VICE-PRESIDENT | ORACLE UTILITIES IN JAPAN, ASIA PACIFIC, MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA

Francois Vazille leads Oracle Utilities in Japan, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, creating international opportunities in complex markets. He has been living in Sydney, Australia for the past 25 years and brings extensive experience in leading Information Technology divisions across multiple countries and sectors including Utilities, Finance and Telecommunications.

This interview was originally published in The Global Power & Energy Elites 2021.

WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES YOUR TEAM SUCCESFUL?

This year [2020] is radically different from anything we have experienced. And having the right people to navigate this kind of change is key. When we are hiring new team members, we emphasise utility sector expertise, relationship building skills, experience in selling complex solutions, but also ensuring the candidate is a personality that will fit within the existing team dynamic. This methodology has been one of my main focuses as a leader – having set processes and concepts on how we hire people.

Another area I’m attuned to is challenging the team continuously to learn beyond business as usual. I am a driver of finding alternative approaches to learning, making people feel a part of a family, a tribe. Running workshops that encourage the sharing of personal insights, mindfulness, resiliency and health. These have been extremely successful – and needed – over the last 12 months.

HOW WOULD YOU SHIFT THAT LEARNING TO ADVISE OTHERS IN THE INDUSTRY?

Some companies, or even regions, are not ready for change, and others want to accelerate it. As a technology company, we embrace change and innovation. That’s what we’re bringing to market. Feedback from clients has shown a need for faster adoption of new solutions into the marketplace. However, people need to think more about how they can make that difference. And as a leader and manager, you need to think more like a coach – someone who is helping orchestrate all the plays needed for successful outcomes. It’s essential to make everyone feel included with purpose; your successors should lead in terms of your organisation’s mission, your mission and the mission of your clients.

Always compete. In Japan, for example, deregulation took place over the last five years. Suddenly, utilities are competing against each other, and with a higher churn of customers than expected. It’s a positive type of competition but it would be best if you made sure that your team working in that market feels protected. You need to communicate continuously and positively push boundaries.

Read the full interview