HE / HIM / HIS
A leading emotional intelligence workshop facilitator, Juan Cortés has been building and shepherding inclusive cultures for world-class brands for 25+ years. As Co-founder of MatterOfCulture, he helps organizations become exceptional places to work.
Fostering inclusive cultures, and inspiring employee engagement.
Emotional intelligence (or EQ, for emotional quotient) describes a person’s ability to recognize their own emotions as well as the emotions of others, and then use that information to guide their decisions. Dan Goleman’s EQ model helps us develop the skills that enables us as leaders to maximize our own performance, as well as the performance of our team members.
Leaders get work done through others. When they create a respectful and trusting environment in which everyone feels safe to bring their best forward, magic happens. Because inclusive leaders are aware of their own biases and preferences, they actively seek out and consider different views and perspectives to inform better decision-making.
Successful brands actively seek ways to make it easier for their customers to work with them, use their products, and buy their services. These carefully crafted people-centric experiences pay off in the form of increased customer loyalty, profits and brand equity. Organizations that apply that approach internally by designing and implementing people-centric practices across the entire employee life cycle inspire engagement from their talent. Employee engagement – defined as the level of commitment and emotional connection to an organization – drives innovation, promotes retention, and increases productivity while reducing absenteeism. And like customer loyalty, it also leads to increased profits and brand equity.
Speaking, Workshops, Consulting, & Coaching
LEADING WITH EQ is a 3-part virtual workshop designed to help leaders become more self-aware, manage their emotions more effectively, and connect empathically with others
P.O.P. is a 2-part interactive workshop designed to help participants further develop their presentation skills through a focus on purpose, organization and practice
We partner with clients to design and implement people-centric programs across all stages of the employee life cycle. From sourcing diverse candidates and crafting onboarding welcome rituals, to creating relevant cultural literacy and alumni programs, everything we do is intended to inspire employee engagement.
Leveraging various assessment tools, our coaching approach helps uncover and maximize the strengths of individuals and teams.
“Juan has the rare skills of being able to conceive and create programs from scratch through to delivery AND passionately and effectively communicate the information to groups. He’s an exceptional collaborator who helps everyone around him do their jobs better. Through Juan’s Emotional Intelligence training, I saw my team dramatically improve how they work together and relate. Months later, people still refer to the lessons learned in the training.”
— Andrew Solmssen, President, California, Wunderman Thompson
“Juan’s efforts go beyond training. They equip leaders to become more aware and effective in their roles. His intuition and ability to diagnose a need and develop rapid options for resolution is uncanny.”
— Colin Cheadle, Director of Talent/HR, Wunderman Thompson Apps
“Juan is a passionate and energetic motivator. He also connects dots across business to empower all types of teams with information, education and resources to make great work. He sees clearly and delivers on human-centered approach to leadership and learning. Personally, he helped me take very complex analytics concepts and simplify into a compelling format from which audiences otherwise not familiar with the craft of marketing sciences could understand and take action. That took me to a new level as a leader.”
— Jen Anderson, Strategy Consultant, Experimentation & Analytics, Microsoft Global Demand Center
“I had the pleasure of working with Juan Cortes and Matter of Culture on Pierry’s first management retreat and also on our first team lead academy. In the design and planning phases of these workshops, Juan expanded my thinking on what we hoped to achieve in these sessions and helped me assess both learning objectives for the participants and the benefit these objectives will have for the leadershp development and business. We took a deep dive into the tenets of emotional intelligence which led to both self discovery and awareness as well as a richer understanding of those we lead. I found the sessions on managing ourselves and others through empathy and vulnerability particularly helpful. I look forward to expanding this work in our organization.”
– Dr. Robert Bell, Chief HR and Talent Officer, Pierry Inc.
“Juan’s thoughtful approach to each situation and business need was thorough, deliberate and success-oriented. His ability to deliver piercing insight on human behavior in the context of organizational culture is both inspiring, and transforming.”
– Harmony Crawford, The Marketing Place
For 25+ years, Juan Cortés has been building and shepherding inclusive cultures for world-class brands in various industries, including advertising, digital marketing, hospitality, media, entertainment, retail and publishing. As Co-founder of MatterOfCulture, he helps organizations become exceptional places to work by designing employee-centric strategies and programs that foster intentional culture and inspire employee engagement.
In his most recent corporate role leading Learning & Engagement at Wunderman Thompson, Juan founded the agency’s first employee resource group, solidifying the framework for other affinity groups he also championed. As a member of a cross-agency executive council, he helped define the DEI mission and objectives for the agency’s holding company’s 130,000+ global workforce.
Prior to that, Juan built the L&D function for POSSIBLE, a WPP digital agency. He created learning platforms for subject matter experts and industry leaders to swiftly share knowledge and build capabilities across the globe, and designed and facilitated leadership and interpersonal skills workshops grounded in EQ.
His focus on development and coaching—combined with transparent communication, leadership counseling, and manager training—contributed to very low attrition for two consecutive years (hovering around 13%, where the industry standard was close to 40%).
While working at Starwood Hotels, Juan led the service culture transformation of some of the organization’s brands. After training 700+ leaders of two dozen hotels across North America, and certifying property leaders as trainers and in-house advocates, properties saw significant increases in guest satisfaction, as well as employee engagement.
Juan is an innovative change agent with a growth mindset. He holds professional certifications in training, facilitation, executive coaching, and qualified in Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
Let’s collaborate to ensure a transformative experience.