Jason Hislop has recently joined us as Business Development Manager in our Perth head office. He is an experienced engineer who pursued a management role, rather than a technical one, several years ago.
Engineering wasn’t Jason’s first choice as a teenager. He initially took a medical path and also considered marine biology before settling on engineering.
Find out more about Jason’s career path, his love of golf and fishing and his family’s decision to become emergency foster parents in this month’s quick chat interview.
What is your role at Engenium?
As Business Development Manager my focus is to help Engenium deliver on one of its business strategies - to grow our portfolio of junior mining companies.
I am fortunate that the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) has developed an effective blue-print for the business to follow and my role will be to help realise these objectives.
We aim to achieve this strategy by identifying viable prospects early in the project development lifecycle, developing strategic relationships with key personnel within these organisations and be their project development partner as they progress from explorers, to developers and ultimately operators.
My role will also extend to the industrial sector and helping Engenium establish points of difference in the market, whether this be through the value proposition we offer as a project delivery partner, or through strategic relationships with like-minded companies with whom we have complimentary services.
What are your areas of speciality and expertise?
I am an engineer with expertise in electronics, communications and computer systems. This was leveraged early in my career, but ultimately provided me with the opportunity to move into engineering management, project management and general management. The ‘generalist’ nature of my past roles over the last 15 years or so suits me well and is a good framework for my current role.
What projects are you currently working on?
Whilst my role is not project related in the typical sense, we have a specific business plan which will see the organisation realise its strategic objectives. Within this plan there are activities that you can put a fence around and effectively treat them as a project, such as defining the objective, developing an action plan and then delivering on those actions.
What do you enjoy about working at Engenium?
Having worked in a general management position previously, what appeals to me about Engenium and why I joined is the business culture. This starts from the top and flows right through the organisation.
The diversity of skills and healthy relationships within the ELT is clearly visible to me and is critical to the business success. That said, whilst good leadership helps, the quality and capability of the broader workforce is paramount – without it the business will not realise its full potential.
I spent a reasonable amount of time in my first week walking around the office and talking with people across a range of roles. It was clearly evident to me that Engenium has recruited well. The workforce is fiercely loyal and passionate about the business.
I have no doubt the information the ELT shares with the workforce regarding its goals and performance helps people understand how the business is going and where it is heading. This allows two way accountability and a sense of belonging and purpose. This level of information sharing is very rare in my experience and I am sure that it is a key contributor to the positive culture and the business’ success.
What inspired you to pursue a career in your field?
It is interesting to reflect back on this question as it certainly wasn’t something that I was born to do. I finished high school and for reasons I am still not sure of chose to follow a medical path and pursue radiology.
After 12-months I decided that a life in the health sector was not for me. I did consider marine biology as I love the ocean, but the work prospects were depressingly low back at the time. So I did what any normal person would do when faced with uncertainty - I went and played golf for a couple of years!
With the luxury of time I chose to do an engineering degree as I thought this would offer good job prospects in what was otherwise a very slow economy. I have never regretted this decision.
What is something you love to do outside of your work life?
Anything outdoors, in particular the beach and ocean. I am a fishing tragic, the main tragedy being that I don’t get enough time to do it! I also don’t mind a game of golf.
In addition, I thoroughly enjoy watching my son and daughter in their sporting endeavours, right from when they were little tackers through to young adults.
What makes you laugh?
Old British comedy shows, none of the modern stuff. ThinkBlackadder or Death at a Funeral - now that’s a good one.
On another note I do get a chuckle out of playing Foursomes Golf with my long-time good friend. This involves taking turns as a pair to hit the same ball. When we get old enough to realise that it’s not about winning but just having fun, it really is satisfying to hit one in the bush and simply turn to your partner and say, “Go deal with that.” You can just imagine the colourful language.
Who inspires you?
My wife Tanya and her insatiable desire to help others blows me away. A few years back now she talked our family into becoming emergency foster parents for young children – generally under two years of age. Over the course of four years (and I will be in trouble if I get this wrong) I think we have looked after sixteen babies and four teenagers. We would take them until the DCP found a more permanent arrangement for them, then do it all over again.
The positive impact this decision had on our children, as well as myself, was life changing. It knocks the concept of entitlement right out of the window.
With our kids getting older and to be honest a sustained lack of sleep, a decision was made that we had done our bit and it was time to move on. Tanya would do this all over again in a heartbeat.
Whilst it was an immensely rewarding experience I don’t think I could handle the hole you get in your heart having to hand them over to someone else time and time again. To this day I simply can’t comprehend how Tanya managed to take them in, fix them and then see them handed to someone else to continue their journey, satisfied that they were in a better position than when we first took them in. Some of the circumstances these helpless children were removed from were simply beyond comprehension. Tanya would say, “As long as they are going somewhere I am happy. Now when do we get the next one?” She is a better person than me.
What is your favourite quote?
Not sure if it is a quote but I have told many people this, including myself.
”Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason does not become apparent until the event.”