Will Phillips is the President and founder of REX. He has over 30 years of practical experience as a management consultant. In the past fifteen years his work has focused on broad scale organizational change projects and developing internal change agents. He is a master facilitator and chairs eight industry Roundtables for REX.
Phillips has consulted with business, government and hospitals as well as a broad range of non-profits. He has led 18 major change efforts and participated in dozens of others for clients world wide. His skill in building positive relations with top managers and union leaders as well as with workers, supervisors, and union stewards has enabled him to help organizations develop realistic strategies for simultaneously improving organizational performance and fostering human effectiveness.
Known as a dynamic and stimulating presenter, he is a frequent lecturer to national associations, Chapters of the Young Presidents Organization, The Executive Committee, groups of company presidents, and at top level management and board retreats.
His skills in team work developed as an Outward Bound chief instructor. He also led major mountaineering expeditions to remote areas of the world. In response to the catastrophic earthquakes in Peru in 1970, he organized, funded, and led a 30 person emergency medical expedition to the most inaccessible villages on the eastern slope of the Cordillera Blanca.
His next venture was starting the nation's first environmental consulting organizationHabitat, Inc.in Boston. As director, he led a team of PhDs in solving environmental problems only to find that the greatest challenge was not designing a technical solution, but fostering the changes in human behavior necessary to implement the solutions.
In order to focus on human change, Phillips became Associate Director of the New England Labor Management Center in the late 1970's. He designed the Center's strategies and process for the creation of joint labor-management Quality of Work Life (QWL) programs in a number of municipalities and manufacturing businesses in New England. Phillips developed the concepts and training materials for use with these labor-management problem-solving committees. He also edited the Center's Newsletter that reported on QWL programs throughout the United States for four years.
Building on this foundation, he joined the Adizes Institute in the early 1980's, and was in charge of developing the training materials for certification of the Institute's 35 consulting associates throughout the world. He continued this role as a senior consultant for the Faust Management Corporation where he was a senior consultant and developed materials for problem solving, conflict resolution, team work and process change.
In 1984 one of Phillips' clients, McGladrey and Pullen, the nation's ninth largest CPA firm, invited him to become a partner. He developed the firm's strategic planning service and proprietary manuals for entrepreneurial businesses in the United States.
After leaving McGladrey and Pullen, he worked independently to develop a unique, low cost system for diagnosing an organization's health. This approach uses a powerful card sorting method and was pilot tested in over three dozen workshops with CEO's in the TEC (The Executive Committee) organization in the mid 1980's. Phillips then teamed with Gerry Faust to develop this technology into Executive Insight and launch a business which licenses this tool along with other significant change technology to over thirty consultants around the world. Phillips and Faust continue to partner in serving clients directly. Most recently they teamed with Dick Lyles, CEO of Blanchard Training and Development, to write Responsible Managers Get Results published by the American Management Association in 1998.
He was the founder and director of Qm², a management consulting collaborative with a significant focus on museums. In 1995 he developed a unique assessment and planning tool for non-profits that was sponsored by the American Association of Museums and supported by the Pew Charitable Trust. These materials were published as the New Visions Process. Phillips trained over 150 individuals across the United States to use this change technology in their organizations.
Phillips has used large group processes for planning and decisions making. He has managed seven Future Search Conferences around the world.
Education and Training
Phillips received a BS from Haverford College in 1963. Since that time he has participated in over 2,500 hours of CEU professional training in organizational health and change. In addition, as the founder and director of a small non-profit consulting firm he suffered the slings and arrows of meeting a regular payroll.
In addition to the publications mentioned below and the various editorial roles he has filled, Phillips has published thirteen articles in various professional and trade journals in the United States, Canada, and Spain. In addition, he has authored over 100 Management Briefings on special topics for clients. Many of these are on this web site. His current bookResponsible Managers Get Resultswas published by the American Management Association in the spring of 1998 and reprinted in 2004.