We asked Angela Tynan, Manager of Nutgrove Enterprise Park to share with us some insights on her experiences and how she draws inspiration from the environment around her, role models she had during her careers, the best advice she received since Covid-19 hit the world, and what does the slogan “Choose to Challenge” mean to her.
Nutgrove Enterprise Park supports the development of enterprise in the South Dublin area providing affordable and flexible workspace, together with advice and information to the start-up and growing business. Workspace includes offices, food and light industrial units, meeting and coworking space.
Voltedge: What is your current role and how long you have held this position?
Angela: Manager of Nutgrove Enterprise Park in Rathfarnham for past 11 years. I also manage the Enterprising Women and Link Networks on behalf of Local Enterprise Office DLR together with the LEO and Enterprise Ireland Hi-Start programme.
Voltedge: Where do you draw inspiration from?
Angela: I am regularly amazed by the resilience and creativity that abounds in my entrepreneur networks and indeed our tenant companies in Nutgrove CEC. Since the beginning of this pandemic, I have seen small businesses draw deep from their own resources, despite the negativity all around us and emerge with fresh ideas and the positivity to try a new approach. I am in awe of the true entrepreneurial mentality and tenacity.
Voltedge: During the course of your career, was there a role model or mentor that stands out for you?
Angela: In my early career in the ’80 and 90’s (when I most needed a mentor) the male dominated business world had dearth of female role models. However, I don’t think I ever once asked anyone for guidance. In hindsight, if I had more confidence and self-belief, my imaginary mentor then (female or male) might have said “stop waiting for someone to notice how good you are” or “why did you not apply for that job”. I applaud those who pull other women up the ladder behind them, but we also need to include more people of colour and diversity.
Voltedge: What is the best piece of advice you received since Covid-19 hit the world?
Angela: Seek to understand the impact, or what might be going on behind the scenes before you judge – whether in personal interactions or in the business community. Many have struggled to adjust to enforced situations. An email response at 12 midnight from a busy parent is just a different way of working. The routine of 9 to 5 pre Covid-19 had already blurred into ‘always on’. I think the challenge for business owners will be to take bold, imaginative measures to adopt flexible and remote working to keep the brightest talent invested and motivated.
Voltedge: Can you share with us 2 or 3 positives in your personal life that you have discovered during the pandemic?
Angela: A dog makes the round the block routine so much more tolerable! Freddie – a frequently borrowed basset spaniel cross has tripped me up, made me laugh and orphaned countless gloves, but the pandemic world is a better place with him in it.
Adopt a time absorbing hobby. I accepted a ‘commission’ to knit a replacement for a fondly remembered fair isle jumper. Take it from me, it is simply not possible to think about anything else, watch Netflix or drink wine while following an intricate vintage pattern with 5 balls of wool constantly entangling in your lap!
Voltedge: In light of so much remote working and social distancing, what practices or approach have you taken to try to communicate and collaborate effectively during this time and to support employees?
Angela: Understanding people’s personal circumstances and challenges – whether home-schooling or levels of self-motivation – agreeing a work process and then giving them your trust and support to get on with the job is, I believe the key. Regular online meetings are of benefit, but nothing can replace face to mask-covered face for a personal check-in if possible – our water-cooler moments – pandemic style!
Voltedge: What does the slogan ‘Choose to Challenge’ mean to you?
Angela: When your career is somewhat established, it is easy to allow yourself coast along and I’ve been more conscious in latter years of the ongoing need to push myself out of my comfort zone. Being surrounded by entrepreneurs probably rubs off and I am conscious that my advice to them is that if you are not getting enjoyment from or being adequately rewarded for the hours you spend every day, then you need to adopt changes. Change is good and necessary, and we owe it to ourselves to use the third of our lives we spend at work to do something that rewards or inspires – ideally both.
Voltedge: What is your favourite quote and why?
Angela: I love both these quotes and they summarise my interpretation of ‘Choose to Challenge’ beautifully!
“Find out what you like doing best, and get someone to pay you for it.” – Katharine Whitehorn
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” – Maya Angelou