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Fringe culture in exploration

- By: John P Sykes
Posted in: Blog, Exploration, Management, Media, Publications


For the first Strictly Boardroom article of this year we looked at organisational culture and minerals exploration – specifically the need for ‘fringe culture’.

Managing a fringe group within a standard, even good, corporate culture, say one dominated by integrity, respect, family, transparency, and values, can be difficult. That’s not to say that some explorers do not value some of these cultural characteristics; it is to say that other characteristics are also valued, and some may contradict these more ‘normal’ ones. Fundamentally, explorers look for anomalies, they value and find what is different, which does not neccassirily fit well with a culture of standardisation.

Within exploration itself these two cultures are often seen – one valuing good exploration process, and the other more ‘maverick’. So how to reconcile?

Maybe a 90:10 split between good, solid process and ‘sensible’ budgeted work, and then 10% of something a little whackier, both at an individual and group level. It is this 10% that defines the culture and leads to ‘myth’ status. Although you would hope success arises, at very least, such maverick or fringe activity helps build a healthy exploration culture.

The article is still available for subscribers on or contact me for a copy.

For keen followers of the Strictly Boardroom column, our book “Strictly (Mining) Boardroom Volume II: A Practitioners Guide for Next Generation Directors” was published last year and is available as a paperback or e-book from Major Street Publishing or Amazon. We’re pleased to say that the book received a very positive review in the AusIMM Bulletin and in Geoscientist magazine – the member’s publication of the Geological Society of London.