Intelligent CXO Issue 14 - Page 63



We speak to David Threlfall , CIO at Britishvolt , about what makes him tick inside and outside the office .


Describe your current job role
I ’ ve held the position of Chief Information Officer ( CIO ) for Britishvolt since June 2021 , responsible for designing and building the IT enterprise architecture as well as a diverse and inclusive IT team that will support and enable the overall Britishvolt business objective of building the UK
first battery manufacturing gigaplant in the northeast of England and scale-up and R & D facilities in the Midlands . We are extending our manufacturing footprint to a second gigaplant in Canada .
What would you describe as your most memorable achievement ?
On a personal level , my most memorable achievement is seeing my two children grow into their areas of profession ( medicine and engineering ) and continue to grow into caring parents in their own right .
Professionally , though , I have been lucky enough to build and lead several talented IT teams and seeing those individuals grow and prosper is my greatest professional joy . The pandemic provided unique challenges and rewards in equal measure as it became so important through a period of uncertainty and dispersed working to maintain morale , optimism and a focus on delivering business value .
What style of management philosophy do you employ in your current position ?
I am passionate about being an authentic leader , demonstrating honesty and transparency to build team trust and engagement that is so critical in high performing teams . Additionally , creating an ethos of inclusion , diversity and mutual respect is as important as building technical skills and competencies within any team .
I feel it is super important to trust the team you have around you , have each person feel they play a really important part in the success of the business rather than be perceived as a ‘ cog in the machine ’.
I focus a great deal on personal responsibility and accountability , which is another great enabler for building trust and transparency among the team .
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry ?
So , regarding my area of expertise , relating to manufacturing technologies , it has to be information security and the drive to smart and intelligent manufacturing – specifically digital modelling , simulation and twinning of products , processes and overall operation .
We have been hearing for years about how ‘ Industry 4.0 ’ practices will revolutionise manufacturing which in my experience usually focuses on cost reduction but it is only now with challenging supply chain issues and global disruption , automated processing that reduces waste and increases quality is at the top of every forward-thinking manufacturer as well as embedding digital innovation within the fabric of the organisation , focusing on adding value to products and services .
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