Podcast 2: Sustainable and People-centric Mining Execution Strategies

Sam Houston, Strategist Solutions, talks to the Mining Misfits. Tune In!

In terms of execution strategies for large assets within mining, I think we need to be cognisant of some of these more people-centric opportunities as early on as possible; include it in your strategies from inception. Don’t wait until we get to operational readiness or operations even; try to think about what’s happening in the future and what our future needs are for mining and what our future needs are for each of our assets and try to plan for that in advance. That’s the approach that I’m trying to take with Strategist Solutions. We’re trying to be more proactive and plan further ahead with development of strategies including a lot more people-centric approaches to those.

If we don’t change the way that we’re delivering mining, we’re likely to see some of our big, I think soon to become competitors, pushing down the value chain and taking over more of the mining industry. So you’re going to see big tech companies, and I don’t want to name them but you can think of a few, who’ll start to get frustrated by the lack of, of efficiency or lack of responsiveness that they have to their demands as our clients and they will start doing a land grab within the industry.

I hope to see that in 10 years time the mining industry has changed to meet those challenges around the obtaining or retaining of the social licence; to meet the risks of sustainability, legislative changes, technology, all of those key disruptive challenges that the mining industry is facing. I hope that the mining industry steps up to those challenges. And I hope that we maintain or even take a little bit more out of that value chain as an industry.

Mining is one of the world’s main activities in driving the world economy and creating a social welfare. We in the mining industry carry quite a burden of responsibility and we need to be looking much further into the future than what we are at the moment, particularly in terms of our people capital; everything is driven by people regardless of what technology gets brought in. We are producing things for people by people and if we’re forgetting about people and when we’re concentrating on things like the technical side of solution making, the economic side of solution making, the government relations, side of solutions, then we’re really missing a trick because whilst all of those are important, it’s people that bring all of them together.

So I’ll just say, start thinking a little bit more strategically around what the mining industry, in whatever organisations, need to achieve into the future and how we need to be constructed to achieve those and what type of people we need. So we don’t need to be limited by our past, we can reinvent our future, we have the ability to be able to do that if we’ve got enough like minded people in the industry.

it’s going to take a lot of disruption, I think in the mining industry for it to change. I think what’s interesting about the opportunity for people like ourselves is to be the leaders within the industry. I think what is even more exciting is that I don’t even I, we’ve identified those people who are going to be the next leaders within mining, in mining. The way that things are going with sustainability, with technology, with legislative changes, with the vast challenges that mining companies face in obtaining and retaining that social licence to operate. 

We need to attract a completely different kind of person to the industry. These need to be people who are much more representative of society. At the moment, we don’t have that societal representation in the mining industry.

Tune in here to listen to the previous podcast about Cognitive Diversity!


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