Knowledge Café

Cafe sessions help turn talk into innovation

Organized by the Manpower Development Division, the sessions focused on people conversations and collaboration.

Cafe sessions help turn talk into innovation
The Southern Area Oil Operations’ (SAOO) Manpower Development Division (MDD) recently held a series of knowledge café sessions, with over 20 hours of people conversations generating more than 30 innovative ideas.

The sessions were designed to integrate people conversations (one of our Four Critical Behaviors) to open doors for people to express themselves (another critical behavior, empowerment) and help transform their lives.

Business consultant David Gurteen created the knowledge café as a means to bring people together for productive conversations that should lead to better decision making and innovation.

MDD launched its first cafés in Abqaiq and Mubarraz, meeting in small groups. The sessions featured more than 20 hours of knowledge sharing, and participants were encouraged to generate more than 30 ideas. These ideas were then consolidated to develop action plans.

 “The café gave us a wonderful opportunity to think creatively and speak openly so that we can enhance our daily operations and increase our engagement and satisfaction,” said Abdulrahman A. Aldoghan, from the Plant Specific Training Unit. 

Different atmosphere 

Knowledge cafés differ from other forms of business meetings as participants are actively urged to engage in constructive dialogues and work toward a shared goal that benefits every participant and the organization.

“I liked the principles of the café, such as everyone is equal, there are no preconceived outcomes, and engaging in small groups. This gave us a different atmosphere to share our ideas with a different attitude,” said Hisham H. Al Suwayigh from the Operation Evaluation and Quality Assurance Unit. 

Management support

“As a supervisor in MDD, I felt that my team members were so eager to participate in the café,” said Mishari M. Jaafary, supervisor of the Planning and Training Coordination Unit, who noted everyone could speak without management attending and that their ideas were captured and shared later anonymously.

Abdul Latif M. Odail, superintendent of HR in MDD, said, “We enjoy a very encouraging and motivating atmosphere. I liked the participation and ideas from the MDD staff, and we have already started implementing the ones that will add value to our organization and to SAOO.”

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