Matt Dunsmoor

Start With Why Igniter, Facilitator, & Trainer

Everything Matt does is designed to catalyze growth in others.

In 2015, Matt attended a Why Discovery Workshop at his then-employer After going through the process and seeing the value in this level of self-knowledge, he advocated strongly to bring it into their company culture, eventually becoming a workshop facilitator and trainer himself. 

He left the company in early 2016 and began traveling the country, combining Simon’s concepts with his own experience to help teams and individuals discover their why, give them tools to uncover their true potential, and inspiring them to pursue more purposeful work. The founder of the Millennial business blog Salt & Pepper 30s, Matt believes that wisdom comes from all places and ages, and should be shared as much as possible. His passion around this belief shines through in each engagement.

Matt’s background in evolutionary workplaces has given him insight into the future of work and what’s possible with a strong company culture. He specializes in innovation, company culture, leadership, and self-management/non-traditional company structures. Matt will challenge your perspectives & assumptions, give you some hearty food for thought, and send you and your team forward with some ways to take next steps.

Matt's Keynotes:

Start With Why: Bringing the Golden Circle to Life

Matt shares a powerfully simple idea, discovered by Simon Sinek, called “The Golden Circle” and builds upon it with examples and stories that bring it to life. This simple idea explains how great leaders, companies, and organizations that inspire us are able to do so naturally and consistently. “The Golden Circle” unravels the mystery of how we must think, act and communicate to inspire others. Here’s a hint: it’s not about changing who we are, it’s about understanding who we are.

Keynote Highlights:

  • What we do becomes more powerful when we know why we do it.
  • The Why can act as a filter, giving us an alternative perspective on our organizations and even our careers.
  • Human connection through trust and authenticity is vital to an organization’s success.
  • Some organizations are more innovative, more profitable, command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike and are able to repeat their success over and over. You can too.

Building a Culture of Innovation Through Shared Identity & Trust

Matt takes key learnings from his time researching, building, and launching an Employee Innovation Platform during his time at online retail giant and connects them in a simple way to core concepts in Simon Sinek's books "Start With Why" and "Leaders Eat Last."

Keynote Highlights:

  • The foundation of innovative company cultures is laid upon two primary pillars- shared identity and trust
  • Identifying a clear, unifying purpose or cause is more powerful than focusing on technologies or trends
  • Building a work environment that nourishes & directs healthy brain chemistry is core to unleashing your team's potential
  • You can actually watch footage from this keynote at the bottom of the page!

Matt's Workshops:

Why Discovery for Organizations: Designed for business units or organizations who want to discover and articulate their Why. (Available in Half-Day and Full-Day formats)

As simple as the Why concept is to understand, one of the biggest challenges a team or organization will face is clearly articulating its purpose, cause or belief — its Why. While it may be felt, it can be difficult to put into words. Finding the words for our Why is the first step in being able to effectively communicate it. Until it can be put into words, it’s very difficult to put it into action and nearly impossible to scale. Inspired by Simon Sinek’s Why Discovery Process, this workshop focuses on helping teams or organizations find and articulate their Why in simple language that inspires action.

Your team will leave the workshop with:

  • A foundational knowledge of the Golden Circle & how it can be applied
  • The first draft of the organization’s Why statement, showing both Contribution and Impact
  • A framework for relating the Why to the organization’s values and guiding principles
  • A deeper awareness and appreciation of the human attributes that inspire your culture
  • Some starting points & opportunities for immediate application of your Why

Crafting Values That Actually Matter (Available in Half-Day and Full-Day formats)

Many teams & companies have a list of Values or Tenets, but more often than not they just end up as easily dismissed screensavers rather than true practices. During this workshop, Matt uses a data-driven approach to help you articulate the beliefs that your organization truly exhibits when at its best, and frame them into real actions instead of catch phrases. 

Your team will leave the workshop with:

  • A robust list of company values that are rooted in real experience
  • A foundational knowledge of what makes a simple, inspiring value
  • Methods for communicating these values to teammates
  • Starting points for implementation of these newly articulated values into your day-to-day operations. 

Why Discovery for Individuals: Designed for individuals within organizations to discover their Why and take inspired action. (Available in Half-Day and Full-Day formats)

When we clearly understand our own Why, we can gain a greater sense of purpose within our organizations, contributing who we are at our best. And when we are at our very best, doing work that matters to us, the natural result is greater fulfillment. This is not only good for us, but contributes to the vision and the long-term progress of the organization.

In this workshop, participants will:

  • Gain a foundational knowledge of the Golden Circle
  • Learn about the concept of Nested Whys and how that plays into progressing through your organization
  • Work in partnership with their peers to help one another discover their Why
  • Learn what makes a simple, inspiring Why and write their first draft
  • Explore some simple ideas to begin putting their Why into action

Virtual Why Discovery for Individuals (Available in 90-120 minute sessions)

A typical in-person Why Discovery Workshop involves Matt takes the first part of the day to go over the concept of the Golden Circle, then explains how the discovery process, walks participants through each step, and offers 1-on-1 coaching throughout the whole process. The virtual workshop digitizes much of the first part of the day before connecting you Matt in a video chat. This digitized pre-work is facilitated by Simon Sinek himself in some awesome videos & an interactive online course format. In the virtual setting, you'll pair up with a team member and work on the assigned tasks from Simon, working towards discerning your why until you reach the stage where it's time to articulate your actual why statement in a first draft. At this point, Matt will run a virtual session with your partner sets (depending on how many participants you have, these might be with one, two, or three sets of partners in each) where we will dive into the progress you've made, go through a story or two per person, and give you some challenges and coaching on your individual statements.

Each participant will leave with a first, possibly even second draft of their why statement. A typical virtual session is around 90 minutes, making it a lot easier for teams to schedule.

What People Are Saying

"I would wholeheartedly recommend [the Why Discovery for Organizations] workshop to companies of any size. We found it to be a really good use of our time and have been able to put it to work for us. Thank you!"

Graham K., Partner

"Matt has a great speaking presence – he put everyone in the room at ease from the start and we were able to dive in and be productive immediately – it was a great investment of a full day workshop!"

Amy M., Sr. Product Manager
Tempur Sealy International


"Matt was great! As a growing company still trying to define itself, this session helped a lot with gathering the feelings of the group and finding a 'why' that felt like home."

Chaz G., Solutions Architect

"[Matt] was engaging and delivered the information in a way that was easy-to-understand and apply."

Tammy H., Executive Director