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Fast Five with Philip John


How did you hear about SSE? What attracted you to the Program Lead role?
I saw an advert for the position of Program Lead and after looking up SSE I loved the ethos and energy they have. The position had a creative and entrepreneurial spirit attached to it and this immediately resonated with me.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received, personally or professionally?
My Father used to always give me quotes from Reader's Digest. It became a bit of a family joke. But many years ago I was working far away from Australia and feeling pretty low. My Father rang me and read me his favourite quote “If you are prepared to look at the invisible and you are fully prepared to be uncomfortable, you will achieve the impossible.” It lifted my spirits back then and still guides me even today, many years after he passed.

How do you stay motivated?
I’ve found focusing on what I can contribute to a greater cause keeps me moving forward with energy. I match this with listening to others who have driven causes.

What do you think are the most needed skills and capabilities at the moment?
The most needed skills are understanding what a market truly needs and always viewing that from the end user's perspective. The most needed capability is being able to meet that need from a human side while sustaining business viability, they are not in my opinion mutually exclusive.

What change do you want to contribute to this world?
I want to inspire change in the way we view traditional business education. I found a gap between how we deliver education in the business disciplines and what is really useful in the real world. This is not a recent discovery, it’s always been there - but I think the timing is right here, right now.

Phil Portrait PNG

If you are prepared to look at the invisible and you are fully prepared to be uncomfortable, you will achieve the impossible.

Philip John Innovation Program Lead

What do you do to unwind after a long day?
My other passion is composing; over the past two years, I have been working on a musical. So after a long day, music and writing unwind me.

If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
The superpower that could fight inequality. I’ve seen so much of it and equally seen people with so much creativity and talent with little opportunity. Not sure if that qualifies as a superpower.

Bonus round - a quick game of Either/Or:

  • Beach or Mountain Escape?  Mountain Escape for sure, you get to experience a range of emotions.
  • Music or Podcasts?  Music, because I love composing.
  • Cats or Dogs?  I have two dogs and they are the love of my life.