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Fireside chat with Celine Grey

Who is Celine?

I focus my expertise on leading the Sales Enablement efforts at Normative.io which is the world’s first carbon accounting engine helping businesses reach net zero emissions.

I am a mum, a wife, a daughter, a friend and a passionately curious human being! I love reading, travelling, pottery, writing, swimming, everything related to the human mind and spending time with friends. One thing I learnt I am good at is connecting people to new ideas, and enabling them to create new possibilities for themselves.

Tell us more about your role in Normative.io

My role as Director of Enablement is to effectively support team members in being successful in their respective roles. There are three core elements to this.

Number one, to be successful you need to know what to do. That is having the right skills and competencies for the job.

Number two, knowing is not enough, you need to do it! That is the activity, the mindset and the motivation that comes with doing the job.

Number three, you need to be effective and efficient. This is essential so that you don’t burn out, but instead have effective tools and processes to support your activity.

You need all three.

I look into data points to inform where to train, coach, motivate or implement new processes so that the team members can focus on their own success.

What is the most difficult part of your job? But the most rewarding one?

Prioritisation is definitely up there as the most difficult thing to do, mainly because it means saying no. There are loads we can do, loads we need to do, and not enough time and resources to see it through in a short timescale. That requires being ruthless and laser-focused on the initiatives that will have a greater positive impact overall. As a person with a highly positive drive and who tends to say yes to everything, saying no to a new initiative is incredibly hard!

The most rewarding part of the job is seeing people engaged in a role they love, and working together to achieve their objectives. From time to time I receive messages from people I worked with years ago who mention they’re still using a particular training, coaching or learning.
It’s a great reminder that we never know about the long-term impact we will have on someone, so do your best to make it a positive one!

Is there anything that you would change about your professional path?

This is a difficult question as the smallest change could lead to having a totally different life, and I am incredibly grateful for mine.

A good example of “small change – big impact” is how my career in tech started. Whilst working in banking, I took a 5h train to visit the international job agency in Paris (pre-internet times!). There were no jobs on offer and refusing to leave empty-handed after such a long trip, I bought a £1 book about working and living in the UK. After reading it front to back and back to front I was drawn to call the number of the author written on the inside cover.

That phone call, although such a small event, was life-changing. It lead me to move to Dublin, find a job in tech, a sector I became passionate about, and develop my career as I know it now. 
If it was not for that phone call I might have never discovered my passion for technology, worked for some of the most phenomenal leaders, met my husband or have the opportunity to grow in the way I did.

What’s your key strategy for the development of your company?

I can not speak to my company, that would be a conversation with our founders and COO, but I can speak to my team 😉

  • Understand data, focus on people – they’re the ones who can change the data, for better or for worse!
    Put customers at the centre of everything we do. That includes
  • Normative customers and the internal teams we serve. Only by understanding their situation, challenges and objectives can we fill in the gaps and support them.
  • Transparency and vulnerability as a leader are key to creating trust and critical conversations that drive commitment and accountability within the team
  • Getting out of your comfort zone and “FAIL” (First Attempt In Learning) so that you can learn new ways, learn quicker, and improve outcomes as you move forward.

What do you think about the next period of time, keeping in mind the pandemic and the new business climate? How will your industry be affected?

We have a very short window of opportunity to change the climate crisis that is at play before it becomes irreversible. Most companies have already made commitments to reaching Net Zero, and now is the time to execute those promises. The next period of time is about relentless execution and positive impact.

Over the years my teams and I have navigated big storms (pc crisis, dot-com bubble, great recession, COVID-19), and some of the common keys that helped us weather those storms are to focus on where you can win, increase efficiencies and effectiveness, manage cash wisely, be present as a leader and have a diverse team so that you can tap into multiple perspectives and ideas.

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Employee engagement
  • Distributed hiring platform
  • Collaboration tools
  • Automation
  • Visual analytics

What books do you have on your nightstand?

The Game Changer from Dr Jason Fox. This is a refreshing read about how to motivate people through change to do great work.

The Culture Map from Erin Meyer. This is a must-read for everyone working in culturally diverse teams.

And there is always a couple of French or British comic books on the go!

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