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Speaker in action.

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Phil speaks on purpose, literally! He is an authority on purpose as a driver of personal and organisational performance, including the crafting of business purpose statements, employee engagement and retention strategies and improving wellbeing for people with busy and complex lives.

As the creator of the Purpose List process, he thrives on practical methods for making purpose real for busy professionals without them feeling trapped or having to leave their day jobs, with many insights coming from reflecting on leaving his own corporate career of 19 years due to a lack of ‘purpose’.

Since 2008, he has worked with hundreds of clients on purpose-based challenges across a range of industries and sectors.

He is the founder of The Business Purpose Project, author of Connecting Profit with Purpose, co-host of Corporate Conversations on Purpose and host of Talking Purpose in Business & Life. His own ‘purpose’ is to help people and organisations maximise their impact.

As a speaker, facilitator and strategist, Phil distils years of experience into actionable learning, making use of storytelling, audience interaction and a splash of dry humour. Outside of work he is enthusiastic about coffee, chocolate and trail running.

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The full story

As a born and bred Tasmanian, Phil left the ‘Apple Isle’ for Sydney, where he went on to work in the insurance industry for 2 years and then the investment industry for 17 years. By the mid 2000s he was heading up a successful research team responsible for $50 billion of global investments before having his own existential crisis with respect to ‘purpose’ – leaving that career behind to explore new possibilities.

Spending time with local community organisations provided a steep learning curve and insights into the complexity of driving change at the grass roots level. It also led him to the belief that every person and organisation has their own unique strengths, and our challenge as a society is to realise that potential.

He also found that philanthropy and corporate social responsibility are essential activities for most businesses however they have insufficient resources on their own to solve our pressing challenges. Phil had a hunch that a win-win approach that connects profitable business with social purpose would be the means by which companies would bring greater resources, scale and innovation to our challenges.

In 2013, he was invited to join Harvard Business School’s Professor Michael Porter and Mark Kramer in Boston to advance the application of ‘shared value’ principles, where business use the profit motive to help address social and environmental challenges. He has since become a leading practitioner in this field, including authoring and launching the book, Connecting Profit With Purpose, in April 2020.

In 2021, Phil created The Business Purpose Project with the aim of accelerating the purpose economy and improving the collective resilience and prosperity of people and communities worldwide. Under this banner he has authored several new case studies and started two video / podcasts called Corporate Conversations on Purpose and Talking Purpose in Business & Life.

Apart from providing guidance on the application of purpose in business, he champions new forms of storytelling that inspire employees, customers and other stakeholders to take the purpose journey together.

Phil works with small-medium enterprises through to multi-national corporations and everything in between, with his client list including Australian Unity, Bendigo & Adelaide Bank, Challenger Group, GPT, IAG, JLL, NRMA, QBE and Westpac. Plus, he’s worked extensively with not-for-profits, peak bodies, associations and all levels of government.

As a speaker and facilitator, he distills years of experience into actionable learning, making use of storytelling, audience interaction and a splash of dry humour for a journey of insight and inspiration. Phil’s worked on big stages, boardrooms, basketball courts, the back of Bourke (literally) and more recently, online.