Monday 18 December 2017

'Company cultures differ a lot, but you don't fully realise that until you are confronted by it...'

Eddie O'Connor CEO Mainstream Renewable Energy

You must be transparent, says Eddie O'Connor
You must be transparent, says Eddie O'Connor

Eddie O'Connor

'Management of people is an ongoing learning process - yes, there may be a few natural managers of people who are born with that talent, but from my experience it's something that you can learn with time, and something that has to be continuously invested in.

"You have to learn to bury the ego deep enough so that other people can contribute to the process. If you fail to give people the opportunity to contribute ideas and projects to a business, the business can stagnate and become too focused around the one person's ideas of what's right. No-one can be right all of the time.

"Company cultures differ a lot and you don't realise that until you are confronted by it. When I moved from the ESB where I'd worked for 17 years, to become chief executive of Bord na Mona it initially required quite a change of mindset.

"You have to be willing to recognise that and realise when you change jobs or roles, that you may need to adapt to make an impact.

"A good recruitment process is vital. Running any business well, no matter how small or how large, begins with recruiting the right people. The chief executive of an organisation is important, but it's important for the head person to surround themselves with great people.

"We have a state of the art recruitment process in Mainstream Renewable Energy which allows us to marry the personality requirements with the intellectual requirements. If you get a 'wrong one' it can dissipate a lot of your time and your energy, as well as costing a lot. If you get it right, you have something really important there.

"Marketing is all about knowing your customer. Coming from the ESB to Bord na Mona, the concept of the customer was a little surprising. In ESB at the time there was 1.6 million customers and they all did what they were told.

"As chief executive you have to be able to keep all of the balls in the air all of the time. There's no point in being absolutely fabulous at one or two things - and then you let five or six balls drop.

"You've got to manage your board, manage your customers, manage your staff, you've got to manage the process, and you also have to be transparent about what you do."

Sunday Indo Business

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