2020-solutionsiqWelcome to my blog. The motto that I use for it, “Scire et Creare,” is latin for “to know and to create,” which I believe reflects something of how God has made us humans in his image and embodies my philosophy of work.



As a capability cultivator, organizational fitness coach and workplace activist, Matt helps organizations and teams continuously become fit for their purpose. He is especially passionate about building learning organizations and creating humanizing and engaging work environments.

He tweets at @mattphilip, blogs at https://mattphilip.wordpress.com/ and shares his presentations at http://www.slideshare.net/MatthewPhilip.

Quotes that Inform my Philosophy of Work

  • “We are here to have fun, to learn and to make a difference.” (W. Edwards Deming)
  • “Innovation comes from people who take joy in their work.” (W. Edwards Deming)
  • “Progress cannot be generated when we are satisfied with existing situations.” (Taiichi Ohno)
  • “Leaders are responsible for creating an environment in which future leaders can blossom.” (Jeffrey Liker)
  • “When was the last time someone was rewarded in your organization for raising difficult questions about the company’s current policies rather than solving urgent problems?” (Peter Senge)
  • “It is fundamentally the confusion between effectiveness and efficiency that stands between doing the right things and doing things right. There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.” (Peter Drucker)
  • “Performance can’t be managed. We can help make it happen. Anything else is an illusion of control.” (Bjarte Bogsnes)
  • “Work only on those things whose impact you know how to measure.” (my rephrasing of David Hussman’s “Don’t start working on anything unless you know how to measure its impact.”)
  • “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.” (Colossians 3:23)
  • “Drive out fear so that everyone may work effectively for the company.” (W. Edwards Deming)
  • “Do you see a man skillful* in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.” (Proverbs 22:29)
    • * “Skillful” here can mean, as John Gill has expounded, “constant in it, swift, ready, and expeditious at it; who industriously pursues it, cheerfully attends it, makes quick dispatch of it; does it off of hand, at once, and is not slothful in it, nor weary of it.”

On Coaching

One of my favorite descriptions of agile coaching comes from Uncle Bob’s classic post “What Killed Waterfall could Kill Agile”:

XP defined the role of coach quite informally. The role would float between members of the team. One month it would be Joe, the next it would be Jane. It was not a title, and it conferred no authority. There were no decisions to be made, and no power of enforcement granted. The coach had the responsibility to remind, not to command.

The role of the coach was to act as a gentle reminder of process and discipline. The coach was never supposed to manage the project or the schedule! Indeed, these two roles were supposed to be adversarial! It is the project manager’s role to remind the team about the schedule and to encourage them to change something so that the schedule can be met. It is the coach’s role to remind the team to hold to the process. True XP coaches are not project managers nor are they team leaders. They do not lead the team to success, and cannot claim credit for that success. Indeed, the role is considered optional because mature teams will probably not need frequent reminders. But CSMs often assume the role of team leader. They are viewed as a critical component of the team; without whom the team cannot function. In XP a team without a coach is no big deal; but a scrum team without a scrum master is an oxymoron.

The International Coach Federation defines it well, too:

Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Coaching honors the client as the expert in his/her life and work and believes that every client is creative, resourceful, and whole.

Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve; encourage client self-discover; elicit client generated solutions and strategies and hold the client responsible and accountable.

Personal Service-Level Expectations

  • Email: response within 24 hours (90%), within 7 days (100%)
  • Immediate contact: G-chat or text/phone
  • Core working hours: 9am-6pm Central Time (other hours as needed)

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