What I Like to talk About

Topics & Issues:

Your Extraordinary Workplace: Creating Exceptional Cultures of Resilience and Agility in the 21st Century

When Techno and Human Eco-Systems Collide: Bridging Globalization, Technology and Emotional Intelligence

A Digital Transformation Crisis is a Leadership Crisis: Helping Employees Develop Staying Power

Ensuring Generational Agility: Bridging Gaps so all People work Collaboratively to Expand Human Potential   

Fostering Trans-functional Teamwork: A Common Language & Tools to Build Innovation & Collaboration

Optimizing Your Human Capital: Dismantling Control and Harnessing Intrinsic Motivation Instead

Redirecting Negative Behavior: Strengthening Maturity and Right Behavior Harmlessly and Holistically

Communicating to Build Trust, Collaboration and Teamwork: Using Language to Nurture Positive Change

Inspiring Moral Courage: Dismantling Apathy and Paralysis to Bring About Necessary, Value-Based Change

Game-Changing Appreciative Inquiry: Positive Questions to Build Upon Strengths and Successes

Failing to Plan Equals Planning to Fail: Building Your Individual and Corporate Blueprint for Success

Confessions of a CEO: Achieving Incredible Outcomes and The Systems Needed to Sustain Them

Exceptional Employee Engagement and Experience: Cultivating Value-Driven Responsibility

Sexual Harassment and Abuse: Unwrapping the Core Systems Behind Harassment, Bullying and Objectification

I don’t like to gossip but…Understanding Compassionate Reasons We Gossip And What To Do Instead

Knowledge, Expertise, Research & Experience:

People are your greatest asset. Knowing how to offer them a compelling and uniquely supportive culture is key to attracting and keeping the best employees.

Executives generally know the importance of an engaged workforce, but here is the daunting task…How do you train, instill and create an engaged workforce process across a large group of people? How do you manage, say a thousand employees and get them all engaged in a common language and tools for how they treat each other and the clients they serve?

That’s where Judy Ryan and LifeWork Systems comes in…

Judy does not provide a one-time training session or a campaign or a management mandate….she provides a way of life inside of organizations that becomes instilled into each and every employee because her model is fully distributive. This then naturally permeates the organization until each person is self-governing and self-directed regardless of whether the CEO is there or not. Executives cannot be everywhere at all times. To have an engaged and emotionally intelligent workforce takes a process that involves the entire team and a clearly defined roadmap for learning and sustaining it. Then each person does the right thing even when no one else is looking. Then each knows how to lead or follow as needs dictate. This is the trans-functional teamwork we need during this 21st century. 

My Background

Judy Ryan has been the founder of LifeWork Systems, an award-winning training and consulting company specializing in leadership development and culture change since 2002. Executive leaders hire LifeWork Systems because they want the advantages of a healthy workplace culture. They know that conscientious employees improve business and better serve customers. Judy’s company mission is to help create a world in which all people love their lives.

Judy is an author, columnist, consultant, trainer, coach, and keynote presenter, with guest appearances on TV, podcasts and radio. She writes two columns: Emotional Intelligence published nationally in the Women’s Journal since 2005 and The Extraordinary Workplace, published locally in the St. Louis Small Business Monthly since 2012. PeopleTested Media published Judy Ryan’s book, What’s the Deal With Workplace Culture Change? October 2015 after which she was featured in St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top Women Business Owner’s issue as the featured story describing her work and book.

Judy is the recipient of the awards: Women of Distinction and the Vanguard Award for Innovation in Service Delivery from the St. Louis Mental Health Board.

Judy has served on the board of ESPW (Encouraging, Supporting and Promoting Women) and is currently on the board of e4e (Experts for Entrepreneurs) since 2012. She was recently nominated by a client COO, for membership in the St. Louis Forum, an organization for executive and professional women in the Greater St. Louis area who have distinguished themselves through significant achievements in their chosen fields.

Judy is a regular keynote presenter at such organizations as HRMA, Pioneer Coalition (twice), Forum on Workplace Inclusion, MAHC, OHCA, CSPRC Spectrum, COCMA, LT DON, AHCA/NCAL, The St. Louis Business Group, Shaping HealthCare Together for a Better Tomorrow, LeadingAge, and INHAA, Experts for Entrepreneur, The Business Development Group, multiple Chambers of Commerce, and most recently for the United Soybean Board, International.

