Matthew Gough
Experienced People

Matt Gough

Director of Innovation and Work Winning


Matt started his career in the world of rock ‘n’ roll when he secured a grant to set up his own record company. After growing the business and running festivals for 10,000 people, Matt took time out to provide marketing support to a regeneration project in London. It was his first taste of construction and in 2011 he joined Mace.

How has your career progressed since joining Mace?

I joined Mace on a two week contract to help the business pitch for a job in Oxford and I have been here ever since. During that time my role has changed almost as many times as I’ve had Christmas dinners. I went from a bid manager to running the construction bid team, and then took on the responsibility of our “group” bidding (consultancy and international). More recently, as a result of making plenty of noise about innovation opportunities, I was afforded the chance of my new job in February 2017. 

What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?

The variety and the opportunities. The construction industry is on the cusp of something transformational. We’ve not digitised at the pace of other sectors (yet!). Technology is getting smarter, faster, more affordable, and more intuitive. Construction is about to put its foot on the gas and that’s what gets me out of bed in the mornings. 

What has been your favourite moment at Mace?

Some of the best moments to date have been helping to secure some of our biggest contracts over the last five years. The amount of people and work that goes into winning contracts worth £100s of millions is quite something. We form quick, high-performing teams, and we do a huge amount of work, in a very intense environment. And no matter what the scale of personal achievement, the most memorable are always those that you share with others.

What skills do you need to be good at your job?

Innovation-wise, I get paid to challenge. You have to be inquisitive. Push people. Ask the difficult questions. Personality-wise, there’s an element of enthusiasm required. How you go about your job is really important when you need people to come along with you. And I guess more importantly than anything, a willingness to learn. The world is changing fast. 

What do you see as the big trend for your specialism in the next five years?

Innovation at present is all about digitisation. We need to embrace technology and realise the opportunity it offers in terms of transparency and productivity. That could take five years but it’s likely that it will never stop. Beyond that, a big part of innovation in the construction sector will be about design, or design thinking. How do we understand the changing needs of the world and respond to them with infrastructure and real estate that meets users demands. If we focus on the people that interact and use our property, and find that unmet or perhaps even unknown customer need, we’ll be doing ok.

What do you hope you will be doing in the next 5-10 years?

Saving the world! We’re responsible for a lot of pollution, emissions and consumption in the construction industry. And if we can all do that that bit more efficiently we could have a really positive impact on helping to protect the environment. Plus, work with a purpose is way more rewarding than just work.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

I’ve got some great rock’n’roll stories from my time in the music business, that I may well be willing to share if the mood is right. Nowadays, my passion is a little more mature than it was in those heady days.  

Matthew Gough

“The construction industry is on the cusp of something transformational... and it's about to put its foot on the gas. ”