Author Archives: Matthew E May

Double Your Creativity with ONE Simple Step

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first fifty-five minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.” — Albert Einstein You would think by publishing a book entitled Winning the Brain ...

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A Sniff Test for Strategy

When it comes to developing strategy using the Play-to-Win framework, the most difficult question to answer is “How will we win?” From what I’ve observed and experienced in facilitating countless strategy sessions, I believe the reason it’s so difficult is that there is a tendency to discuss and answer the question in the abstract, which results in generic responses that ...

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Why You Need a Gremlin Group

True story. A brilliant engineer, one of the smartest people I’ve met, was confident that his 6-year old daughter would win the annual school science contest called the Great Egg-Drop Challenge. As the name implies, the challenge was to design a package that would protect a raw egg from breaking when dropped from the school roof. The reason he was ...

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The Play-to-Win Strategy Canvas v3.0

A little over four years ago I designed and developed a wall canvas to be used when facilitating strategic choice-making with small teams. Over time, the canvas has evolved as I learned more and more about the art and discipline of strategy facilitation…what people struggle with most, where the resource of time is best spent, etc. Fast forward to now. ...

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Strategy Isn’t Just for the C-Suite

A significant portion of my strategy development work is with internal functions, a click or two below corporate and business unit strategy: marketing, human resources, purchasing, and even internal strategy groups. There is good news and bad news in this. The good news is that internal functions have recognized the need to be strategic, even if it is because higher ...

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The Simple Cure for Overthinking

The Simple Cure for Overthinking

In front of me sit 40 six sigma “black belts,” appraising me warily, all squinty-eyed and knit-browed. I’ve been asked to give them an introduction to design thinking. I don’t have a six sigma belt of any color. I fully admit that I wouldn’t know the difference between a six and any other number sigma. I have decided to tee ...

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3 Simple Steps to Silencing Your Inner Critic

Neuroscience explains it, but psychology offers the fix During a recent creative strategy session, I witnessed what psychologist Carl Jung referred to over a century ago as “an inner critic or judge who immediately comments on everything.” I had given a team of young executives a thought challenge as a right-brain warmup exercise. Although they were unsuccessful in landing on ...

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A Patient’s Perspective on Healthcare Innovation

The Healthcare Innovation Amazon and Apple Should Focus On It is no secret that Amazon has a secret artificial intelligence healthcare project called 1492. Amazon is making several strategic moves into the healthcare vertical, including hiring machine learning experts, investing in healthcare startups, and sponsoring hackathon-type innovation challenges with six-digit prizes for killer apps that can leverage Alexa, Amazon’s voice-recognition ...

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Finding Your Silver Bullet in an Apple Pie

A parable… Once upon a time, a man was served a dessert of home baked apple pie at a dinner hosted by his neighbor. The man had never before tasted such a perfect pie crust. “What is your secret?” he asked his host. “You are welcome to my recipe,” replied the neighbor. “There’s no secret. It’s all right there in ...

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3-Point Strategy for Drawing People In

Aristotle maintained that “all men by nature desire to know.” He was referring to human curiosity. Samuel Johnson called curiosity “the first passion and last.” Why? Because curiosity seeks what is different, without regard for whether or not it’s of benefit. Tell someone not to do something, and it creates an instant temptation to do whatever they’re being asked not ...

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