Ian McAulay provides the South East Area with some fascinating insights from Space Ships to Anfield!

The South East Area were delighted to hold an exclusive event with the CEO of Southern Water, Ian McAulay, in October.

It was hosted in a private dining room at the Ginger Pig restaurant situated in the heart of Hove.

Guests had the opportunity to hear Ian’s views on the UK water industry and how he is leading Southern Water into a successful future.

The fascinating insights included;

  • The recent troubled times of Southern Water and how although it was a trying time, it brought the employees closer together
  • The importance of ensuring diversity of thinking in any room/meeting
  • Ian’s world-class athlete daughter’s attitude of not just being driven to win but being driven to prepare to win – everyone in the race has the desire to finish first, but who’s put the effort into making themselves good enough?
  • Space stations – creating their own mini waste and water production plants!
  • Waste isn’t waste, it’s a resource!
  • Work-life balance – commuting from Colorado to India to Australia via England…!!
  • How can we help the sector to improve our public image to help people value the resource and understand the effort that goes into water and waste services
  • Water resources and companies sharing their opportunities and thinking
  • Abstraction and various initiatives (e.g. Test, Itchen, Havant Thicket and Sussex Ouse)
  • Large scale transfer of water to meet resource shortfall is bettered by new and local impounding reservoirs (point of use almost) that provide the additional benefits of recreational facilities etc.
  • Learning from other industries and bringing in their good learning and practices, making them work in our industry
  • Regulators possibly driving us to only invest reactively, rather than build better future-proofed assets
  • “The Klopp theme” – management style of football manager Jurgen Klopp and a debate around where he would fit in our industry!
  • Graphene Institute – innovation that in time will lead to no conventional assets
  • Ofwat £200m innovation fund will be spread too thinly between companies and would it be better concentrated on a couple of initiatives to be shared by all?
  • Riccardo engine management innovations for predictive driving applied to water networks (e.g. pressure surges associated with popular events such as Pride in Brighton)
  • Simple changes to working culture such as email signatures (as we aren’t all 9 to 5ers) “I work flexible hours and on weekends  – but it doesn’t mean you have to! Please enjoy your weekend and respond in your own timely manner.”

The discussions were led by David Port and hearing about Ian’s life in the fast lane and the impact of topical issues such as Innovation, PR19 and Sector Reputation in the political world had everyone in the room fascinated! A genuine thanks to Ian for giving up his valuable time to talk to us. A truly inspiring evening!

The event was hosted by David Port, Richard Aylard, Anna Boyles and Abbie Johnson.

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