Matthew J Hill on Anthropology in Business with Matt Artz

  • Matthew J Hill on Anthropology in Business
Matthew J Hill on Anthropology in Business Cover
Anthropology in Business with Matt Artz
Matthew J Hill on Anthropology in Business with Matt Artz

In this episode of the , Matthew J Hill speaks with  about his career as a . Matthew details his transition from the fields of chemistry and philosophy to anthropology and its application in the business context. He highlights his early experience with design anthropology and its influence on his subsequent focus on organizational development and design. Matthew discusses the approach of addressing complex organizational issues through a comprehensive perspective and outlines his process of organizational consulting.

About Matthew J Hill

Matthew J. Hill, an anthropologist specializing in organizational contexts, leads Matthew J. Hill Consulting. His current professional focus is on organizational development and design, serving mission-driven organizations, government agencies, and institutions of higher education. Matthew’s professional path is marked by roles at eLab, Doblin Group, and CFAR. His academic journey encompasses a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Colorado, a Master’s degree in Philosophy from Boston College, and culminates in a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Chicago

Key Takeaways

  • Athropologists can apply their skills in organizational development and design by taking a holistic approach to problem-solving and understanding the complexities of organizations.
  • Organizational development and design require deep knowledge of the organizational context and collaboration with clients to collectively solve problems.
  • Anthropologists can contribute to organizational effectiveness by conducting organizational diagnosis, facilitating workshops, and helping organizations adapt to change.
  • Mission-driven organizations, government agencies, and higher education institutions are ideal sectors for anthropologists interested in organizational development and design.


  • 00:01:27 Matthew J Hill’s journey from studying chemistry to anthropology and his doctoral research in Cuba on the use of historic cities in heritage tourism.
  • 00:06:58 Matthew’s experience at eLab and Doblin, where he applied ethnography to inform design and develop deeper insights into user needs.
  • 00:10:00 The importance of taking a holistic approach to problem-solving and the alignment of anthropology with design thinking.
  • 00:12:03 Challenges in the design anthropology field and the transition to working at CFAR.
  • 00:15:33 Transition to organizational development and design work
  • 00:19:00 Importance of contracting and defining the problem
  • 00:20:00 Discovery work and organizational diagnosis
  • 00:23:01 Partnership and collaboration with clients in organizational work
  • 00:25:33 Importance of leadership and collaboration in organizations
  • 00:26:41 Getting started in organizational work

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