MOL Group #Freshhh2015 – The renewable energy of creativity and applied effort

Posted: June 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

Play Hard – Work Hard

A sunny day in Budapest, May 28th greeted the 2015 finalists for the MOL Group Freshhh2015 Competition.Screenshot 2015-06-13 at 18.50.59 for more details. Also jump on the Facebook page here and #freshhh hashtag on Instagram and Twitter.  Play Hard; Work Hard was the subtext to the entire competition.

To set the scene: 5 teams: already standout performers from the online gamified learning stages with over 6000 participants from 70 countries involved. The highest scoring teams now huddled in intense conversations with their mentors as they prepared for the final 2 stages.

The live pitch to the jury of senior officials from MOL Group beckoned.

Followed by the real­world simulation/scenario where teams will be pitched against each other to form alliances and deliver a business proposition likely to succeed on economic and human levels.

PlScreenshot 2015-06-13 at 18.51.14ay Hard; Work Hard

It’s rare to say this about the business world but this is going to be SOME spectator sport.

A team of bloggers from Serbia, Italy, Pakistan, Slovakia, Russia and the UK were assembled and the Facebook status updates, tweets, Instagram posts started hitting all corners of the world. This was going to be interesting to even watch from afar!

Rather than a running this as a commentary­like “team x team” blog,there were some really standout elements to this competition I spotted that may be worth sharing with you before we go on to why the winning team was triumphant.

Togetherness ­ There were some clear examples where the teams had made the best of their skills, energy, study programmes and any experiences they had that were relevant. Only ONE team introduced themselves with a slide and a brief intro to each of them that brought them to life. They showed a more evident togetherness. I don’t know how much this influenced the judges but it stood out in my mind ­ immensely.

Informed ­ market analysis is one thing, but a wider research perspective can create a nice surprise and have people “lean­in” to your proposal. I saw some examples of this ­ with recommended territory / country based expansion plans; a commercial/retail partnership and a focus on particular renewables. ALL groups were really well researched.  They all had a surprise in store with their research­based recommendations some more bold and towards the edge than others. Showing you’ve researched comes not only from GDP graphs but also the market and why a partner/venture should work.Screenshot 2015-06-13 at 18.52.33

Crisp ­ presenting and performing in a scenario are very different disciplines. Presenting comes from a clear scripted approach with visual prompts on slides to talk to; with a rehearsed format with each other taking the lead and others bringing a different slant. Then jumping into a scenario where it’s about heat of the moment, pacy decisions, swift movement, rapid but deep analysis, collaborating and negotiating “on the fly”. Whatever situation the teams found themselves in some were just plain crisp. Not too slick or polished, but sharp.

On the money. On point. The best way to get your message across and show your performance level is for people to be left in no doubts you’re competentnce, clear, concise, decisive, calculated, confident. Crisp. Freshhh even!

Keen ­ there’s enthusiastic, energised but also there’s a keenness in the eyes, in the manner of conduct and style of delivery. In the scenarios in the afternoon there was a keenness demonstrated in many ways: to get on with it; to trade; to work together; to not rule anything out. There was also a keenness in some presentations coupled with (understandable) nerves. Where nerves are going to get the better of people they are overcome with a keenness. Or so it seemed to me with the best presenters.

Togetherness; Informed; Crisp & Keen ­ spells TICK. And all the participants and the event as a whole really did tick.

And it was “Just Ask Siri” from the Czech Republic and Slovakia that triumphed both in the audience vote and with the jury of MOL Group Senior Executives.

Let’s start with a huge amount of respect to all the teams who demonstrated a deep understanding and creativity in answering MOL Screenshot 2015-06-13 at 18.51.41Group’s challenge questions:

> What would happen to oil & gas structure and why? What is the impact of renewable energy and electric cars?

> What would be the global O&G industry’s reaction to a sustained low oil and gas price?

> Would there be any difference among different companies?

> How should MOL Group react to this scenario and change its strategy?

> How should this impact the workforce strategy for MOL Group?

All were informed.  All were keen.  Some were more crisp and more together.

Just Ask Siri kicked off in a powerful manner with their introductions of the 3 people on the team. A first in the focused and overt way they did so. Key point: connect to your audience and become a person in their minds with skills, attributes and a story.

There was little to choose between the economic proposals of ANY of the teams.

They all knew the impacts of the low prices and the challenge posed by renewable energy and electric cars. Just Ask Siri stood out for me as having the most commercially recognisable proposition for roadside outlet partnerships and electric car charging points. Key point: believable and visual futures move people emotionally AND intellectually. Emotion tends to trump logic in decision-making.

ALL the teams very vividly talked about the skills and attributes needed for a successful workforce to drive MOL Group through this challenging period. All recognised the ageing workforce demographic and the need for fresh talent. Just Ask Siri particularly zoned in on coaching and mentoring as a key interface and the need to have a range of pathways for people to develop their careers in an emergent and yet planned manner. Key point: showing flexibility in approach without being vague or overly­cliched helped this feel like a strategy the workforce would be drawn to and participate actively in.

And then a strategy simulation game where Just Ask Siri, hot out of the traps, engaged in energetic conversations and key honed in onin their choice of partner (the Oil’s Creed team from Hungary), helpinged them become clear winners on profit and points based on demonstrated   skills in teamwork; negotiation; business planning; strategic management; and profit making skills.

It really was a case of high performing teams with minor differences. The teams from Russia, Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary were all supremely agile, intelligent and collaborative forces. Indeed I spoke with Gabor ­ ambassador for 2015 ­ and he is now working with MOL Group in procurement yet never won the challenge despite consecutive years of participation.

All winners? Of course. One victorious team? Just Ask Siri were standouts amongst some seriously high­calibre competitors which should make the victory all the sweeter.Screenshot 2015-06-13 at 18.51.55

The overall victor here has to be the spirit and application of people in a challenging circumstance. Congratulations to the participants, ambassadors, mentors and the organisers of what ­ I think ­ is the most vibrant and useful student event I’ve ever experienced.

MOL Group demonstrating that play hard; work hard really is the winning motto. #Freshhh2015 was an outstanding success and I was delighted to have experienced it.


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