Founder Leigh Parsons on State of Matter's fifth anniversary

22 February 2021 3 min. read

Australian management consulting firm State of Matter is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, with founder Leigh Parsons opening up on the tricky path to success.

Established in 2016 in the Melbourne inner-city suburb of Crenmore – often considered as ‘Australia’s Silicon Valley’ – home-grown management consultancy State of Matter has recently hit the five-year mark in business, prompting company founder and current managing director Leigh Parsons to share some unusually candid insights into the often challenging path to success.

“I spent the best part of a decade building another business but couldn’t really put my stamp on it, so the time came for me to do my own thing in mid-2015. Encouraged by some of my long-term clients, I ventured into the unknown of starting from scratch. A combination of bluff, bravado, luck, good timing, great support from family, amazing staff and terrific clients, and we have a thriving business as we turn five.”

Leigh Parsons, Managing Director, State of Matter

Now based at CreativeCubes in South Melbourne to provide room for further growth, State of Matter was borne out of Parsons’ desire to change the consulting industry through a keen problem-solving focus and close partnership with clients, and today counts a number of local and international heavy-hitters on its roster, ranging from the energy and automotive to education and FMCG industries among others.

“I saw the need for a boutique consultancy with a laser focus on delivering value, whilst providing outstanding experience to our customers,” Parsons said. “Turning five means a lot as it coincides with the business going to the next level in terms of scale, deal size and capability. Nothing worth doing is easy and the first five years of any business are extremely hard.”

One pivotal turning point for the business came in late 2019, with State of Matter’s admission to Cordence Worldwide, a global management consulting network which currently consists of twelve firms with offices spread across more than 25 countries, including fellow Asia-Pacific members S.POINT of China, South Korea’s Key to Way, and Avalon Consulting in India. State of Matter is the alliance’s first Oceania-based partner.

“Cordence Worldwide formed an essential ingredient in our pathway to success,” Parsons stated. “As a young consultancy, it is very difficult to build thought leadership and develop repeatable solutions. Cordence offers us knowledge, insight, and references, which are the culmination of all twelve firms’ intellectual property. Therefore, we benefit greatly through leveraging that combined knowledge and offering it to our clients.”

Another key point in the firm’s success is its people, with an expertise-base now pushing out to over a dozen senior consultants. Parsons; “Assembling an outstanding team takes time. It has taken us five years to build what is a sensational group of people, who share common values and work hard to contribute to the business’s ongoing success. Each of us is contributing to the creation of a home that we can be comfortable within, and be proud of our successes.”

As to the future, State of Matter won’t be resting on its laurels, announcing ‘big plans’ in its anniversary address. “New business lines will come online in the coming months to allow us to broaden our footprint whilst also allowing us to specialise into key growth areas,” said Parsons. “This personally excites me and will be a key focus area. Hopefully the next five years will be easier than the last. My gut tells me that it will be.”