HOUSTON - Between the COVID-19 pandemic, falling oil prices, and environmental concerns, Houston's energy business is facing some significant challenges. That's true, though, for a lot of industries, and a new facility, set to open downtown, is designed to help them find their way.
Mood music greets visitors walking through the doors to Deloitte's new Greenhouse Experience, high above downtown Houston. It's part of a science that sets the tone for everything else that happens in this 14,000 square foot space, designed to help businesses tackle their complex problems.
Deloitte's managing partner in Houston, Amy Chronis, says those problems have only gotten bigger, in the last year.
"We really believe the pandemic has accelerated change," she says.
The Greenhouse is the latest of dozens that the business-services firm operates around the world. The newest is geared toward the energy sector, with all kinds of bells-and-whistles technology designed to help encourage innovative solutions.
Any business is welcome, though, where leaders are trying to evolve rather than get left behind, particularly after the pandemic forced people apart.
"The human connection's a must," argues Chronis, "You must have the ability for humans to learn and experience, and work alongside folks in an apprenticeship-way."
The Greenhouse is divided into several interactive experiences that encourage different types of conversation and collaboration. All of it is outside normal workspaces that are designed to put participants on equal footing, during the debate.
"You have to unpackage all that, and put everyone on a level-playing field, if you will, to really get the juices going; get things happening; to create a coalition to move forward with whatever change that group comes up with," says Chronis.
Deloitte has one other Texas Greenhouse, in Dallas. The Houston facility, however, is the company's largest and expected to help lead the charge toward inevitable change in the oil and gas industry where, sometimes, radical ideas can be tested to see what success they might bring, in the real world.