An Introduction to Matae

February 6, 2023

Matt Dragun launched Matae in August 2021 after working in change management and seeing a gap in the digital tools available to support organisations and change leaders undergoing change. From start-up to take-off, Matae has been a huge success. It is changing the way organisations tackle change - and if we’ve learned one thing over the past year or so, change is a guaranteed part of the future.

What was the impetus behind the foundation of Matae?

I’ve worked in change management for a long time, and have witnessed it through different lenses - as a change manager and senior leader on the client side, and also as a project lead on the consultant side. No matter the role, there are a lot of challenges, and I saw a massive gap in the digital offerings that were available – the current digital tools available for change managers just didn’t support addressing some of the core barriers to successfully implementing change. So that was the initial thinking - and then COVID hit and with it came a rapid escalation in the adoption of programs such as Microsoft Teams, along with significant growth in the general digital capability of organisations and leaders around collaborative technologies. Their comfort in using these  tools was growing exponentially. So, putting all this together lit the spark and motivated me to consider how can we leverage collaborative work platforms to solve some of the biggest challenges faced by change managers - the main one being, to me - how do you align and activate leaders across large organisations to effectively lead change? One of the hardest things as a change manager, or as a change team, is getting a large mass of leaders who have different levels of experience and understanding of change, varying levels of buy-in and different leadership styles, to all pull in the same direction? How do you align and activate those leaders, engage them and empower them, and how do you leverage collaborative digital tools as a key enabler?

How did you and your COO Victoria Sinnick join forces to form Matae?

Vic and I had met earlier as our careers crossed paths, and we kept in contact. I always valued her insightful opinions and amazing experience within the world of change management and leadership, so when I started thinking about how to move forward, she was a natural go-to person as a sounding-board to bounce my initial  thinking. Things moved pretty organically from there, and  we furthered and progressed the ideas, and here we are today with Matae. We launched our product to market in August and we’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response, and extremely excited about the potential it has to support organisations achieve better outcomes from their change projects.

So what exactly is the Matae product?

Matae is a digital change management tool that allows change teams to manage all their projects from a single, easy-to-use digital platform that can be customised for use with any change methodology. We designed it as a tool for change teams so they could activate business leaders to lead change effectively. It addresses the key challenges leaders are faced with when asked to lead change, which we know from working with them to be information access, communication gaps, disruption to BAU, lack of clear direction and unfamiliar processes and language.

Matae provides leaders with all the tools they need like planning, tasking and automated reminders, and importantly, it simplifies the process for them.

Ultimately Matae is a platform for repeatable and scalable leader-led change that enables organisations to grow the change capabilities of their leaders.

What makes it different?

Matae’s key difference is that it connects leaders across all levels of organisations to change projects, and to the project teams and sponsors responsible for managing these projects. It eliminates the disruption to BAU by bringing change into the flow of leader’s everyday work through an application leaders use every day – Microsoft Teams-  and by providing centralised information, simple tools and real-time feedback and data that creates role clarity and provides actionable insights.

We decided early on that Matae needed to be highly integrated with the IT applications that organisations are already using as core tools in change management, otherwise it would risk creating further complexity. The Matae platform has been built to integrate seamlessly with Microsoft Teams and the Microsoft Suite of core communication tools including Outlook, Yammer and Viva. These integrations help to simplify change by leveraging the tools that organisations are familiar with and significantly reduce the requirement for users to learn new programs. This is especially relevant when seeking to improve leader activation. You want leaders to see change as a part of their everyday business rather than as an ancillary burden or addition to their workload – it’s about removing the barriers. In addition, Matae can be customised to incorporate an organisation’s standard language and terminology, making it even simpler for all user groups.

What kind of organisations will Matae appeal to?

Any medium to large organisation can benefit from using Matae. Banking, insurance, mining, oil and gas, government departments - we talk regularly with senior executives, CEO’s, HR teams and COO’s who all acknowledge that simplifying the process of implementing change, making it a part of BAU and empowering their leaders to lead change, is the best possible outcome.

What excites you most about it?

We understand the challenges associated with implementing change within organisations because we’ve been there and lived it. We’re super excited to have been able to come up with an effective solution. I’m especially proud of the fact that we can make change a part of an organisation’s everyday business as usual. Looking at the big picture, we believe Matae will help organisations grow their own internal change capabilities and enable them to be more agile in the true sense of the word and achieve better business results.

Finally - why Matae?

Matae is named after Mate’, a traditional South American drink made by brewing dried yerba mate’  leaves and drinking it from a shared cup using a special metal straw. I discovered it while mountaineering in the Bariloche region of Argentina; I would drink it with fellow adventurers to re-energise after long days climbing in the Andes.

When I think of Mate’ I think of more than just a drink. It is a reinvigorating tonic around which people connect, share their stories, their triumphs and their challenges. My vision is that the Matae Change Management Platform is the focal point around which your leaders and change teams connect and engage to manage the changes required to reach your organisation’s ‘summit’.

Find out how Matae can help your business today!