Talent: A case study in the Energia Group

The Challenge

Viridian Group recently rebranded as the Energia Group.  The company is a modern customer-centric utility focusing on renewable technology, delivering optimal customer solutions and bringing innovation to their strategy has been critically important for this organisation. To date they have invested over €1 billion in the energy market across the island of Ireland. Focusing on their core segments: Renewables, Flexible Generation and Customer Solutions, has further reinforced their position as a key player within the energy industry and one of Ireland’s Top 50 businesses. Today they  operate from offices in Dublin, Belfast, Antrim and Omagh. The company recognised that a critical success factor for it’s ambitious growth strategy was effective Talent Management including recruiting, developing and offering long term career opportunities. They had already put some leading edge practices in place to support this and they selected Opes to work with them in 2015 on two key objectives in this area.

The Solution

The two objectives included:

  • To gain in-depth insights around their current talent pool and individual’s potential to fill more senior posts in the future.
  • To accelerate the development of these high potential people.

We have provided two programmes during this period to meet these requirements:

  • Aspire for mid level leadership development
  • Leap for high potential at the senior management level

Both programmes have included Development Centres and a bespoke programme to fast track the talented candidates into leadership positions. The company already support line managers in identifying and developing their talent but they wanted to use the expertise of Opes as Business Psychologists to conduct an independent and rigorous Development Centre. The Opes team used an in-depth approach which involved the Psychologists using a battery of psychometrics completed by individuals and meeting face to face for several hours. Crucially, this process provided the Talent Management Forum with incisive insights, around individuals potential, even more importantly it has energised the individuals and their managers to focus on constructive and focussed conversations that have enabled them to develop and implement bespoke development plans. Participants also attended a series of dynamic learning interventions and received coaching and mentoring support as part of the bespoke Opes programmes.


Pinpointing talent is only a starting point - how we help them realise their potential is crucial. Each of the High Potential people have implemented their own unique development plan which gave them a lot of stretch opportunities such as job rotation, secondments, shadowing, coaching/mentoring and participation in a challenging leadership programme. One of the most important things is that people have developed and grown.  Evidence of this is that over 90% of participants have since moved to more senior roles. Many of the participants have also reported that the most important thing for them was the acknowledgement from the business that they are valued and are key to the long-term success of the business. The company learned a lot; “We took a “leap of faith”. We were nervous about putting extra pressure into a growing business. For some managers, allowing very capable people to move to other parts of the business was challenging but it worked, and they see the benefits now!”