Projects Past and Present

UPSIDE GROUP, FOUNDER 2006 to present
Phil Hallstein is a business consultant, organizational designer, and executive coach dedicated to helping managers, teams, and businesses build powerful practices to successfully shape their collective future. In 2006 he founded the Upside Group, a leadership development and consulting firm. Many organizations have utilized his management experience and program design skills to generate faster cycle times, more responsive business processes, better-coordinated leadership teams, and higher levels of customer satisfaction. He has helped executives and managers create business cultures that foster greater accountability, commitment, and ownership. The following summarizes key clients, roles, and projects.

Capital One – Financial Services

Phil has been contributing to the increased effectiveness of the Financial Services Group in a number of ways. As an executive coach he has helped High-Potential executives and managers develop their strengths and expand their leadership skills. He has been also been introducing a set of practices based on Commitment-based Management, using a tool called the Action Cycle. This tool and practice set allow managers to more effectively generate accountability, define and manage expectations, while creating greater business value and customer satisfaction. He has worked with a range of groups and teams including Home Loans, Auto Finance, Enterprise Services, Statistics, and HR.

Barclay’s US Bank – Mobile Commerce Group

This relatively new group is committed to generating a new revenue stream by developing mobile payment strategies and implementing functional mobile products to complement existing credit card products. Phil is conducting a year long management and team building training program to accelerate the formation and performance of this 20 person team. He is introducing the practices of Commitment-based Management to the team in order to produce greater role clarity, more effective team coordination and faster cycle times for innovation. He is augmenting this development by coaching the SVP leading the group and several people on his team to increase their capacity to define their goals, take action and produce clear results and customer satisfaction.

Elavon – Global Payment Processing

Phil worked in partnership with Stratam Consulting to design and deliver a 6-month program to create a more accountable IT culture within Elavon, a subsidiary of US Bank. He worked with a team to deliver a series of training programs customized to several levels and disciplines within Elavon over a three-month period. The training helped client personnel build and use new practices for operating with Commitment-based Management, defining and building customer satisfaction, improving coordination and project planning. For the next three months he and his team then coached mission critical project teams weekly in their project review meetings, cross-departmental conversations, and commitment tracking practices. Within this timeframe, the Project Management department began delivering projects on time for the first time in the group’s history—without significant bugs, which previously would have required delivery delays or emergency patches.

AES Dominicana– Organizational Consultant
AES Dominicana is the primary power generating utility in the Dominican Republic. New management developed and initiated a new strategic plan for 2012. To help build employee ownership and commitment to the new plan, Phil worked with senior management to design and then lead a 3 day Operational Planning Conference in Spanish for the AES Executive Team and their top 40 country managers to:

  • Understand and interpret the 2012 AES country Strategic Plan
  • Learn and use Commitment Based Management Practices to write and commit to Departmental Operational Business Plans to support those strategic business directions
  • Implement and integrate Leadership Strategies to unify the plans across Departments and Company.

At the completion of the program the Country Director told Phil that he had never seen a planning program that produced such good ideas and commitment from employees and management. The employees have been moving for 8 months to fulfill the plan and are on track for the year.

Effective Training Associates – Senior Program Designer and Trainer

ETA is a training and development company based in Silicon Valley that provides a wide range of training programs to technical professionals. It has assembled a roster of proven, experienced consultants and trainers to design and deliver leading edge management, communication, and other programs to systems engineers, technical professionals, and software designers. Phil has been one of the senior designers and trainers and customizes many programs for ETA and its clients. Phil has:

  • Designed and conducted numerous management and leadership workshops for high technology firms including:
    • Managing Expectations and Results
    • Mastering Difficult Conversations
    • Five Conversations of High Performance Teams
    • Conquering Overwhelm and Managing Stress
    • Authentic Communications
  • Conducted numerous customized workshops for managers and leaders within companies such as Brocade, Cognizant Technologies, Genentech, Actel, National Semiconductor, Blue Coat, and Carl Zeiss.
  • Phil consistently receives among the highest scores on training evaluations and is constantly asked by ETA staff to customize programs for unique client situations.

