about

Matthew E. May

Matthew E. May

Innovation Strategy | Innovation Speaker | Innovation Services

My name is Matthew E. May. I’m an independent innovation strategist, which means I work closely (and often confidentially) with senior executives and their teams to help them not only define innovative new strategies, but also help them build the creative confidence and capability to deploy them.

I specialize in innovative program design, facilitation, and training. Industry-agnostic, I work with and speak to companies of all types and sizes, all over the world. When my schedule permits, I coach senior executives one-on-one.

I come from a strategy and design background, heavily influenced by the eight years I spent as a fully-retained advisor to Toyota. It was a life- and career-changing experience which enabled me to publish a 2006 bestselling book about their innovative methods (The Elegant Solution) and enter the global lecture circuit. I now speak regularly on innovation, strategy, and design.

I’ve now published five popular books, the latest being Winning the Brain Game: Fixing the 7 Fatal Flaws of Thinking, encapsulating a decade of fieldwork. I’ve written for The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Strategy+Business, Rotman Magazine, Fast Company, 99U, and INC. Winning the New Yorker cartoon caption contest is my fondest creative achievement.

services

TRAINING

I build durable capability in today’s most relevant disciplines: strategic thinkingdesign thinking, and lean thinking. My training is tailored, team-focused and hands-on.

Programs

Design Thinking
Human-centered innovation methods
Strategic Thinking
Play-to-Win strategy development framework
Lean Thinking
Value-optimizing incremental innovation
Brain Game Workshop
Advanced creative thinking technique
“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.”
CASEY BIRTWELL
SVP, AppNexus

FACILITATION

Facilitation is my passion and strong suit. I design and guide highly engaging sessions that get teams aligned and moving forward with best speed toward their chosen objective.

Sessions

Focused Ideation
Framestorming before brainstorming
Strategy Summits
Senior management strategic ideation
Lean Starts
Multi-day rapid prototyping & testing
Kaizen Sessions
Time-bound operational workflow simplification
“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 the winner in our market.”
KEN KRIVANEC
President, Quadrant

ADVISORY

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

Expertise

Innovation Labs
Guidance on creative structures & spaces
Startup Accelerators
Guidance on rapid entrepreneurial innovation
Go-To-Market
Guidance on product/service launch
Innovation Governance
Guidance on aligning the innovation pipeline
“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

WINNING THE BRAIN GAME

This provocative and highly interactive keynote speech is based my latest book Winning the Brain Game. Participants will engage in the same simple thought challenges given to over 100K people during a 10-year period, revealing seven mental glitches that stymie our best thinking.

“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

THE MAGIC OF SUBTRACTION

This keynote draws upon my book The Laws of Subtraction. I outline six simple rules for standing out and staying relevant in a massively distracting world, built on a single yet powerful idea: When you remove just the right things in just the right way, something good happens.

“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

DESIGNING ELEGANT SOLUTIONS

This popular speech is based on my two first books, The Elegant Solution and In Pursuit of Elegance. Drawing on my years with Toyota, I deliver the key elements to creating and developing ideas and solutions that achieve the maximum effect with the minimum means.

“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
My 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. I call on modern neuroscience and psychology to help explain things, and draw insights from some of the world’s most innovative thinkers. Finally, I offer 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
The book that started it all, based on my 8 years advising Toyota.

“This book is a must-read for any innovator, business leader or problem solver.”
PATRICK FINDLEY, Captain and CO, LAPD

In Pursuit of Elegance by innovation author Matthew E. May
IN PURSUIT OF ELEGANCE
Why The Best Ideas Have Something Missing
Traveling the world to find evidence of elegance in all domains.

“Matthew May reveals the hidden elements beneath genuine innovation.”
DANIEL H. PINK, author, TO SELL IS HUMAN

The Laws of Subtraction by innovation author Matthew E. May
THE LAWS OF SUBTRACTION
6 Simple Rules for Winning in the Age of Excess
Drilling down into the most powerful element of elegance: subtraction.

“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
A business fable based on true events, revealing the Zen of breakthrough.

“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

Matthew E. May

Speaking Engagements

To inquire about speaking engagements please contact:

TOM von METZGER
Executive Director

General Inquiries







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