Richard ‘Discy’ Woodward
HEAD OF CONTENT PRODUCTION
My time before Gravit8 was definitely a varied one!
I’ve been a carer, a quality manager in the supply chain industry and an arborist. Oh, and a project manager for two years in Kenya building a tented luxury safari lodge. You could say it’s given me a great grounding in life – even when armed with a chainsaw 20 feet up a tree!
As Head of Content Production at Gravit8, I supervise and manage an awesome development team, as well as create strategies and oversee various projects to help push the business forward.
“Being a problem-solving techie is a win-win for me”
I’ve always been interested in tech and gadgets, particularly working out how they work and how people use them, so using these to solve problems is a win-win for me. I was a tech freelancer when Ali asked for help with the software side of the company he was working at (DB Systems at the time). I jumped at the chance to do something completely different. It’s been over 12 years now, and I feel like we’ve only just started on this adventure.
I love having the opportunity to be creative and think laterally. To have a completely free, unrestricted approach and to think more laterally; to me this is when the juices flow and the best ideas often come. I like to think I’m good at seeing the bigger picture, seeing it from another point of view and problem solving, before the problem even comes up. I also find it rewarding nurturing the team to develop their skills and encouraging them to contribute their creativity.
I’d say the most challenging aspect for me is personal time management. Learning when you can leave a situation to others to handle and use that time elsewhere.
“Don’t be afraid to ask and do more – just get stuck in”
If I would give any advice to my successor it would be to just get stuck in, get the tasks done. This is something now ingrained in me, coming from a practical, hands-on background. Also, don’t be afraid to ask more, do more. As clichéd as it might sound, having a proactive mindset really is key.
The nature of the work we do can be intense, with tight deadlines and the need to constantly refine skills. We aim to promote an ‘open door’ culture, so that any member of our team feels comfortable discussing their concerns and ideas with me or any team member. This is to foster a collaborative environment throughout the company which breeds creativity and innovation.
“Post-Covid, the long-term balance of in-person vs virtual events will be interesting to see”
Prior to the pandemic, 99% of applications that we built were for physical in-person, real-life events. Then over the past couple of years, we have adapted by building an environment in the virtual world and hosting in the cloud. Now events are back on the cards, over the next few years it will be interesting to see the balance of in-person versus virtual events. We’re well positioned for whatever the balance is: whether this is ‘full on’ back to pre-pandemic events, more weighted towards a virtual events world with our VEP or a hybrid mix of both. Whatever the outcome, we’re ready!