Richard Olivier Named BPI 2013 Top Thought Leader: Best Practice Institute Honors Novel Mythodrama Approach to Leadership Development

WEST PALM BEACH, FL — June 20, 2013 — Richard Olivier, founder and artistic director of Olivier Mythodrama, a groundbreaking approach to leadership development that uses Shakespeare, is recipient of Best Practice Institute’s 2013 Top Thought Leader Award.

Olivier was honored during a recent BPI awards presentation at GSK House, world headquarters of GlaxoSmithKline, in London.

The mission of Olivier Mythodrama, based in London, is “to develop world class leaders” using tools not often associated with corporate leadership, such as mythology, archetypal psychology, philosophy and drama. Corporate clients include Microsoft, Walmart, GlaxoSmithKline and AXA. Governmental and nonprofit organizations, including the United Nations and the World Health Organization, have also turned to Olivier Mythodrama.
A typical Mythodrama event might involve executives role-playing a scene from Shakespeare and then discussing how the scene and its characters apply to their current business situation. Louis Carter, founder and CEO of Best Practice Institute, said Olivier’s use of Shakespeare to explore issues of modern leadership is “insightful and compelling.”

“Richard’s work is outstanding,” Carter said. “He helps leaders develop their vision and find their passion. Shakespeare had a lot to say about issues such as leadership, competition, ethics and courage. Most modern executives never studied Shakespeare in business school, and most of them do not take the time to ponder his works now. So Richard is taking Shakespeare into the boardrooms, and it has had a profound impact on how some leaders perceive and approach their roles.”

Olivier, son of the celebrated actor and actress, Sir Laurence Olivier and Joan Plowright, began his career as a director of film and stage. He directed “Henry V” for the opening of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in 1997.

During the 1990s, Olivier became a leader in the UK of the Mythopoetic Men’s Movement. The movement seeks to connect men with their masculine nature through the use of rituals, the consideration of myths and legends, and the exploration of archetypes. It was in this context that Olivier first began turning to Shakespeare as a source for archetypes. His focus eventually turned to training business leaders, leading to the founding of Olivier Mythodrama in 2001.

“Human beings are coded to remember images, pictures and symbols a lot more clearly and for a lot longer than they will remember facts, figures and numbers. So we draw on that,” Olivier said.

Olivier is an associate fellow of Said Business School and of Templeton College, University of Oxford, where he has taught several classes that apply Shakespeare’s work to leadership.

Carter said Olivier was one of several nominated by the BPI Senior Executive Board, composed of the top talent management executives of 20 of the world’s largest corporations, including Bank of America, Ingersoll Rand, Walmart and GlaxoSmithKline. Nominees were then presented to BPI’s 10,000 corporate and individual members for comment. Carter made the final determination of the 2013 honoree. He said he chose Olivier because the leadership development work of Mythodrama correlates well with BPI’s values and mission statement to transform leaders and their organizations.

Previous recipients of the BPI Top Thought Leader Award include Edgar Schein, former professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, for his work on corporate culture; John Kotter, former professor at Harvard Business School, for his work on leadership and change; and David Noer, professor emeritus at the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, for his work on organizational change.

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BEST PRACTICE INSTITUTE is a leadership development center, think tank, peer network, research institute and online learning portal. Its focus areas span all aspects of global leadership development, workforce planning and talent management. BPI was named to Leadership Excellence magazine’s “Best in Leadership Development” 2012 ranking. Best Practice Institute has corporate and individual members in about two dozen countries on five continents, including executives and employees of the majority of the Fortune 500.

BPI services and activities include innovations in assessment and online distributed learning, cutting-edge business research, a faculty of hundreds of thought leaders and business leaders, a wealth of online knowledge including hundreds of webinars, and intimate, ongoing consultation provided to its premium membership. BPI’s website,, offers members a treasury of research, case studies and more than 300 interactive webinars led by BPI faculty members, which include world-famous thought leaders and Fortune 500 executives. Human resources training and accreditation (PHR, SPHR, GPHR) are available. BPI also offers, a 360-degree assessment tool built on a social networking, cloud-based platform.

LOUIS CARTER: Since founding Best Practice Institute in 2001, Louis Carter has led the company to become one of the world’s top associations for leadership and human resource development, with more than 42,000 subscribers, receiving Leadership Excellence’s Best in Leadership Development Award and Training Industry’s Innovations in Leadership Development Watch List. Carter has written eleven books on best practices and organizational leadership, including the Best Practice series and the Change Champion’s Field Guide, published by John Wiley & Sons.

Carter became chairman of the Best Practice Institute Senior Executive Board in 2005 after Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Bank of America, Corning, Saudi Aramco, Volvo, Boston Scientific and The Gap became founding corporate members. Carter is creator of, the new 360-degree feedback tool based on a new social networking platform, and creator of the BPI Online Learning Portal on He received his undergraduate degree from Connecticut College and Brown University with honors in political science and economics and his graduate degree in social/organizational psychology from Columbia University with honors.

FOR MORE INFORMATION or to schedule an interview, please contact Louis Carter: 800-718-4274; lou (at)