CIO50 2021 #26-50 Terry Melton, CS Energy
With the benefit of hindsight, CS Energy’s Chief Information Officer, Terry Melton, says his biggest career mistake has been focusing too much on what he was told were his weaknesses.
“I approached my development with shame and thought that I was not enough,” Melton tells CIO Australia.
“We are often told about blind spots, areas of weakness and what we are not.”
While this is very humbling, Melton says, “It also needs to be balanced with a mindset of growth and development whilst also building success through others” and not just his own success.
“So, with that realisation, it wasn’t that these insights weren’t acknowledged or helped shape me to be better, it was more my realisation that my net investment to result was always more impactful when I doubled down on my strengths and instead sourced the talent gaps to supplement my weaknesses,” he says.
Melton has led a series of innovative projects at CS Energy, a Queensland-based, government-owned electricity generation organisation.
The first is working with EnergyLab, a program that helps innovative start-ups and large companies, like CS Energy, work together to roll out technology that will decarbonise the energy sector. Melton facilitated the very first ‘shark tank’ where five shortlisted EnergyLab scale-ups pitched with one awarded a ‘proof of value’ project.
Melton also led the introduction of ‘CoVentured’ into CS Energy, which scouts technology scale-ups to solve business challenges.
“We rapidly sourced high quality companies with the right fit for company needs, enabling the team to skip straight to experimentation, executing deals and achieving results with vetted and qualified companies,” he says.
Melton led the rollout of the first robotic process automation ‘RPA Bot’ for CS Energy dubbed ‘Arnold.’ The bot automatically processes more than 200 of the 600 invoices processed weekly by the accounts payable department.
He also led the integration of the Realwear headset with the company’s MS Teams deployment that can help an operator in central Queensland seek maintenance guidance in real-time. This reduces the time it takes to diagnose, troubleshoot and fix issues whilst providing access to the right talent to support site based engineers.
Finally, Melton and his team are now using Kahoot, a game-based learning platform, in its weekly ‘safety start.’
“Our routine safety starts had poor engagement and high repetition content,” he says. “By gamifying safety starts, the team created learning experiences that increased collaboration and engagement.”
Melton applies several influencing techniques to connect with the broad stakeholder group mainly through indirect and direct collaboration and conversational engagement.
He is a key member of board strategy days and speaks with the executive team regularly on the position and value of technology and the emerging trends that can assist the organisation to achieve its goals.
Melton has quarterly sessions with the CEO to talk about progress. This provides a connection from the board and CEO through to the functional and delivery arms of the tech team.
Finally, Melton has led the inaugural Technology in the Energy Sector forum, which brought together his technology-focused peers across the industry to discuss emerging trends, issues, and capabilities. The forum is currently focusing on cyber security and creating an industry-led, open framework to create the best protections for energy organisations.