Karen de Bruyn leads the dynamic G7 Renewable Energies project development team managing over 2GW of highly competitive renewable energy projects. Karen is a highly motivated individual and takes a keen interest in the development of people for continuous growth. Being passionate about equality, she recently co-founded WE Connect – the first networking platform for women working in the South African renewable energy sector.
This interview was originally published in African Power & Energy Elites 2021.
WHAT INDUSTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE POWER AND ENERGY SECTOR ARE YOU LOOKING AT FOR INSPIRATION?
The tourism industry is one that comes to mind. This sector keeps evolving and innovating the user experience as we have seen with Airbnb. Most recently during 2020, Airbnb further innovated by offering online virtual Airbnb experiences, such as cooking classes. Disruptive innovation can happen in any industry and I am excited to see what will be coming next…
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH UNCERTAINTY AS A LEADER IN A TIME WHERE LEADERSHIP IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER?
It is important to acknowledge that it can be challenging. Everyone has their way of coping with uncertainty and adapting your management style accordingly can go a long way to offer support. It can be reassuring to set the focus on what is in our control. We have a daily team call with open conversations to measure the ‘mood’ of the business; encouraging everyone to share personal challenges, creating an open and equal environment. Encouraging the team through recognition of hard work, regular rewards – not necessarily monetary but through the culture of celebrating successes – and team building, are important.