Marin County Health and Human Services – Organizational Consultant

  • Conducted executive coaching with key employees within EMS and Public Health Divisions.
  • Co-designed and conducted Vision and Strategy workshops resulting in new departmental goals and strategies.
  • Worked on the team to research and write the Strategic Plan for Marin Medical Reserve Corps, a 500 member volunteer organization of physicians, nurses, and healthcare workers serving Marin County. The Plan was used to improve recruiting efforts.
  • Designed and conducted Leadership Practices workshops for the Public Health Officer and the Public Health Preparedness Division resulting in superb team performance when Swine Flu hit Marin County.

The Williams Group – Lead Coach
The Williams Group specializes in working with wealthy families to help build the competences needed by the heirs to manage or take ownership of the family’s assets. Phil has worked as lead coach with over a dozen wealthy families, organizing, and conducting over 50 family meetings and several hundred individual and small group coaching sessions. His role has been to:

  • Win the trust of the patriarch and matriarch to help them see that their family could learn to work together in a way that helps them achieve their legacy and wealth succession.
  • Show family members how to improve inter-family trust and communication and how doing that sustains family wealth and heritage.
  • Prepare family members to work in cooperative way with each other and with their wealth management advisors and counselors.
  • Work within family businesses to develop performance standards for bringing family members into the business and to design governance policies to coordinate the intersection of business ownership, management, and family participation.
  • Prepare 2nd generation family members to productively participate in the family business, to learn how to manage and leverage their wealth using philanthropy, and to learn how to select and work with wealth advisors.


SportsMind is an international Leadership Development and Management Training company that uses a combination of Experiential Learning, Action Language, and Commitment Based Management Practices to grow leaders to create cultures of accountability and performance. Phil has been a partner, program designer, and primary Relationship Manager for several clients and programs including:
Frontier Communications – Leadership Competency Consultant and Program Designer and Leader

  • Led the project to research, design, and implement a new behavior–based Leadership Competency Model, which was developed to support the business strategies implemented by a new Senior management team.
  • Co-designed and co-led a 2 phase experiential Leadership Program based the above Competency Model, which was delivered over 2 years to 600 leaders within Frontier. Frontier’s president recognized SportsMind as a Leading Vendor for the results achieved through this training.
  • Designed and conducted a 3-day “General Manager University” for over 85 Leaders and Managers from across the US. This customized program introduced new management processes and roles stemming from a major re-organization in 2007. In addition to leading sessions on leadership, management and presentations skills, he also collaborated with numerous Frontier executives to prepare and deliver experiential workshops on marketing strategies, sales techniques, diagnosing sales data, competitive strategies and community networking.

Capital One Financial – Program Designer, Executive Coach, and Relationship Manager

  • Served as Client Relationship Manager over 6 years billing around $3MM a year over that period Worked with the founders and senior management of Capital One as an executive coach and program designer to develop a 9-month Leadership Development Program to build leadership and management skills needed by the rapidly growing business.
  • Headed up the SportsMind project team to design, produce, and lead over 60 Leadership Development Conferences where his team taught leadership skills to over 2500 Cap One Associates from 1998 to 2004 in the US and internationally.
  • Co-designed and co-led an organization-wide transformation at Capital One beginning with a 3 day Senior Leadership Seminar. Program was designed to cascade new values and practices down throughout the organization with an extensive train-the-trainer program with a built in QA program. Program focused on defining and teaching the leadership skills needed by leaders throughout the company to lead and sustain the changes the company was asking of its employees to deal with a rapidly changing competitive environment.
  • Collaborated with the Competency Development Group within HR to design, test, and implement an executive coaching program throughout Capital One. SportsMind developed the coaching curriculum, selected and trained internal and external coaches and maintained a QA system to track executive satisfaction and results. Over time SportsMind turned this program over to Cap One personnel.

