DIRECTOR | UYILO EMOBILITY PROGRAMME

WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES YOUR TEAM SUCCESSFUL?

Open communication, effective leadership, commitment and trust.

HOW DO YOU INCLUDE INNOVATION INTO YOUR STRATEGY AND FUTURE OUTLOOKS?

Electric Vehicles are a leading innovation globally. This specific theme alongside our mandate provides drive and motivation across respective activities to collectively contribute to future advancements.

HOW WOULD YOU ADVISE OTHERS TO DO THE SAME?

Innovation requires out-of-the-box thinking, challenging the traditional norms. Innovation brings about getting a competitive edge. The ‘box’ context is the behaviour that people engage in – limiting imagination and creativity. Living inside the walls of the ‘box’ can feel easy, comfortable and safe, although it’s an illusion.

Thinking outside of the box requires shifting the behaviours associated with blaming, complaining, defending and being closed-minded. We need to create a culture that inspires out-of-the-box thinking, an environment where people engage in the behaviours to leap outside of the box, while providing support for those times when change is difficult.

WHAT ARE YOUR TEAM’S GREATEST BLIND SPOTS?

Working within an innovative field and team requires a balanced approach from all ‘expert’ opinions. Collaboration with bringing about each other’s strengths is key, while also supporting others’ weaknesses.

HOW WOULD YOU SHIFT THAT LEARNING TO ADVICE FOR OTHERS IN THIS INDUSTRY?

Understanding the blind spots is the first step; applying it is the hard part. This is where it requires close collaboration of specific team members to identify each other’s blind spots. A hard exercise but one that is beneficial as we generally don’t like to hear about our faults, and others don’t like to point them out. But if we are open to growing and learning, then by identifying our own weaknesses, we can start the process of improvement and become a better team.

HOW DO YOU SELECT WHO TO PARTNER WITH?

Trust is the basis of the partnership. It is also important that goals, values and responsibilities are mutually aligned. A trial period of partnership activities helps to explore long-term commitment by both parties. The possibilities of consultancy should also be explored before full commitment to a partnership. Having balanced responsibilities is key, so this needs to be agreed upfront alongside financial and contractual obligations.

WHICH OF YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT TO DEVELOP?

Effective and accurate communication is an important factor to grow as an efficient and successful leader. Communication skills motivate and inspire a team to work hard, and achieve team targets as well as the organisational goals. Effective communication acts as an advantage for a leader to lead effectively. Productive communication is not a one-way process, but rather two key factors which complete the communication – speaking and listening with understanding.

WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED IN YOUR CAREER?

Building trust, honesty and integrity. These create a foundation to build further on, internally and externally.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST RISK YOU’VE EVER TAKEN?

A change of jobs always brings about risks – positive and negative – and these sometimes outweigh one another. It is only through time that the experience develops of having job satisfaction and fulfilment after having made the decision.

WHAT IS YOUR ‘SECRET SAUCE’ FOR FOCUSING ON THE GOAL AMONGST THE NOISE?

Maintaining focus and avoiding outliers – maintain the vision and goal. Individuals who set specific, ambitious, and challenging goals exhibit enhanced performance due to increased motivation. This involves having the specifics known, based on established experience. If all the goals are achieved, they will combine to improve the team’s overall performance and achieve the collective goal. Goals keep teams focused on organisational culture.

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN THAT OTHERS DON’T?

Africa has an abundance of unlocked opportunities. The continent is favoured with untapped wealth, natural supplies and uncultivated arable land coupled with a vibrant and young population set to make strides in various With Africa’s booming economy and high urbanisation rate, infrastructure will become vital to the continent’s growth. Mining is set to grow as the continent boasts ample natural resources, and with the growth in mining comes the knock-on effect of growth in the supplementary industries. The continent has a huge and profitable opportunity to explore and create sustainable green energy.

WHAT TREND IN THE GLOBAL ENERGY SPACE DO YOU SEE BECOMING INTRINSIC TO THE OVERALL POWER NETWORK?

Distributed Energy Systems (DERs). Power demands are continuing to rise, and energy availability and reliability are becoming primary concerns for utilities, independent power producers and industries – all of which need solutions to help provide a reliable and cost-efficient electricity supply. At the same time, DERs such as renewable generation sources and energy storage are being added to the grid, creating new operational challenges, while also bringing new business opportunities and revenue streams. The benefits of DERs are reduced operational costs, improved power reliability, carbon footprint reduction and the creation of additional revenue sources.

WHAT INDUSTRY CHALLENGE KEEPS YOU AWAKE AT NIGHT?

Political will, local skills development and readiness for technology advancements.