Great People: Introducing David Chandler

Introducing David Chandler!

He's our Division Director and that means he looks after all our clients in the defence space. He's a real leader and brings with him a huge amount of experience from across the industry. He's a stickler for detail with an eye for opportunity; a Great Person who ensures that the team produces nothing less than great work for our clients.

So if you don't know him already, get to know! Introducing David...

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m David Chandler, Division Director at Great State.  My job is all about running our government and security division. My responsibilities are pretty wide; ranging from collaborating with clients to deliver impactful work, ensuring that we have the right operating models in place to support our clients, through to working with (and challenging) our internal teams to deliver the best possible work, and also looking for new opportunities for us to expand our work in the sector.

Ultimately, I make sure that our clients experience great service and get a great return on investment.

How did you get to be here?

How far back do I go?! If we wind back the years to the beginning of my career, I graduated from the University of Sheffield with a Business Studies degree and I specialised in marketing. In my first jobs I worked client side in healthcare, where I worked for Bupa and then the National Blood Service (as it was at the time).

I was a little worried about becoming too sector focussed and I wanted to diversify my experience, so I decided to start my agency career in Client Services. I’ve spent the last 18 years (wow, that makes me sound ancient) working for various agencies, looking after clients of all sizes and in a range of sectors. It has been amazing to gain such broad experience; from boutique to global sized agencies I’ve worked across creative, integrated, digital and film production. So, pretty much a bit of everything.  

What are you working on right now?

We are coming towards the end of substantial piece of work for the Royal Navy – we’ve been working hard to deliver them an entirely new website. The project has taken a complete 360 degree approach; from re-thinking, and refreshing their brand, to designing a new structure to the site, improving and simplifying user journeys, right through to content principles, design and production. We’ve also created a new, more progressive technical architecture. It’s been a big one. We’re on the home run now, and we can’t wait to get it live and in the hands of the users it was designed for.  

How do you know when you’ve produced something great?

There’s a specific feeling when things connect and the path forward becomes clear. It’s usually when the thinking comes together and ideas build momentum across the teams. Sometimes it’s about solving the big problems or seeing the impact and difference that your work makes. Other times ‘great’ can be found in the smallest piece of craft; a few lines lines of copy or a design element that completely elevates the work you produce by driving a user to action. 

Also, exceeding client expectations. It’s a good test.

What excites you about your work?

I love the moments when the team comes up with an idea that we’ve not had before, when we're being brave and courageous to take on the challenge. With such collective brain power, experience, and drive there are so many possibilities as to what we can create. I’m privileged to work with incredibly talented people who make amazing things happen. That collective moment when, at the end of a project, you sit back and realise that you’ve achieved something pretty special is unbeatable.

It's also about continuing to learn. Continuously stimulating your mind with knowledge and new experiences. I find that exciting.

What excites you in life?

Life has changed quite a lot for me over the last few years. My partner and I had a daughter (Miya, who just turned 4), so we haven’t been doing as much exploring as we’re used to. I love to travel - going to new places, experiencing different cultures, trying amazing food – and if there is an opportunity to see and appreciate wildlife, even better. I love to dive and can’t wait to do more of that again, and as soon as Miya is a bit older, I'd love to take her to Africa on safari.

I’m also big on long distance running and triathlons. There’s something quite addictive about pushing my body through physical challenges. I love the challenging moments in a race where you need to dig deep, and use grit and focus to keep ploughing on and then that sense of achievement when you get to the end, it’s a special feeling.

What is the future of tech looking like to you?

The most exciting thing about the future of tech is that we just don’t really know what we’ll get to see in our lifetime. Things are developing so incredibly quickly and it’s thrilling not knowing what’s coming next.

Ask a question back. What do you want to know?

How do I get more time in my day?!

Want to run an ultra-marathon whilst chatting digital progress with David? Ready, set, go.

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