The oil and gas industry is facing a problem like no other – low, low prices that are beyond their control. In a highly competitive industry where only the strong have survived, could the solution be to compete less and collaborate more?
Natural selection, Charles Darwin suggested, would inevitably lead to the survival of the fittest. The big industrialists used his theory to justify their need to be tough, ruthless and destroy the competition. Yet Darwin’s theory has recently been challenged by American psychologist Michael Tomasello. His research suggests that sometimes it pays to be nice. With oil and gas companies struggling as the price of their core products falls, they may be wise to ponder Tomasello’s views and consider a new approach: collaboration.
New research suggests humanity’s real triumph two million years ago was to adapt to a whole new way of life as Earth’s climate changed. Unable to individually bring down large game, they learned to work and travel together, scavenging off and, crucially, sharing the remains of animals recently killed by other large carnivores. Collaboration became the best way to survive.