Thursday 14 November 2019

Edwina Nyhan, Gas Networks Ireland head of finance

TRUST: Hire good people and trust them, says Edwina Nyhan
TRUST: Hire good people and trust them, says Edwina Nyhan

Gas Networks Ireland is the new name for the State's natural gas infrastructure company, a subsidiary of Irish Water parent Ervia, following the sale of retail business Bord Gais Energy to Centrica.

Trust your people

"One of the most important things you can do is hire good people and trust them. When I became a people manager for the first time, my boss told me you are only as good as your team.

"I think that is very true. Ultimately, if your team doesn't deliver, you don't deliver. It is a challenge to move from being an individual contributor to a people manager, there definitely was for me - I was a content expert, I was delivering a body of work, and I was the person in control of that… but when you are giving that responsibility to somebody else you have this fear: what if they make a mistake?

"But they will learn an awful lot from their mistakes."

You're only as good as your last output

"Delivery is key, delivering a quality output. In finance, we put an awful lot of work into delivering our end product, a set of accounts or reports or the information that we provide to the business.

"We can have a wonderful thought process going on behind all that in the background, but unless we deliver… you are only as good as your last output. Not only within your own business but also delivering a quality output to your customers as well."

Don't be afraid to move around

"I joined Bord Gais Networks from a professional services firm but didn't take a finance role, I joined the regulation and commercial team.

"I remember thinking at the time whether it was the right move. It was a new company and I was doing something unfamiliar. But I think it's one of the best moves I ever made.

"I've had the opportunity within Bord Gais to rotate and pick up new skills and I've ended up, ironically, back in finance. I think challenging yourself and not being afraid to evolve and change both as an individual and a team and as a company is necessary to excel.

"Bord Gais started as a gas company, became an energy company and then with the government's decision to divest the retail side, Bord Gais Networks is becoming Gas Networks Ireland… it's a hugely exciting time to grow."

Measure performance

"Have honest conversations with your employees about performance. I've been very lucky in Bord Gais that we have a very strong performance culture, it is goal-oriented, but it is goal-oriented both from a competency perspective and an objective perspective. I think that comes across in what we have delivered over the last 30 years."

Edwina Nyhan is head of finance at Gas Networks Ireland

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