Robert Poynton

Coach, Author and Creative Business Thinker

For Rob, career is more of a verb than a noun.

That career began at ad agency Grandfield Rork Collins, but six weeks after joining, the company was bought by Saatchi & Saatchi. Stints at GGT and BBH followed before moving to Madrid to do market research. At JWT Spain he tried (and failed) to introduce account planning in a country where it was unheard of, which possibly explains why he was next seen in Buenos Aires.

From Argentina he was one of the founders of the virtual, global, networked brand consultancy Red Spider (and that was 1994!). This allowed him to work on a truly eclectic set of projects including the launch of GM/Saturn’s EV1 in California, the prequels of Star Wars for Lucas Films and Wired magazine.

Following a chance meeting in Portland, Oregon, he then set up ‘On Your Feet’, a consultancy which applies learning and methods from improv theatre to businesses and brands (like Nike, Intel and Disney).

From there the obvious move was to Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, where he has been an Associate Fellow, for fifteen years. At Oxford he works on executive leadership programmes, using the improv approach to explore complexity and unpredictable change. He is also one of the founders of the Oxford Praxis Forum at Green Templeton College – a research centre focused on the intersection between practical and academic knowledge.

He has spoken and taught at Singularity University, Schumacher College, The Do Lectures and the Skoll World Forum. He has collaborated extensively with challenger brand consultancy eatbigfish and is author of two books about applied improv (‘Everything’s An Offer’ and ‘Do - Improvise’).

His most recent work is ‘Do – Pause’ – a book about our relationship with time.

He lives in a solar powered off grid house in central Spain where he also hosts various retreats and events.

Speakers include disabled racing driver Billy Monger, war surgeon David Nott OBE, award-winning entrepreneur China L'One and more

As columnist Dov Seidman says: ‘When you press the pause button on a machine it stops. But when you press

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