Bringing Jobs Back to the MOV: The world is changing, be a disrupter
Last weekend my wife and I were at a conference in Baltimore. The theme was, “The Future.” What do Polaroid, Circuit City, Blockbuster, Borders, Sears, Pan-Am, K-Mart, Radio Shack, Compaq and Woolworth all have in common? They are all companies that have gone bankrupt. Most are gone others are on their way out unless they get creative fast. They could not adapt to change. John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco USA said, “If you don’t innovate fast, disrupt your industry, disrupt yourself, you’ll be left behind.” The internet and smart phone are changing our world. Amazon is disrupting the retail world. We are already seeing stores close because they can’t compete with online retailers. Today, technology has become the great disrupter.
The MOV became part of the “rust belt” when we lost our supply of cheap energy in the 1970s. OPEC became the king of crude oil and took control of our lives for decades. Our labor costs could not compete with places like China. We lost jobs to overseas companies and to the Gulf Coast.
Technology has disrupted the oil and gas industry. The shales in the United States were known to contain abundant natural gas and oil. But the technology to extract it didn’t exist until recently. Hydraulic fracturing is an old technology that has been around for over 70 years. Horizontal drilling goes back to the 1960s. When the industry figured out how to put these two technologies together the United States went from energy crisis to the leading oil and natural gas producer in the world exporting oil and natural gas, in less than 10 years. That was a major global disruption. Russia and OPEC lost much of their power and half of their oil revenues, costing them billions of dollars.
When cell phones and computers first appeared in the 1980s they changed lives but it took decades before they caused major disruptions. The digital camera changed photography even faster. When I was a manager we made a 5-year business plan. What we heard in Baltimore was that even a 3-year plan may be a waste of time since technology is changing so rapidly. We either need to be the disrupter or be prepared to be disrupted.
Shale Crescent USA has now become the disrupter. In 2010 the Shale Crescent USA Region of eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia produced 3 percent of the USA’s natural gas. In 2017 that number was close to 33 percent. This region now produces more natural gas than Texas. That is disruption. The Shale Crescent USA is where 100 percent of the growth of the USA’s gas supply has come from. The rest of the USA has replaced the decline.
John 8:32 of the Bible says, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Shale Crescent USA, the organization, doesn’t produce any natural gas. What we are doing is telling people all over the world the truth about where the growth in the USA’s natural gas is coming from. We started locally and began spreading the word in newspapers, magazines and radio around the USA. We have successfully spread this good news to South America and Asia and are starting to see results. We still have a lot of work to do. Most of the country and world still doesn’t know. The changes that put the Shale Crescent USA in this leadership position happened in only 3 years.
What does this mean for you and your business? Change is coming. Someone is going to disrupt the industry you are in. Will it be you? Will you be prepared? How will you handle it? Will you be a business casualty like Polaroid or Blockbuster? Will you be able to adapt?
If you or your children are planning on college you need to be adaptable. The job you planned on as a freshman may have changed by the time you are ready to graduate.
You can also be a disrupter by sharing the truths that I just shared with you about the cheap and abundant natural gas we have in the Shale Crescent USA. The decision some plants made to expand outside our region 3-5 years ago may not be the best decisions today. We heard in Japan, “We had no idea.” The truth doesn’t set you free unless you know it. Help us spread the truth. Thoughts to ponder.
Greg Kozera is the Director of Marketing for Shale Crescent USA www.shalecrescentusa.com . He has over 40 years of experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert with a Masters in Environmental Engineering and the author of four books and numerous published articles.