Matthew E. May

PROFILE Matthew E. May is an internationally recognized thought leader on strategy, innovation, and lean. Working as a solo advisor and coach, he specializes in helping senior executives and their teams craft innovative strategies and build the capabilities to implement them. Matt has written five books on innovative thinking, his latest being WINNING THE BRAIN GAME: Fixing the 7 Fatal Flaws of Thinking (McGraw Hill, 2016). His work has appeared in The New York Times, Inc. , Strategy+Business, The Rotman Magazine, Fast Company, and Harvard Business Review blogs. Matt holds an MBA from The Wharton School and a BA from Johns Hopkins University, but he counts winning the New Yorker cartoon caption contest as one of his most creative achievements. PERSPECTIVE Matt has a deep passion for ideas that solve a difficult problem in an elegant way. He defines an elegant solution as one that is both uncommonly simple and surprisingly powerful, and that achieves the maximum effect with minimum means. Above all, Matt is a practitioner of business strategy and innovation with powerful lessons learned and war stories to tell from years in the trenches with companies ranging from small startups to companies as large and multinational as Toyota, where he spent eight years as a full-time advisor. Matt blends his frontline experience with research from his books in order to deliver useful concepts with immediate application, and aims to achieve four things in every address: 1. inspire new thinking; 2. share a unique perspective; 3. tell compelling stories; and 4. deliver practical takeaways. Matt tailors every talk to the audience, but these are the most popular themes: MIND OF THE INNOVATOR How Game-Changers “Think Different” In this compelling keynote, Matthew takes the audience inside the minds of the world’s most creative executives and entrepreneurs to reveal how they crush the status quo, write their own rules, change the game, and move the world. COMPETING FOR THE FUTURE The Art of Playing to Win In this talk, Matthew shows leaders how to begin with a winning aspiration, then answer two deceptively simple questions: Where will you play? and How will you win? Blending compelling examples with stories from years of front-line experience facilitating strategy sessions, this keynote delivers a master class on competing for the future. ELEGANT SOLUTIONS Success Through Simplicity In this thought-provoking exploration of why certain events, products, and people capture our attention and imaginations, Matthew reveals the key to innovative breakthrough in fields ranging from physics and marketing to design and popular culture, and sheds light on the power of simplicity and subtraction in business, work and life, while offering surprising evidence that the best ideas have something missing...on purpose. ELEGANT LEADERSHIP Secrets to Achieving Maximum Effect With Minimum Means In this compelling keynote, Matthew reveals how the best leaders spur creativity and innovation among their ranks by imposing intelligent constraints. INNOVATION THE TOYOTA WAY Creating a Culture of Constant Innovation Based on his bestselling book The Elegant Solution, and success in applying the collective wisdom gleaned from nearly a decade of working with Toyota, Matthew offers a vital prescription for organizations seeking new inroads to companywide innovation. WINNING THE BRAIN GAME Fixing the 7 Fatal Flaws of Thinking In this provocative and highly interactive keynote based his book by the same name, Matthew engages audiences in the same simple thought challenge given to over 100,000 people during a 10-year period. Calling on modern neuroscience, psychology, and insight from the world’s most innovative thinkers, he offers a super- curated, field-tested set of “fixes,” proven through hundreds of creative sessions to raise our thinking game.

"Games Our Brains Play," TEDx Pershing Square 2017


Westlake Village, California
United States

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6 Reviews
THE CONFERENCE BOARD On the campus of 3M Corporation
He (Matt) delivered an excellent presentation on innovation.

“We were so honored that Matt came to speak to our Council on Development, Education and Learning. He delivered an excellent presentation on innovation. We wanted more time with him!"

December 2017

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TIM SMITH Design Chair, California College of the Art
Matt is a masterful presenter in every way.

“Matt is a masterful presenter in every way…he connected with the audience and knew his material. We were delighted to have him kick off our Design Strategy series.”

December 2017

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HARVEY TREMBLAY Chairman/President, Hy-Tech Drilling LTD
Matt was very well received.

“Matt was very well received by our group. He adapted his presentation so that it suited our senior team. We enjoyed his insights on innovation, and look forward to implementing them.”

December 2017

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