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Colin D Ellis

Colin D Ellis

Colin D Ellis is an award-winning international speaker, renowned project leadership expert and best-selling author who works with organisations around the world to help them build capability that's fit for the future of work.

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Testimonials for Colin D Ellis

Hello Colin

I want to personally thank you for coming and presenting at the IT Management program last week; your session was inspirational, incredibly impactful, and so much fun! So a personal thank you from me for your helping make this year’s IT Management Program the most successful ever. As you may have heard, we received a 4.6 overall score the highest score ever in Europe, since kicking off the first ITM back in 2011, so THANK YOU!

Europe Cisco Conference, Barcelona 2018


"Colin lifts engagement through his insights and experience. His powerful stories inspire individuals and teams to take action. Simply outstanding."

Lani Beer, National Australia Bank


'Colin was thought-provoking, witty and made a room full of CIOs all stand up and listen to the realities of the importance of leadership and culture in projects. If you want an energised speaker with passion to boot, Colin is the perfect person."

Ernest Stabek, Director/Founder SIP Management Consultants


"It is now two weeks since Colin worked with myself and my team. We are all still buzzing! 

Colin created energy and enthusiasm which is continuing to inspire changes in the way we work. Colin is realistic, honest and knowledgeable and extremely passionate about transformation. His passion is infectious. He related to us as individuals and to our work experiences as he has been there and done that himself! I cannot recommend Colin highly enough and I am looking forward to seeing the results of the work he has inspired."

Emma Needham, Manager, Project Practice at Housing New Zealand Corporation


"I have seen Colin speak at conferences and he recently facilitated a two-day workshop for the team at IAG. Colin has a really engaging style and is passionate about improving project delivery through developing better project leaders and creating awesome cultures. We had fantastic feedback from the team after the session and I would highly recommend Colin either as a speaker or facilitator and he's not a bad author either. If you are involved in project management, get his book, its great!"

Ian Clancy, Head of PMO Capability, IAG


"Country Road Group has been working with Colin through a 12 month program developing the project management and delivery skill set of our team - what we call our "Making a Difference" Program. Working with Colin has been so beneficial in building not just the project management and conscious leadership skills of our project managers, but also in driving the delivery culture we want to see in our business. 

We have included monthly sessions with project managers, monthly blogs to the team, sessions with business leaders and executives as well as specific PM101 training - all facilitated with Colin's authentic and engaging style."

Amy Stoneham, Business Transformation Manager at Country Road Group

Colin D Ellis Travels from VIC
Fee Range: :$5001 to $10000

Colin D Ellis's Biography

Colin D Ellis is an award-winning international speaker, renowned project leadership expert and best-selling author who works with organisations around the world to help them build capability that's fit for the future of work.


He delivers development programs, mentors individuals looking to master their careers and champions a global tribe of like-minded project people through his popular community events.


Nothing fires him up like a room full of people expecting another dull powerpoint about project processes – the very antithesis of the Colin D Ellis experience! With his contagious enthusiasm, Colin delivers high-impact, humour-laden keynotes that leave audiences inspired and entertained. He's repeatedly asked back to events and organisers appreciate that he goes above and beyond to engage audiences – from social media activity and pre- and post- speech mingling, to chairing panels and running interactive polls.


Able to draw on more than 20 years of public and private sector project leadership in the UK, New Zealand and Australia, Colin peppers his presentations with anecdotes, statistics and practical insights. He puts the emphasis on people being the best version of themselves and creating teams they can be proud of.


Colin is originally from Liverpool in the UK and now lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he is known for his snappy dressing and love of karaoke.

Speaking Topics Include

Nailing Project Leadership: How To Exceed Expectations Every Time

This keynote introduces the audience to a project management approach that works – one that puts the emphasis on leadership and culture rather than blindly following a prescribed process. For the last 15 years, project management has focussed its efforts on the implementation of methods despite the fact that less than 30% of projects are considered successful. While methods are important tools for delivery, its leadership and the cultures they create that make projects memorable. This inspirational speech incorporates the practical elements of leadership, culture creation and methods that anyone in the audience can immediately apply to their work, whatever their role, level of experience or sector.


