Justin joined the Endava family as the result of a merger between the company he had founded, bringing innovation to our organisation through a strategy-and-experience-led service for clients. Let’s give it up for our Chief Digital Officer and rock star Justin, who not only shapes businesses, but also the people around him.
Tell us more about your journey in Endava.
I joined the Endava family as the result of a merger between the company I had founded and ran as CEO for 13 years, Nickelfish. I came in as Endava's Chief Digital Officer in 2015, and as of this year, founded Endava's new Strategy-led Client-facing organisation. I've always loved problem-solving, and that has meant that I've traditionally leaned towards strategy-led roles. I started my career in 2000 as a web designer, became an Art Director, then Creative Director, ran a Product team and finally got involved into Product Strategy. Somewhere along the way, I started Nickelfish as I knew we could provide a level of strategy-and-experience-led service to clients that was missing in the marketplace. The rest, as they say, is history...
What are your main drivers at Endava?
Within Endava, I'm driven by two things: one is learning new things and being challenged every day by those I have an opportunity to work with, and second is being inspired by the talented people around me that always push me to try and be the best that I can be.
How would your colleagues describe you in one sentence?
I think most of my colleagues would describe me in a way that lands somewhere between energetic and obnoxious. When a topic or problem interests me, I have a tendency to get VERY focused on it and talk about it incessantly until it's been solved. I'm told that this can occasionally be annoying :).
Name some books or speeches that had an effect on your career path.
I read many books on WWII generals and find that the leadership and strategic problems they were facing are incredibly relevant to what goes on in the business world these days. George Patton's autobiography, particularly, has some amazingly insightful information about leadership that defies the widely held perception of his narcissism. Don't get me wrong, he was a maniac, but an insightful one. Next, Edward Tufte's work has always been inspirational to me. Lastly, JRR Tolkien has always been an author that I love. Anyone who can create a world that rich and deep, without having their ambition crushed by the sheer scale of the effort is inspirational.
Tell us more about yourself outside of work.
My wife and I have been together for 17 years, and we have three amazing kids. I've always been athletic, played college baseball in the US, and continue to train pretty heavily. I was in a band for about five years. We traveled the US playing original music when I was in my early 20's. I played lead guitar and sang (yelled). We opened for the Doobie Brothers and performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a few times. It was an enormous amount of fun, and I learned a lot about how to successfully negotiate by dealing with less than honest club owners. I still play the guitar now every day and at some point in the future, hope to be able to have the time to play in a band again regularly.
Tell us how your passions have contributed to your day to day job.
I've always been a creative person, and that need to create has fueled my professional growth and development. Whether it's creating a really compelling visual, creating a solution to a problem, creating a team or organisation to solve a strategic goal, or just building a really slick keynote deck, the need to create has been the factor behind it all.
What advice would you give yourself if you were starting work at Endava today?
Endava is all about building relationships with the people around you. Take the time to build the relationships that you'll need to perform your everyday job, and grow those relationships that you'd like to develop for the next level of your career. If you do so, the beauty of Endava's culture will start to work very much on your behalf.