The EVP of HR, Dennis Liberson considered SportsMind his “in-house training and development group.” He kept asking us to expand our presence within Capital One for 6 years while the company was going through growth from 5000 Associates to over 20,000 associates.

Action Technologies is a leader in workflow-enabled software systems and applications. Before the systems and applications were installed Action would often have the consulting group conduct business process redesign projects, which Phil would organize, lead and complete. These process maps would create the framework for designing and installing the technology at companies like Warner Bros. and Saturn.

Pacific Bell – Process Improvement Project Lead
Designed and led a one year core process reengineering effort at Pacific Bell to define and implement new processes, roles, standards and technology for producing Methods and Procedures documentation (technical instructions used by Pac Bell sales force to sell and order products/services). Here he showed managers and their teams how to cope and flourish in a rapidly changing corporate environment.

A founding consultant at BDA Phil conducted corporate change and business process re-design programs for companies in the US, Canada, and Europe. In these capacities Phil helped his clients make an in-depth analysis of their roles and relationships and then make fundamental changes in their processes, relationships and teams. Some examples include:
ABB Carbon, Sweden – Lead On-Site Design Team
Developed and led the consulting design team in a reengineering and cultural change project for ABB Carbon in Sweden. The team redesigned the process for making and tracking Engineering Changes for a new coal burning technology that was being tested in 4 sites around the world. There he illuminated for his clients the different sensibilities that various cultures lived in as a way of improving their coordination and collaboration.

EURON, Italy – On-Site Coach and Team Leader
Served as on-site coach for an eight-month innovation program at EURON, the R&D division for the state owned petrochemical conglomerate, AGIP-Petroli. This project increased the capacity of several EURON management teams increased their capacity to define new and better product ideas, assess their viability more quickly, and reduce overall time to market.

Ontario Hydro, Canada – Team Member
Participated on the team that designed and conducted a year long training program in process design and implementation for 500 managers and engineers within the Operations Division at Ontario-Hydro, one of Canada’s leading utilities. The resulting designs produced improvements in overall responsiveness, management incentives and the ability of this division to satisfy their customers.

Philip ran his own international management consulting and training firm in New York for 10 years. This company specialized its work in the financial, marketing and advertising industries with such clients as American Express, Smith Barney, First Interstate Bank, BBDO Advertising and Young & Rubicam. He and his staff worked with middle and executive level managers in strategic planning, executive leadership, customer service, team building, new business development and innovation. Some of his projects included:

Frito-Lay Packaging Process – Co-Designer and Co-Leader
Designed and led an inter-enterprise project for Frito-Lay to better integrate the business processes of their flexible packaging supply chain, comprised of 7 supplier companies in three industries. Teaching the various participants to listen to, appreciate and align with other points of view was instrumental to this project’s success.

Microsoft Service Quality Leadership – Designer and Project Leader

Designed and conducted a Service Quality Leadership program for 60 managers (supervising over 1000 people) within the Microsoft Services Group, which provided a range of internal business services to Business Units within Microsoft . The participants in this yearlong program improved their leadership skills by designing and implementing a cohesive set of service processes, promises and metrics. The customers of this group noticed a dramatic change in the service attitude and a measured improvement in the service quality provided. He initiated business process redesign for some of their services, developed and led an internal Service Quality Program and conducted leadership and management training within Employee Services.

BBDO Advertising – International Integration Conferences
Designed and conducted the first three Worldwide Network Management Training Programs for BBDO International. He brought together managers of more than a dozen different cultures and taught them to appreciate and leverage the value that such diversity can produce. This series of conferences was instrumental in BBDO developing the capabilities and billing income of a worldwide advertising network.

His experience prior to 1979 had been in marketing where he worked EF Hutton for 2 years as a Director of Marketing Communications developing marketing programs for all of Hutton’s retail financial products; he also worked 3 years at Y&R Advertising in Account Management, Strategic Planning and New Product Development for Fortune 500 consumer packaged goods companies.

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