Our people are our biggest asset so we make sure we recruit those who share our values, have the ability to develop personally and the will to continue learning professionally.
In 2020 we will regularly shine the spotlight on one of our team. Looking at their journey to be here now, their role and their why – what drives them.
Today we meet our CEO, Tamsin Alsbury.
Tamsin is one of the founding members of Energise. She and Simon (our MD) started the company in 2008.
So - why Energise?
I met Simon in my final year at university (Loughborough) and was unsure of where I was heading. I went into Maths teaching but learned that it wasn’t the right path for me. I returned to university, completing my MSc in Energy & Sustainable Building Design. Part of why I retrained was because I was so inspired by what Simon was doing and his vision for how he could change the world. I knew I wanted to make a positive impact on the world but wasn’t sure how. Simon and I talked about one day having our own business but the way it happened was by chance that the opportunities arose to start when they did. Founding Energise was an opportunity to get involved in something that satisfied my desire to make a positive impact through my work.
I believe that we’re here as care takers and have a responsibility to work in harmony with the planet. When my boys grow up and have to deal with the consequences of previous generations’ behaviour, I want to be able to show them that I’ve done everything in my power to help. I believe that everyone has a responsibility to be a part of the solution, in whatever way is right for them.
What is your role here?
As CEO I’m responsible for overseeing our internal services – finance, HR, legal, H&S, and administration. I also chair our board. The way I really see that I add benefit to the business is in holding a standard of how people show up and ensuring that we work in line with our values. I like to think of myself as a disruptor and I ask the challenging questions that others might shy away from. I’m also pretty mean with a red pen when it comes to editing peoples’ work.
What have you learned about yourself and running a business in the last 12 years?
The last 12 years have been a very steep learning curve. We didn’t know anything about running a business, or really even the world of work, when we started out. We spent our 20s developing the business that we know today, as well as settling into our marriage and starting our family.
My biggest learning has been that the most important thing you can do when you’re a business owner is to reflect on who you are, what your values are, and create your business in line with those values.
We had a phase where we were swept up in delivering work aimed at purely money saving for clients. That didn’t align with our values and as a result didn’t satisfy us. When I was on maternity leave, I took time to reflect on what I wanted to be doing in the business because I didn’t feel it was a place where I could be who I wanted to be. Since then I’ve really gained that understanding of why it wasn’t working for me. I wasn’t being true to myself. We were letting ourselves be led by what other businesses were doing rather than saying, “Actually, we want to do things a different way.”
Now we have a very clear identity and know what is important to us and that enables us to lead the way – a better way of doing business, an honest voice in the industry, fairer management of staff, and clearer communication with clients.
The more we have the clarity on who we are, and what our values are, the more confident we feel in living and working in an authentic, aligned way.
What is it like to work at Energise?
We’re always striving to create an environment which allows our employees to flourish, and working together in a way that’s fun, fulfilling and aligned with our leadership goals is one of our top priorities.
We’ve had a massive shift over the last 12 months thinking about our values of authenticity and vulnerability. We want to create an environment where our team can show up as human beings. We don’t expect their lives to be left at the door. We want honesty and a culture where it’s OK to make mistakes. We want to be a business that leads the way with how we operate. In the past we’ve adopted standard policies because we assumed that was just the way it had to be done, but now we’re questioning everything and looking at how we want to run our company, our way.
It’s been front and centre recently because one of our employees has been on paternity leave and it’s in our policy that he’ll only get two weeks statutory pay. That’s just not OK as far as I’m concerned – time has moved on. As a business we have a duty to make sure that men and women can equally share the parenting role when the dynamic changes at home and a child comes into the family. Ultimately, I’d love to get to the point where we have childcare facilities and our employees with parenting responsibility can bring their children in. It’s one of many exciting changes I’m passionate about introducing as we continue to grow.
Business should be used as a way of healing society rather than causing stress. You can’t separate societal wellbeing from business – they are interlinked. I never want us to be running a business where people feel that they are less of a person or have less of a life because they work here.
Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by anyone who puts themselves out there in a vulnerable way, who’s willing to fail, and be willing to talk about their failures – that’s why Brené Brown is so inspirational. She doesn’t have all the answers but she shares her stories to help normalise what others are going through. I’m inspired by anyone who is willing to rumble with their old patterns and stories and who takes responsibility for creating the life they want to lead, rather than being restricted by what they’ve been told is possible.
Tell us three interesting qualities/ facts about you:
· I’m a pretty decent flautist and once got the opportunity to play with the Leicester Symphony Orchestra whilst at university
· I narrated a TV episode of You & Me when I was at Primary School. If you ever manage to dig it out, you’ll see me and my friends pretending to go into space and walk around on the moon!
· I’m a qualified life coach and EFT practitioner, and I’m just finishing training as a Feminine Power Transformational Coach, Facilitator and Leader. I believe that all change (including Climate Change!) starts with us as individuals and I love working with women to help them transform their lives.
Connect with Tamsin on LinkedIn