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7 Questions with Andrew Murphy
7 Questions with Andrew Murphy
Name: Andrew Murphy
Current title: Founder and Director of Hydrogen and Energy Transition
Current organisation: RHC IMZADI Consulting
Andrew Murphy began his career in Clean Energy and Innovation at Shell where he acted as Platform Leader: Advanced Biofuel Options; Innovation Network Leader and Snr Hydrogen Technology Engineer.
After leaving Shell, Andrew joined Watts Water Technologies as Innovation Leader where he reorganised European Product Development, bringing a renewed focus to smart and connected devices.
Recognising a severe knowledge gap across industry in the domains of Hydrogen and Clean Energy, Andrew established RHC IMZADI - The Low Carbon Energy Consultancy.
Andrew currently acts as Board Advisor to companies in the Hydrogen and Clean Mobility sectors. He sits on the Advisory Board to a Green Hydrogen mega project; is fund advisor to a VC group investing in Hydrogen and the Energy Transition and is presently involved in establishing a national Hydrogen Association in the Asia Pacific region.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
Large companies often have existing vendor lists and breaking into those lists can be complicated and time consuming. Often large corporates can try to impose restrictive terms and covenants which may be appropriate when dealing with other billion dollar companies but are not realistic when dealing with smaller, more focussed firms. Building good relationships is the key to overcome such barriers and to agree terms which are appropriate for both sides.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I recognised that there was a severe gap in the market relating to Hydrogen and Clean Energy consulting and Board Advisory services. Many large consultancies have tried to move into the space, but their approaches tend to be impersonal and lack understanding of the nuances which are important to client’s success in the area. I already had detailed expertise in the sector as well as strong existing relationships, so was able to create the business relatively smoothly.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I work across 18 time zones, so planning is everything. I make sure that I have created time for both work and life and that my clients know what to expect and when to expect it.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
There are clear differences between leaders and managers.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Strangely, the book that has impacted my leadership so far is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne. All the amazing things that Captain Nemo achieves and all the adventures which are had in the midst of danger could only take place with the loyalty and dedication of the crew towards him and the overall team. None of them were forced to join Nemo and to do so was a risk, but he earned their loyalty and proved that their risk was worthwhile.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
Build trust. Build a common vision. Be honest. Be sure to understand what people’s growth ambitions are and what they enjoy most about their work.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
Sometimes it is worth taking time to help others even at no cost. I am a big believer in helping developing countries to grow and develop sustainably. Through joining a forum to mentor people with ambitions to help their societies, I ended up helping lead the creation of a national Hydrogen Association for a developing nation. Although I did it to help others, it has led to many contacts within business and government which I would have never developed otherwise.