• A full understanding of what makes projects successful • Why leadership is a choice not a program • How to be self-aware and emotionally intelligent and why it’s important • Why behaviours matter • The definition of culture and how to build a team that everyone wants to join • Understanding the kind of team that you’ve built • Why the plan is all important • Why not following the process is a performance management issue


Why Senior Managers Are The Secret Sauce For Project Success

This keynote provides senior executives and managers with a blueprint for organisational success through their projects. Committed executive sponsorship is still the biggest contributing factor to successful projects around the world, yet organisations continue to get it wrong. In this inspirational and energetic speech, executives and senior managers will gain hands-on knowledge of the skills required to deliver the right projects at the right time, regardless of size and scale. Drawing on Colin's extensive experience as a senior executive, the message is delivered through a combination of personal stories, anecdotal evidence, current data and humour that will help executives stop projects failing, forever.



• Why project sponsorship is the number one contributor to project success •  The two reasons for project failure • The three elements of great project sponsorship • What ‘engaged sponsor’ really means • Half your decisions will fail, but you still have to make them • How to pick the right project manager for the job • How sponsors can elevate and destroy a project’s culture • Why benefit delivery is important and how to do it well.


Go Team! How To Create A Culture Of Success Where Great Work Thrives

This keynote provides leaders and managers with a checklist of how to create vibrant project, department or organisational cultures. Culture is still the number one contributing factor to organisational success and as Peter Drucker said, 'Culture eats strategy for breakfast.' Despite this, organisations don't commit time or money to develop a vibrant culture, choosing instead to restructure or change the office layout in the hope of a quick fix. Drawing on his experience of helping organisations around the world to build vibrant cultures, Colin provides leaders and managers with the information and actions they need to start creating the right culture, right now.



• The four cultures and how to spot where you are • Why a vision is critical for team engagement • The three pillars of great teams: behaviours and why they’re important • The three pillars of great teams: collaboration and how to do it well • The three pillars of great teams: innovation and how to make time for it • How to build and continually evolve a vibrant culture • How to spot when the team is dysfunctional • Why being the best version of yourself is central to great teamwork.


Say What? How To Deliver A Message So  That Everyone Gets It

This keynote provides everyone with simple strategies on how to communicate effectively to any audience. We have more communication tools at our disposal than ever before. We communicate more than we have ever done. Yet the quality of these communications – the impact they deliver – has diminished. Great leaders understand that effective communication is not one approach for all. It is nuanced and tailored to the needs of the individual. This highly informative, engaging and entertaining keynote introduces the principles and practicalities of variable communication and how to do it well.



• Understanding how communication underpins everything we do • Why great communication starts with self-awareness • Artificial intelligence and its impact on communication • What great communicators do • The role of empathy in communication • Why the ‘one communication’ approach doesn’t work • Understanding the four types of communication and how to do them well • Why asking for feedback is key to improving communication.


Digital Transformation Starts With You

This keynote takes a deep dive into the human side of digital transformation and the behaviours needed to do it successfully. A recent Deloitte report found that 65% of companies surveyed had no significant programs to provide their people with the skills required to lead digital transformation projects, despite them being critical to the future of their organisations. As a leader and manager, digital transformation starts with you and your behaviours. In this practical, energetic and inspirational speech, Colin will provide a blueprint of the skills you need to lead digital transformation projects to success. These skills are applicable and immediately actionable regardless of role, sector and location.



• Why most transformation programs fail •  Understanding the Transformation Triangle and why it’s the key to success • The difference between emotional capital and emotional baggage • How to be a role model for others • How to use a large program to change the organisation’s culture • Why simply saying ‘we’re going agile’ won’t work • Keeping the problem in mind is more important than the solution • Understanding the steps needed to get the value from your investment.


Customised to fit you perfectly

Want something tailored specifically to your audience, strategic objectives or event theme? With experience of presenting to sectors as diverse as aeronautics to accounting, football to finance, there is no audience Colin cannot connect with. Add to this his global experience that encompasses cultural considerations and working with translators to accommodate language needs, creating a customised presentation for your unique event is a challenge Colin relishes. He'll spend time talking to you and your team to understand your needs, welcomes input while supplying the ideas and inspiration that will make your event memorable for all the right reasons.