extensive experience in the oil and gas, minerals, medical, and information management industries in Australia and the Asia Pacific and is a highly regarded entrepreneur.

Guy’s experience includes:

• Sourcing Venture Capital
• Acquisitions and Sales of businesses
• Commercial technology development
• Research and development for internal and external products
• International business development
• Product and service marketing, development, and management
• Multimillion dollar contract negotiations with government and private sectors (International and domestic)
• Development of business and marketing plans, strategy documents , and other executive level documents
• Industry leader in information management, data management, archiving strategies, legacy technology with a particular focus on the management of oil and gas and minerals information and data on a global scale.
• Operational management and refinement to seek maximum profitability
• Grant applications, financing arrangements, and seeking alternative funding

The results that Guy has achieved in his varied roles stand testimony to his abilities to:

• Manage organizational resources to achieve results
• Develop and drive technology solutions to achieve business goals
• Grow businesses that are both start-up and/or stagnant
• Successfully land, negotiate, perform and complete projects both domestically and internationally

Guy has been married for 24 years and has five children. He enjoys playing ice hockey, travel, mountaineering and spending time with his family and reading.