Judy frequently contributes time to organizations delivering pro-bono work (e.g. every year for AEYC: Association for the Education of Young Children and TASK: Team Activities for Special Kids).



Mike Minkler, Owner, CMIT Solutions, Inc.

My company hired Judy to improve our culture and create an extraordinary workplace. We had employee retention and trust challenges within our team, and we needed a solution. That is when I saw Judy present on employee engagement and a responsibility-based culture rooted in shared power. A vision was painted for me where people are doing what they want to do, not what they have been told to do. A company culture where being vulnerable and authentic is welcomed, not mocked as a sign of weakness. A company truly aligned to purpose, values and vision that guide actions and decisions. It was immediately clear to me that we had to bring Judy in.

The old autocratic command-and-control systems that many of us grew up with no longer work, or at best they will get you average results. Over the course of 12 months, Judy prepared our leaders and trained our staff in a new human system. It was a combination of mentoring, individual training and group training. It was also a "train the trainer" model so we could make it sustainable. It was incredibly challenging and pushed all of us out of our comfort zones. You have to be open-minded and ready for hard work.  

The changes that we experienced as individuals and as a team were, and continue to be, extraordinary. We continue on that journey today. It's not an event, it's a fundamental change to running the human side of the business. It takes courage. Our turnover has dropped by over 50% and employee morale and trust has never been higher. The business value and ROI are definitely there. More importantly, everyone is happier and enjoying life more. Hard to put a value on that; I'd say it is priceless! Thank you Judy!

Carla Beckerle, Vice President of Clinical at Esse Health

Judy Ryan is a pioneer in translating emotional intelligence into actionable steps for the creation of extraordinary workplaces. When I chose to work with Judy as a leader of a operations team, I really didn't know fully what we were saying yes to. I've come to realize that cultural transformation is not always easy nor for the faint of heart. I see now that a responsibility based model is a powerful thing. It is enabling my team and I to get real with each other, to get past fears and avoidance, to build trust at levels I had not imagined, and to have the crucial conversations needed to help each other grow in leadership and in service to our patients and our staff, because we are now in service to each other. Every day, we are learning to influence rather than control, and to act from courage and purpose. My purpose is to create joy, encouragement, reverence for all, and success. I know because of Lifework Systems, my purpose can become a reality. I recommend this work to all of Esse Health, and anyone other companies who is considering entering into the Lifework Systems guided culture change process. It's time and money well spent! 
Carla Beckerle, DNP,APRN-BC

Kathy Marlock, Sr. Consultant

Judy Ryan is a professional whose integrity and ethics stands at the core of her organization. She and her team(s) excel in HD program implementation, data analysis and dedication to organizational and human growth with a passionate commitment to understanding the root causes of conflict and tension in group settings. She provides positive solutions that are sensitive to the nuances of cultural settings. I am familiar with Judy's work in school settings and am also familiar with the specialized training foci she has developed for corporate settings. And, as professionals, we can all appreciate that learning to grow, expand and magnify the talents of our associates and colleagues (as well as ourselves) can be most difficult when working during challenging economies, or through difficult organizational complexities and problems. As a professional, I am better off from having shared the journey with Ms. Ryan. Our interactions, friendship, and professional conversations in teams and individually have made a positive impact and I am grateful for the crossing of our life paths.

Previous Speech Topics

Optimizing Your Human Capital: Dismantling Control and Harnessing Intrinsic Motivation Instead

Wisconsin Health Care Association
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Nov, 2 2017

Your Extraordinary Workplace: Creating Exceptional Cultures of Resilience and Agility in the 21st Century

Forum on Workplace Inclusion (international)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mar, 28 2017


Maryland Heights, Missouri




Judy Ryan excels in bringing a systems approach and framework to culture transformation, including ways to support the best in all employee simultaneously. She not only provides what everyone in the workplace community need to think, speak and behave as strong leaders and followers, she helps create the conditions and conversations that allows people to expand into their greatest human potential. Only 8% of the population considers long-term sustainable systems in their planning. Judy Ryan is in that minority. This makes her an innovative change agent.

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