That's me, Jenny Phillips - or, as my friends call me, "JLP." I'm a strategy coach, ethicist, and student at heart. My professional background is in business (B.S. in accounting, 16 years in a marketing agency, 5 as an exec.). In addition, I hold a Ph.D. in Theology, Ethics, and Culture from the University of Virginia, where I am also an adjunct professor. The juxtaposition of those two intellectual worlds grounds my method and fuels my passion for this work.
I help impact-driven professionals with their knottiest problems.
My clients understand best practice, they stay current in their fields, and they are experts at their work. They are creative, effective, and ethical. In other words, they kick ass for a better world. And they are smart enough to know when they stumble onto an unusually complicated problem.
That's where I step in. My clients reach out to me as a thought partner because:
- They face a major decision for their organization;
- They identify a complex ethical issue at the heart of their work;
- They want to improve or evolve their organization's culture;
- They need an outside perspective to clarify strategy; and
- They want to scale their individual impact, or transition to more meaningful work.
Through questioning and research, I bring a 360-degree view to every challenge. I will stand beside you as you wade through your problem's inherent ambiguity, I will support your critical thinking, and I will help you choose the best course for your career or organization.
I'm a strategy whiz with a secret weapon: a Ph.D. in ethics.
I hold a B.S. in commerce and a Ph.D. in theology, ethics, and culture, both from UVa. I have both studied and taught a range of theological and philosophical ethical traditions. My research experience, my expertise on the ethics of work, and my commitment to social justice anchor my approach. (View my online C.V.)
In addition, I offer over 17 years of business experience, most recently as chief strategy officer at Avalon Consulting, a prominent direct marketing fundraising agency. At Avalon, I was proud to offer backstage support to renowned cultural institutions, environmental powerhouses, and social justice warriors alike. I have worn many hats, from consultant, to teacher, to writer, to executive, to coach. In addition to this functional range, I have worked at the intersection of the for-profit and nonprofit sectors.
As an executive, I was responsible for strategic planning and agency infrastructure. But I took particular pride in my role as steward of company culture and core values. This experience instilled in me a deep appreciation for the complexity of organizational culture—and it informed my point of view that ethics and culture should drive business strategy, not follow it.
My unique combination of business acumen and philosophical training creates one-of-a-kind value.
As an ethicist, I am well-versed in theology, philosophy, and the liberal arts. These disciplines offer profound lessons about human behavior, the natural world, justice, and diversity. They help us think critically, listen to others, persuade with integrity, and manage ambiguity. They kindle the mind, inspiring both creativity and strength of character.
By inviting this wisdom into their professional lives, my clients become uniquely well-rounded leaders. This makes them more agile, informs sound decisions, and catalyzes meaningful creativity - in their own lives, for their organizations, and on behalf of the greater good.
I love this work, and I believe in it.
My mission is to bring activist energy and ethical clarity into leadership practice. Our world needs inspired leaders, we need to unite the wisdom of the professions with the wisdom of the philosophers, and we need influencers to embrace the full, diverse scope of humanity.
P.S. I like to have fun!
I do serious, impactful work without taking myself too...well, seriously. I love live music, public art, road trips, Virginia beer and QT with my husband and 3 kids. I earned my Ph.D. with 3 kids under 5—so I know chaos, I know hard work, and I know lack of sleep! Fortunately, I have also come to know the art of balance.
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