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What's Matt Ward's secret sauce? Find out in a recent Q&A series...

Originally from Birmingham, Matt Ward has worked in innovation, emphasising building tech-enabled products and solutions within large corporates and small agencies. Working across every sector over time, Matt is currently Head of Growth at XCD partners, a collective of like-minded individuals that exists to solve big, complex problems whilst consistently learning and challenging each other to work differently and achieve more.

What motivated you to pursue your current career?

The truth is that I haven’t followed a specific path to what I do. I have been fortunate enough to have worked in a number of great organisations, often at times of real change and with significant challenges. I have always thought differently and looked for ways to solve customer and commercial problems in new ways, a skill that has given me a varied, if somewhat unstructured, career path. My core motivations are creating valuable, sustainable outcomes for clients and their customers whilst playing a positive role within the region I work in, trying to make a real difference. This passion for innovation and growth has been the driving force behind my career journey.

What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?

I have had a few over the years, but investing myself in Yorkshire has been a fantastic experience. From creating The Walk, a retail innovation centre in Leeds within the Deloitte organisation and supercharging my network to being part of xDesign’s growth story, building the business out within the region and creating a blueprint for national growth, I am proud of what I have achieved. This journey has also earned me the opportunity to continue doing great things with XCD partners.

How do you stay inspired and motivated in your role?

That’s easy; I follow my passions and never lose sight of the bigger picture. Surrounding myself with talented, motivated and challenging people keeps me on my toes, and a sense of humour goes a long way to enjoying every day, even when it feels tough. Seeing the people around me succeed is the greatest source of motivation, knowing that, in some small way, I am part of making an impact.

What do you like most about being on the WILD board?

The people, it’s simple. The board is a diverse group of exciting, talented, and interesting people; engaging with them is always a great experience. The knowledge that we are all pulling together to tackle some of the big challenges facing our businesses and our region is a truly rewarding feeling.

How important is ED&I to you, and what value does it bring?

That’s a pretty big question! There are a number of reasons why this agenda is so important to me. Morally and socially, it is the right thing to break down barriers, create opportunities and inspire the current and future generations to achieve their potential. There are amazingly talented people who need to be given the opportunity and confidence to make the most of themselves; the ED&I agenda helps unlock that talent. In a business sense, I think it is impossible to create sustainable, valued outcomes if the creators are not representative of the markets they serve. Put simply; we need to build for customers who don’t just look like us but represent our society as a whole. This commitment to diversity and inclusion is a cornerstone of my values and my approach to business.

What advice would you give to someone just starting their career?

Be inquisitive, learn by doing and believe in yourself. These are not just words, but the principles that have guided me throughout my career. I believe that by embracing these principles, you can navigate the challenges and uncertainties of the professional world with confidence and resilience.

Stay tuned for more Q&A series with our WILD gang!

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