Patrick McCreesh: Advising, Enabling and Developing Exceptional People.


Undoubtedly, positivity influences the workplace culture to a great extent, but trust and transparency altogether are foundations for success of any company, believes an astute leader, Patrick McCreesh. He and his partners built Simatree with trust and transparency as the foundation. Simatree is a management consulting company that transforms businesses into modern leaders in strategy, data, technology and analytics. Patrick leads the company with the values of Empowering People, Inspiring Passion, Executing Excellence, Serving All, and Embracing Change.

Playing to Individual Strengths in Beginning

Simatree was started in 2018 to focus on strategy, analytics, and technology advisory services. The four original partners were co-equals building the firm with equal roles that coalesced around an advisory practice. All were building their own business, driving their own clients, and trying to manage their own book. They quickly started to specialize. Patrick’s partner, Wes Flores clearly had the aptitude for technology and people strategy, where Patrick gravitated toward organizational strategy and internal management. Simatree’s other partners demonstrated strengths in business development. So, they split their time and focused.

Having a Strong Consulting Team

Simatree’s partners made some bets and tried a few different approaches to get their message into the market. Some things worked and others failed. They were starting to get traction before the pandemic hit, and then they had a delay on a few contracts. During the pandemic, they decided to focus on a few anchor clients through their deep relationships. Wes and Patrick started to build strong delivery teams around Simatree’s core services. Simatree now has a strong consulting team that is focused on digital transformation, analytical products, and change management. Simatree is deep in the insurance industry and the public sector where it will focus going forward.

Being Inspired by a Genuine and Authentic Leader

Patrick grew up looking up to his father. When he was growing up, his father was an emerging manager in a large corporation. He watched him go from employee to leader running programs across a Fortune 500 company. The company went through massive evolutions in the 42 years his father worked there, but his father never changed his style or his core principles. Patrick’s father was a genuine and authentic leader who wanted to work hard and have a good work-life balance to be home with his children.

As an entrepreneur, Patrick has made different choices about work-life balance, but that’s who he is and he needs to stay true to that while also finding the right way to be there for his family. Most importantly, Patrick’s father taught him how to treat people with the simple idea that there is no one better than you, but you aren’t better than anyone either. Patrick tries to inspire this approachable confidence in his team.

Leveraging the Brain at Work and in Leadership

The first book that had an impact on Patrick is ‘A Sense of Where You Are’ by John McPhee about Bill Bradley. Another book Patrick finds himself re-reading is Bad Leadership by Barbara Kellerman because it has such a simple framework for thinking about why people misbehave in their leadership roles. Patrick also loves the social and organizational research/writing that is being done by Daniel Pink, Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, Amy Edmondson, and many others. In particular, Dan Pink’s A Whole New Mind is one of his favorites because it covers how one needs to start leveraging one’s whole brain at work and in leadership.

Embracing Technology to Meet Transforming Needs of Clients

Today, there is no way to stay completely aligned with new technology. By the time a leader understands a new product, it may be acquired and integrated, outdated, or replicated more effectively by a bigger player. The key is to understand the themes and needs of the industries where one operates and builds digital solutions against these thematic challenges.

As advisors, Simatree operates within an ecosystem of technology providers and it grabs the providers that make sense for the solution they are developing. So, the company always wants to know why its clients are transforming and what technology is available, but it is less concerned with who is developing it, as it will find the right version for its client. Simatree’s team is comprised of experts in a range of technical and management fields to combine the right resources for the solution. Simatree’s philosophy is to bring principal level leadership to engagements, no matter the size, to ensure one’s solution starts and ends with expertise.

Educating Executives and Leaders in Data Analytics

Patrick believes corporations get benefits from society and he thinks the recent PPP program is a perfect example. Therefore, there is a responsibility to contribute. However, Patrick also believes in alignment. Simatree is a people company. Therefore, the company tries to contribute to society through education and opportunity. Simatree educates executives and leaders on data through round table sessions and the company focuses on building a more diverse workforce in the field of data and analytics.

Being a Global Leader in Data Analytics and Digital Transformation

Simatree is still small, but it is focusing on candidates and hiring practices that lead it toward a data science team that is more diverse than the teams Patrick has worked with in the past. In five years, Patrick foresees Simatree as a global leader in data analytics and digital transformation in highly regulated sectors like financial services and insurance, and working deeply in the public sector, mostly at the federal level.

Having a Solid Idea and Building on it Consistently

Patrick loves to tell his team that it is not about having the next great idea – it is about having a solid idea and being willing to be dogged about that idea. In his advice to emerging entrepreneurs he says, “It is about whether you are willing to drive that same idea consistently for 8-10 years and build. Maybe things will come faster, but if you can’t see yourself building for at least that long, you shouldn’t make the leap.”

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