In a Nutshell Matt Davies

Meet our expert, Matt Davies

Target wouldn’t be Target without its fantastic experts.

To celebrate Pride month, we’d like you to meet Matt Davies. Matt champions Diversity & Inclusion at Target. In fact he was one of the main driving forces behind our award-winning Diversity & Inclusion strategy! Let’s see what he’s got to say…

What do you like best about working at Target? What’s your best memory of working at Target?

I love how there are so many passionate people working at Target – I think it’s our super power!

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Seeing the work that we do as a People Team – I truly think it makes a difference to people’s lives!

What’s been the most challenging part of your role?

Wanting to change everything overnight! Change takes time and there’s so much that I want to do to make Target a world-class workplace – but change takes time.

What motivates you to do what you do at Target?

I’m massively driven by employee engagement – making people happy. We spend most of our awake hours in work so I want our colleagues to enjoy what they do and get a huge amount of fulfilment.

What’s your go-to productivity trick?

I make a list at the start of every week of 1) Who I need to reach out to (to check in on or to drive something forward), 2) A list of things I need to get done and 3) a list of things I’m going to do to get my objectives and projects to move in the right direction. I’m an incredibly organised person but it’s taken years of practice!

What are the values that drive you?

Honesty/Integrity – both in the work I do and in my personal life. I hold myself and others around me to high account.

Kindness – there’s lots of space to be kind in the world so my aim is to be kind as much as possible and inspire others around me to be kind too.

What does inspirational leadership look like for you?

Leadership comes in all forms. One that’s inspired me recently is Marcus Rashford and his campaign to end child poverty in the UK. Also I’m a massive fan of Beyoncé and think she demonstrates excellence in so many ways, for equality, high standards, and self-motivation.

Who has influenced you most when it comes to how you approach your work?

Brene Brown is an author, social worker, researcher into topics like shame and vulnerability. Her book ‘Rising Strong’ is one of my favourites. If you’ve not heard of her, you can check out her TED Talk, Podcast, Netflix Special or any of her books. Brene writes about self-reflection, why we think, and why we do the things we do and inspired the world to check in. One of the things I heard on her podcast recently was “I’m not here to be right, I’m here to get it right.” I’m not here to know everything, I’m here to be open minded, be curious and learn. She was specifically talking about white privilege and the BLM movement.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

My first ever memory of this was when I was around five. I always used to say I wanted to be a clown because I wanted to make people laugh. Then for a long time I was going to be a teacher in a secondary school.

What was your first job?

I lived on a street with older neighbours and I used to look after their gardens while they were away. I got so into gardening that I had a greenhouse from Santa for my 10th Christmas! After that, a shoe shop, coffee shop, supermarket, comedy club and a call centre!

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

That’s hard because I’m an open book and pretty much tell everyone everything.

Most people don’t know that I see a counsellor every month. Having lived in California for two years (something else lots of people might not know) I saw how commonplace seeing a therapist is. In the UK, mental wellbeing is still such a taboo. I use them not because I’m struggling with anything but to keep me in a happy, resilient and mentally well place. It makes a massive difference to me. It’s interesting that lots of people will invest in physical health but not work through some of the things they struggle with mentally. Even Brene Brown has a therapist! I’m keen to see the stigma of mental health stop and see a world where people feel comfortable to talk about how they’re doing and prevent issues before they actually are issues.

Most people also don’t know that I have a dog named Seymour. He’s a little sausage dog and I’ve even created an Instagram account for him… I’ve become one of those people!

What’s something — big or small — that you’re really bad at?

Art! Most creative things.

What’s something — big or small — that you’re really good at?

Listening.

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose?

This is a tough one! So many people. I would have to say Jay-Z so I could spend the day with his wife Beyoncé – I really am a MASSIVE fan!

If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?

Easy – teleportation. I would love to finish work and ‘snap’ sit on a beach in California. Bonus if I could also travel through time too and see some amazing history.

What are some of your favourite hobbies outside of work?

I love to run. I’ve previously done half marathons, marathons and ultra-mountain marathons! I’ve got a bit out of shape over this year but looking forward to getting back on track over the coming months.

What’s your ‘target’ in life/work?

My work ‘target’ – is to deliver a world class people strategy that will mean a whole new chapter for Target as a company; creating an outstanding place to work. Personally, I want to get travelling again (when it’s all allowed). I’ve never been to Asia so that’s next on my list.

Connect with Matt on LinkedIn

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