Matthew May

Matthew May

with Matthew May

Author, Coaching

Matthew May

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33voices interviews Matthew May

The Shibumi Strategy

Today I learned an elegant new Japanese word – Shibumi.  It’s one of those words that rings like a mantra and is very personal. Shibumi is that moment when an athlete is effortless, and can do no wrong;  it’s a time when an artist is so engaged that he loses track of time;  and ultimately, it’s the ‘height of personal excellence’ that we all strive for.  Matthew E. May had his shibumi moment helping Toyota solve a challenging problem and has since been on a quest to teach others the power of his lean thinking. 

on his blog,, Matt has a Lao Tzu quote that has been a source of inspiration for me for years- “To attain knowledge, add things every day.  To attain wisdom, subtract things every day.”  Early in my professional career, I stumbled on an article that described how the best Japanese designers approach their work.  Less is more, is their motto.  They achieve an amazing since of elegance by stripping away all the non-essentials, leaving only what truly matters.  Ever since, this fundamental principle has guided me both personally and professionally, because it inspires to focus on just what matters.   

Discover your Shibumi moment …..