Matt Dean

My day job is to get people in some pretty alpha workplaces to focus on changing their bit of the firm. I’ve worked all over the world, increasingly with senior people. My two head and neck cancers (2009 and 2016) have influenced my life and work. My first book ‘the Soft Stuff: reclaiming kindness for the world of work’ is published in April

I was an employment lawyer from 1989 – 2003 and created the ground breaking Employment Law Training team at market leaders Simmons & Simmons. We started talking to people about the employment risks they were running and quickly realised that you avoid employment problems by focusing on things like engagement and inclusion: Happy people work harder.

From 1997 I worked with Parents at Work, which became Working Families, the country’s principal charity dedicated to work life balance and how we work. Their CEO Sarah Jackson OBE was kind enough to say “Matt has helped shape our thinking and practice around flexible working. He is engaging and insightful, unafraid to challenge and always supportive.”

Since 2003 I’ve run an organisation (byrne∙dean) whose mission is kinder, fairer, more productive workplaces and whose #2 value is Work in its proper place. I am probably proudest that we’ve provided challenging and engaging careers to many women who came to us in varying stages of disaffection with the law and law firms. Whether we have enabled them to put work in its proper place is an ongoing discussion!

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