Dr. Kevin J. Fleming, BA, MA, PhD from the prestigious University of Notre Dame, is one of the youngest graduate PhD students in their counseling/clinical psychology program. After furthering his Postdoctoral Residency training in neuroscience and behavioral medicine and a short stint in clinical neuropsychology, he was recruited to go into a start-up company as the Director of Training and Development for a health behavior change company that contracted with both government and corporate entities on devising neuroscience-centric strategies on changing irrational behavior and latent psychopathology.
Kevin then launched his current company Grey Matters International, Inc. which devises “customized”neurotechnology-based private behavior change work around human nature issues that seem to defy rational means of influence—be it addiction, relationship oriented, or other complicated emotional factors resulting from at-risk decisions of the celebrity or high profile lifestyle.
A thought leader in “applied neuroscience to areas of personal and professional change,” Dr. Fleming is a sought after expert worldwide on how organizations, governmental departments, and individual leaders can leverage brain-centric knowledge to make success via therapy training and coaching stick.
The following is the interview with Kevin, from which we can understand more about his startup and his vision for the company which focusses on therapy based on actual science.
What is the product/service offered by Grey Matters International, Inc.?
Neurotech is name of the game for Grey Matters International (GMI). GMI is a unique neuroscience-based platform of technologies, insights, and behavior change strategies that are brought to client locations, in the form of intensives or private retreats, for the purpose of making sustainable transformations, not just in “superficial mood” but in actual decision making. Our company assumes irrationality of human beings as a ‘normal” and works hard to go beyond mere motivational trite mantras and into the contradictions in us all. Unlike other personal development approaches which assume what you say is what you want, we know the brain is full of self-deceit at the worst, and maximizing efficiency at its best. Most self-help programs assume too much rationality and it’s way most of those programs don’t stick.
Emotions are always a part of what we desire to have change or shifted in our lives when we are stuck or have a goal to change, but I do feel we have overdone this….no, not in the value or importance, but in the misapplied strategies we use to get these shifts. I use neurotechnology FIRST to repair emotional dysregulation primally for no amount of ’emotional processing” will fix a hole in a cup. All the water you pour into it will go out. One must fix is the capital F part of FEELINGS before getting into actual content of feelings and moving that to “small f” feelings. They merge and mingle too much and in my experience, that confuses “emotional processing”. We use neuroscience, neuroeconomics, and neurotherapy as part of our service.
What are the most typical scenarios you find yourself consulting?
- Traumatic brain Injury and other post-concussive, or neurorehabilitation issues
- Relationship conflict
- High performance goals/issues
- Mood disorders
- Memory/cognitive/attention goals
How much are your services priced at? How has the response been so far?
All customized, value-based retainers; higher end, concierge level care, done all around the world. Have worked with clients in 5 continents. Prices for our services range from UD$7500 if clients come to me for a private intensive session; it costs a bit more if I fly to a client location with this work done in their chosen discreet setting.
Any consumers from different parts of Asia? What is your reach in Asia and other parts of the world?
Definitely want to grow this significantly in Asia. Until now, have served mainly in Hong Kong only.
What is the business/revenue model of the company?
It is in essence a private practitioner model. In other words, similar to a private practice/medical practice WITHOUT the business office or backside support staff 🙂 Literally everything is done by me. No, not inefficient, just highly personalized. People are amazed that a doctor who is part of the King of Jordan’s cabinet still picks up the phone 24/7 for people and answers via Olark chats online on my website. I am happy to say that the business has scaled significantly. Just few years ago, the company was a mere $100-200k a year; now it is a 7-figure revenue model.
What other streams of revenue do you foresee? What are the future plans for your company?
Perhaps licensing of my coaching and behavior change methodologies. I am looking for an investor to allow me to create time to put this together. Anyone interested in being a partneris welcome to contact me here. I am very much open to contributing to other Asia-based startups that may leverage this neuroscience-based thinking and strategy since it involves crossovers from the clinical/medical side to ‘neuroleadership” and neuroeconomic realms that influence business strategies.
What motivated you to get into this line of work?
It was organic and not something I chose consciously; I knew helping people was always in my DNA and shrinks were the cornerstone to that, but I quickly learned that there I fell in love with the work around illusions and half-truths of those of us “doing” the helping work and that was what prompted GMI to be formed.
Your thoughts on biotech and healthcare startups in Asia, in general?
I see this is where the future rests and would love to be an influencing agent/player in this area.
Any advice for biotech/healthcare startups? How as your startup journey been as a founder?
Great question. I find most start ups fail because of many cognitive biases that we ignore when we are excited and eventually feel invincible. This is wonderfully discussed by my colleagues at Dartmouth in the book ‘Think Again: Why Good Leaders Make Bad Decisions and How to Keep it From Happening to You’