Ollie Phillips, former captain of the England Rugby 7’s team, lives an extraordinary life. Following an illustrious career in professional rugby, he is now a highly successful businessman in one of the world’s largest professional service networks, PWC. A Guinness World Record Holder, motivational speaker and expedition leader to name a few, he is proof that anything is possible.
Voted the ‘Best Seven’s Player in the World’ in 2009, Ollie has had a distinguished rugby career that spanned 14 years. England Captain from 2008 -2010, he was a triumphant leader and mentor to his teammates and played in three Seven’s World Cup tournaments including Hong Kong, Moscow and Dubai. Away from the Sevens field, Ollie enjoyed a successful career across three different clubs, namely Newcastle Falcons, Gloucester and perhaps his most successful tenure, Stade Francais where Ollie was recognized as the most valuable overseas player in 2011 and the clubs top try scorer in the same year. However, it was in 2013, whilst preparing for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow, that Ollie suffered a severe calf injury that brought his victorious rugby career to an end. Now, Ollie is often a contributing commentator for Eurosport and Sky Sports and is commentating throughout the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
With no intention of sitting back, Ollie threw himself into a mammoth challenge, the ‘Clipper Round the World Yacht Race’ after being persuaded by legendary sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. Ollie was a complete newcomer to sailing but it was his determination and team spirit that pushed him through and saw him and his Great Britain teammates come 2nd overall in this gruelling race. With a taste for adventure, Ollie seized his next opportunity to take on a completely fresh challenge and head to the North Pole for the ‘Arctic Rugby Challenge’ where his previous skills of leadership and teamwork came into play. He completed a 100-mile trek across the Arctic in -40 degrees centigrade temperatures to the Magnetic North Pole where he hosted the ‘Most Northerly Rugby Match’, breaking the Guinness World Record. The challenge was all in aid of the children’s rugby charity, Wooden Spoon, for which Ollie raised a total of £350,000 from the expedition.
Aside from his adventuring success, Ollie’s entrepreneurial spirit has catapulted him into the role of ‘Head of Innovation’ at PwC. Ollie uses his skills in management and applies his ‘on the pitch’ tactics to his corporate role to achieve success and help clients take a fresh approach to any challenges they face. Here he focuses on creating a culture of creativity, disruption and innovation. Understanding where that innovation can come from and then how you implement it is vital, and Ollie has a sound understanding of how technology can help with that implementation. Ollie leads alliances with Google, Software City and Digital Catapult so he understands the challenges that large-scale organisations face, but also recognises how to ensure that innovation is a process that is implemented and integrated successfully within your firm.
We chose Ollie as the after dinner speaker at our International sales and marketing conference in Istanbul. We needed someone to ass an independent, thought-provoking perspective to support the overall theme of the conference – ‘collaborate with purpose’. In light of his achievements, there was so much to pack in! He gained an enormous amount of respect from the room for his rugby achievements alone, but that was just his intro. He captivated us with his tales of sailing the seas during the Clipper Round the World Race, bringing a disparate bunch of individuals together and teaching them to live and work together for a common goal. His experience resonated with our International audience and the feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive.
Image copyright: Ollie Phillips
£2,000 - £5,000
Price based on UK delivery
Adventure, Digital, Inspiration, Motivation, Sport
Culture, High Performing Teams, Innovation, Leadership, Performance, Planning & Preparation, Resilience, Teamwork, Technology