Matthew E May

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.  His previous include The Laws of SubtractionIn Pursuit of EleganceThe Shibumi Strategy, and The Elegant Solution. May writes the bimonthly “Brain Game” column for Inc.magazine, and his work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalStrategy+BusinessThe Rotman MagazineFast Company, and Harvard Business Review. He holds an MBA from The Wharton School and a BA from Johns Hopkins University.

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 works closely with senior executives and their teams to help them not only define innovative new strategies, but also build the creative confidence and capability to deploy them.  He specializes in innovative program design, facilitation, and training. Industry-agnostic, he works with and speaks to companies of all types and sizes, all over the world. When my schedule permits, I coach senior executives one-on-one.



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.


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.


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.


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

René Carayol

Leadership and Corporate Culture

Frans Johansson

Innovation Thought Leader

George Yip

Global Strategy and China Innovation