National Grid ESO - female ESO senior manager

A day in the life a People & Transformation Senior Manager

Our colleagues are at the heart of the ESO, working hard to operate a safe and reliable electricity system, whilst supporting the transition to a greener, and more efficient system for future generations. 

Cecile Marion gives us an insight into her time at the ESO and tells us what a People & Capability Transformation Senior Manager does, and how she is helping lead our RIIO-2 recruitment programme.

National Grid ESO - Cecile Marion banner

When did you join National Grid ESO?

I first joined in August 2016 as a Business Strategy Manager. I led on the development and publication of Towards 2030, our first externally-facing System Operator strategy.

Earlier this year I moved to my current role and am now part of the RIIO-2 Transformation team. I’ve really enjoyed the transition from a strategy role to a transformation role, where I’m now dedicating my thinking and energy to making the strategy happen.

Before National Grid I lived in Paris and studied for a master’s in business in France. I started work in Paris, in strategy consulting. I then moved to London more than six years ago and took on a role in the strategy department of an Oil & Gas company, just before the 2014-2016 oil crash.

An interesting (and challenging!) time, for someone working in strategy.

Can you tell us about your role and the resourcing effort for RIIO-2?

My focus is on setting the business up for RIIO-2. I am specifically focusing on making sure we develop the right capabilities and bring in the right people to lead on some of our ambitious projects.

When you read our business plan, it is quite obvious that we need to build up our workforce and capabilities significantly across the next couple of years on our journey to zero carbon operations.

There are so many things happening in the industry and the ESO at the moment, and we need to be ready to drive that change.

My immediate focus is getting us ready for April 2021 and the first few months of RIIO-2, which is the time when we will start scoping and delivering some of the new projects in our business plan.

Ultimately, this means that we’re creating a significant number of new roles to deliver those new projects. And we will be looking at different options to fill these roles: internal moves, upskilling, external recruitment etc.

We’ve launched a recruitment campaign. You can find information about the new jobs on our careers website. Applications are open until 29 November 2020.

What does your work look like on a daily basis?

No two days are the same for me. Before the summer, I was working on my own, to shape what the steps to our people & capability transformation needed to look like.

Now, I am leading a team of fantastic people who are shaping and delivering this recruitment campaign, exploring additional ways to build up some key capabilities, and refining and running our strategic workforce planning process.

A lot of my work is about engaging across the ESO to make sure that the work that my team is doing will deliver the results. Of course, the nature of our work means that my team and I need to work really closely with colleagues and stakeholders. These include Human Resources, Communications teams along with other teams that are critical to shaping and delivering a successful people & capability transformation for the ESO.

I’m really looking forward to seeing the new roles filled, starting from April 2021 and beyond. We are developing a smooth and inclusive interviewing and onboarding journey to make sure that everyone taking on a new role in the ESO feels very welcome!

How different have things been for you since the COVID-19 restrictions began in spring?

I live in London and can happily work from home. I actually used to commute to Warwick to meet with colleagues face-to-face so am used to working flexibly across locations, including on trains!

The current restrictions have meant that I can dedicate more time to delivering my projects. It’s also been great to able to take more time to be outdoors and cycle during the time when I would have been commuting.

Technology is a huge help. It’s a big benefit to see people’s faces compared to picking up the phone or sending an email. It’s allowed me to reach out to people much faster than if I were in the office, while creating quality relationships.

Despite all this, I do look forward to seeing people in an office environment again!