Matt Symes is a serial entrepreneur and recovering academic. The first part of his career was spent studying military history and avoiding the business world to focus on social enterprises. As part of this work, Matt developed a process-driven approach that could dramatically improve operations at not-for-profits. He recognized this approach could also drive positive results at small- and mid-sized businesses. This became the impetus for the launch of Symplicity Designs in 2013.
He brings clarity to chaos
Matt has a unique ability to bring clarity to chaos. He sees a path forward, then helps businesses focus on what they do best, then finds even better ways to do it. Business leaders in every sector turn to Matt for training and advice on how to scale up and navigate forward. He delivers clarity and relentlessly pushes clients to think bigger and achieve way more than they thought was possible.
Under Matt’s leadership, Symplicity Designs has supported 400+ companies and non-profit organizations through growth and crisis management over the past eight years. Matt has also acquired a number of companies to transform and grow.
He helps businesses navigate COVID-19 conditions
Most recently, Matt set out to help small- and mid-sized businesses navigate the pandemic. He led regular webinars to provide context and analysis on the effects COVID-19 on business. Hundreds of leaders participated and gave Matt credit for helping them make the tough decisions to survive, stabilize and thrive during the economic chaos.
Matt sums up his strategic approach for businesses…
“No matter what’s happening in the world, the principles of running a high performing organization have not changed, only the level of complexity. You need clarity of purpose – which means why you exist, what problem you solve for the client, and the financial model to support it all. You always need a 12 month operational plan. From there, you find a way to execute daily and weekly.”
He makes sustainability his business
In everything he does, Matt seeks to make a difference, not just talk about it. He built the Symplicity business model with dedicated time for social sector work and makes room to counsel the smallest micro-businesses.
Matt also goes out of his way to embrace leading-edge environmentally sustainable practices at his companies, no matter how much effort and resources are required. It’s this dedication that led to Symplicity Designs joining ranks with the top 10 percent of the world’s B Corp businesses.
He says what others won’t
Matt Symes is willing to say what others won’t and lean into conflict to get the best out of everyone in the room. He focuses on the realities facing businesses, even when they’re uncomfortable, and offers practical advice and tools for improvement. He cuts through the clutter to teach participants how to see the gaps, address the conflicts, and make their day-to-day operations tangibly better.
He believes anything is possible
Matt believes in stoicism – the notion that we all have 100 percent control over our mindset. With that frame of mind it’s possible to do almost anything. Fuelled by stoicism and a steady stream of caffeine, Matt enjoys working on the complex problems. He spends his spare time reading, training for marathons, and planning his next adventure.