Matthew E. May & Associates

Matthew E. May & Associates is a boutique management advisory firm specializing in strategy development, human-centered innovation, and lean operations. We offer advisory, facilitation, and training services to help senior managers and their teams define innovative new strategies and build competitive capability. We work with organizations of all types, industries and sizes, all over the world, from startups to Fortune 100 companies. We use the three most relevant and powerful frameworks in business today:

  • Strategy: Playing-to-Win (strategic choice-making framework)
  • Innovation: Design Thinking (human-centered innovation)
  • Operations: Lean Thinking (Toyota-based process improvement)

STRATEGY

Playing-to-Win
strategic choice framework

INNOVATION

Design Thinking
human-centered innovation

OPERATIONS

Lean Thinking
Toyota process improvement

Matthew E. May

Matthew E. May

Matthew E. May is an internationally recognized thought leader on strategy, innovation, and lean, heavily influenced by the 8 years he spent as a fully-retained partner to Toyota. The experience enabled him to not only publish a 2006 bestselling book about their innovative methods (The Elegant Solution: Toyota’s Formula for Innovation), but also launch a management advisory firm and keynote speaking career, regularly addressing audiences on strategy, innovation, and lean operations.
Matt has now published five books, the latest being Winning the Brain Game, encapsulating over a decade of helping teams develop elegant solutions to difficult problems. Currently a staff writer for the Medium.com publication The Startup, his articles have appeared in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Strategy+Business, Rotman Magazine, Fast Company, 99U, and INC.
Matt holds an MBA in Organizational Design from The Wharton School, a BA in Social & Behavioral Science from The Johns Hopkins University, and advanced training in design thinking Stanford University’s “d school.” He considers winning the New Yorker cartoon caption contest his fondest creative achievement.

services

BOOTCAMPS

We build creative capability in today’s most relevant disciplines: strategic thinkingdesign thinking, and lean thinking. Our 1-day bootcamps are high-energy, hands-on and perfect for busy professionals who want basic training delivered in a crash course format.

PLAYING-TO-WIN BOOTCAMP

strategic choice-making

LEARN TO:

Craft a winning aspiration, build a strategy, reverse engineer it, and construct initial strategic tests.

DESIGN THINKING BOOTCAMP

human-centered innovation

LEARN TO:

Frame problems, conceptualize solutions, build effective prototypes and design user tests.

LEAN THINKING BOOTCAMP

Toyota continuous improvement

LEARN TO:

Simplify workflows using Toyota's process improvement, kaizen, and lean testing methods.

BUSINESS BIG 3 BOOTCAMP

strategy+design+lean

LEARN:

All 3 frameworks: Playing-to-Win strategy, Design Thinking innovation, and Lean Thinking operations.

WORKSHOPS

Workshops are our strong suit. We design and guide highly engaging ideation sessions, sprints and summits that get teams aligned and moving quickly to turn ideas into action. Each session is custom, but these are the broad categories.

STRATEGY SESSIONS

playing to win

DELIVERABLES

Minimum of two complete strategic cascades, including reverse engineering and initial strategic test design.

CREATIVE IDEATION

framestorming + brainstorming

DELIVERABLES:

Needs identification, problem framing, ideation, concept development, and initial storyboard design.

LEAN DESIGN SPRINTS

rapid prototyping & testing

DELIVERABLES:

Critical risk identification, hypothesis definition, rapid prototyping, and user testing.

LEAN KAIZEN SESSIONS

operational process improvement

DELIVERABLES:

Process mapping, problem statement, root cause analysis, process redesign, targets/metrics, and pilot test plan.

ADVISORY

We offer deep insight, guidance and support on strategy, innovation and operations gained from over thirty years of front-line experience and professional counsel to senior leaders of the world’s most admired companies.

INNOVATION STRATEGY

guidance on portfolio mix

OBJECTIVE:

Choose where to play, how to win, capabilities and systems in the context of innovation.

INNOVATION CENTERS

guidance on structures & spaces

OBJECTIVE:

Establish an internal center of excellence for building innovation capability throughout the organization.

OPERATIONAL STRATEGY

guidance on optimizing for agility

OBJECTIVE:

Transform operations into an agile competitive advantage that fuels company revenue growth.

GO-TO-MARKET

guidance on value delivery

OBJECTIVE:

Consistently guide and launch new products and services to marketplace commercialization.

Praise

“Matt, I want to convey the important impact you clearly had on our team and emphasize how much we value learning at AppNexus. I look forward to celebrating both quick wins and complete rethinks your session today ultimately triggers.”
PABLO DOMINGUEZ
SVP, AppNexus
“Matt, our sessions with you gave us the forethought and foresight that enabled us to not only weather the recent real estate crash, but positioned us to launch a new brand for an entirely new home purchaser and emerge as market leader.”
KEN KRIVANEC
President, Quadrant Homes
“Matt, thank you for the guidance you have provided the Senior System Leadership Team. You add depth to our thinking on how we are developing people to improve unique processes to create superior value and win in the marketplace.”
JEFFREY HUNTER
EVP, Thedacare

Speaking

MIND OF THE INNOVATOR

MIND OF THE INNOVATOR

How Game-Changers “Think Different”

The pressure to stand out and stay relevant in a fiercely competitive marketplace demands innovative thinking to jump the curve and move to the next level. That pressure falls squarely on the shoulders of the individual, because companies don’t innovate, people do. The tension between business objectives and creative thinking isn’t easily resolved…unless you can tame the traps of traditional thinking. 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

COMPETING FOR THE FUTURE

The Art of Playing to Win

Leaders at every level face the same daunting challenge: how to win consistently in a massively disruptive business environment. Enter the need for a forward-looking strategy that enables a player to create a sustainable advantage and superior value relative to the competition. In this talk, Matthew show leaders how to begin with a future-back 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.

INNOVATION THE TOYOTA WAY

INNOVATION THE TOYOTA WAY

Creating a Culture of Constant Innovation

Smart leaders know the necessity of creating a culture of constant creativity and continuous innovation. No better example of an innovative organization exists than Toyota, a global giant that implements 1 million ideas a year. Driving the Toyota approach is a companywide quest for elegant solutions—solutions that deliver optimal customer value with the minimal burden, effort and expense. Based on his bestselling book The Elegant Solution, and success in applying the collective wisdom gleaned from nearly a decade of working with Toyota, Lexus, and Scion to other organizations, Matt offers a vital prescription of ten key cultural practices that are a must-have for organizations seeking new inroads to companywide innovation.

THE BRAIN GAME

THE BRAIN GAME

Fixing the 7 Fatal Flaws of Thinking

Science confirms the distinction between the biological brain and the conscious mind. By nature, when we’re faced with difficult challenges our thinking becomes vulnerable to brain patterns that lead us astray. In this provocative and highly interactive keynote, Matt 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.

ELEGANT SOLUTIONS

ELEGANT SOLUTIONS

Success Through Simplicity

Our businesses are more complicated and difficult to manage than ever. There is endless choice and feature overkill in all but the best experiences. Enter the need for elegant solutions: products, services, and strategies that achieve the maximum effect with minimum means. In this thought-provoking exploration of why certain events, products, and people capture our attention and imaginations, Matt 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

ELEGANT LEADERSHIP

Secrets to Achieving the Maximum Effect With Minimum Means

Amidst an arguably expanding world economy, one fact stands clear: business leaders are facing a scarcity of resources. Materials cost increases and other financial burdens combined with an ever-shrinking pool of top talent leaves leaders facing a critical capability challenge. Enter the concept of elegance: achieving the 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.

CLIPS

“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.”
HARVEY TREMBLAY
Chairman/President, Hy-Tech Drilling LTD
“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.”
TIM SMITH
Design Chair, California College of the Arts
“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!
THE CONFERENCE BOARD
On the campus of 3M Corporation

books

THE LATEST

Winning the Brain Game best-selling book by innovation strategist Matthew E. May

Winning the Brain Game

FIXING THE 7 FATAL FLAWS OF THINKING
“This book should be a must-read for any innovator, business leader or problem solver.”
BRAD SMITH, Chairman and CEO, Intuit
Matt’s latest book is the culmination of giving a real-world thought challenge  to thousands of people over the course of ten years, and reveals seven observable problem-solving patterns that can block our best thinking. Calling on modern neuroscience and psychology to help explain things, he draws insights from some of the world’s most innovative thinkers and offers a super-curated, field-tested set of “fixes” proven to raise your thinking game.

THE OTHERS

The Elegant Solution by Matthew E. May

THE ELEGANT SOLUTION

Toyota’s Formula for Mastering Innovation

“This book is fast becoming LAPD’s roadmap to both innovation and efficiency.”
PATRICK FINDLEY, Captain/CO, LAPD

In Pursuit of Elegance by innovation author Matthew E. May

IN PURSUIT OF ELEGANCE

Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing

“Matthew May reveals the hidden elements beneath genuine innovation.”
DANIEL H. PINK, author, DRIVE and WHEN

The Laws of Subtraction by innovation author Matthew E. May

THE LAWS OF SUBTRACTION

6 Simple Rules for Winning in the Age of Excess

“A compelling case for achieving the maximum effect with minimum means.”
KEVIN HUNTER, President, CALTY Design

The Shibumi Strategy by Matthew E. May

THE SHIBUMI STRATEGY

A Powerful Way to Create Meaningful Change

“This little gem sheds light on the hidden potential in our everyday struggles.”
SCOTT BELSKY, founder/CEO, Behance

Media

BROADCASTS

PRESS

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PODCASTS

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CONTACT

To inquire about services and availability, please contact Matt directly or via social media:

(805) 230 2908