Category Archives: OTM Academy

Personal Values Enhance Organisational Commitment

Many of us already knew this to be true. The more clear a person is about their personal values, the more able they are to commit to an organisation. The more committed you are to an organisation the better you perform for that organisation.

James Kouzes and Barry Posner, famous for their Leadership Challenge series of books have provided the evidence that awareness of personal values matter as they relate to organisational commitment and performance.

In The Truth About Leadership (2010) they show the result of their work with thousands of participants.

As the illustration highlights (where the highest possible score in any one box = 7), their is no significant difference between the commitment of employees who have both clarity of personal and organisational values compared to those who only have clarity of personal values.

There is however a significant difference in terms of both of those two groups compared to employees who have low clarity of both personal and organsiational values and those employees who have high clarity of organisational values but low clarity of personal values (once again there was no significant difference between these two scores).

So what does this mean in English? It means that it is worth assisting your employees to gain clarity about their personal values. How many organisations do that? Not many from my experience. And while there appears to be no significant difference between just having clarity of personal values and having clarity of both personal and organisational values, it makes sense to me to have both if you can. But the starting point is personal values. Help you employees to know them.

The reality is that it isn’t very hard to help people to clarify their personal values. You just have to know what to do and how to do it.

Within my online community (The OTM Academy) I have a six minute video that helps people to clarify their values, or you can simply follow the instructions laid out in my book What Really Matters For Young Professionals!

Are you clear about your values?

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at

What Really Matters! Volume 3, Number 3, 2011 ebook out now!

This ebook is a compilation of key articles from the OTM Academy. The articles focus on developing senior and developing leaders who share our view that organisational success is created through enabling people to shine! Contributing authors include Gary Ryan, Ian Berry, Judith Haskins and Troy Simmonds. The ebook design was created by Janine Ripper. Please join the OTM Academy to access more resources.

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at

Great Service Attracts Customers

While it isn’t rocket science, many people and organisations forget that consistently providing great service attracts customers to your organisation. Referencing long time researcher and author Leonard L Berry, Gary Ryan explains this fundamental concept.

Leonard Berry (1995) has long advocated that great service attracts customers. This is because there are so many companies who are poor at service delivery.

It is therefore easy for customers to differentiate between good and poor service companies and providing the benefit that the customer receives is more than their burden for obtaining that service or product, customers will continue to be attracted to great service.

Berry also highlights that a large benefit of great service is that positive word-of-mouth advertising is generated by great service. The internet has made that easier than ever. People use Facebook every day to ‘Like’ positive updates about products and services from their friends. The same is also true for poor service.

Great service attracts customers. Poor service pushes them away.

Which category is your organisation in?

Copyright Gary Ryan 2011

Quote from a research participant
For a long period of time my friend had been telling me about this bakery near where she lives. Finally I went there. She was right! The people and the ‘taste bud delights’ were fantastic! You should go there too.

Join Gary at the OTM Academy to discover more about the OTM Service Strategy and creating an organisation that matters!

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at

Leadership Insights Series – Michael Josem, Senior Manager, Game Security Team, Webinar Recording

This is a recording of the first of our ‘Leadership Insights Series’ Webinars for 2011. Gary Ryan interviewed Michael Josem, a successful young professional who has created a highly successful career as a result of playing games!

Michael shares a series of turning points and decisions that enabled him to ‘out’ an online gaming fraud, which created a series of events that resulted in him being offered a job in the field of work associated with playing online poker, a passion of Michael’s that had developed while he was at university. One of these events resulted in Michael being interviewed on the USA 60 Minutes program for his role as an internet security expert in discovering the online fraud which result in over $20Million being returned to players.

With a strong sense of personal values Michael’s role involves ensuring that ‘fraud’ is kept out of the system and that online poker players all have a fair chance for success.

Michael shares how his practices of service excdllence, personal development and getting things done were shaped in his days as an elected student representative at university. If you have wondered how jobs such as Michael’s are discovered, or how online poker can be driven by an organisation with a strong sense of fairness and integrity, then view this 40 minute webinar, I’m sure you will find it intriguing.

Michael, in his late 20s shares his story and how his passion has him setting sail to work in the United Kingdom’s Isle of Man.

Length: 41:11

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at

Inspire 2011! ebook out now

Congratulations and thank you to all our OTM Academy members who contributed to the creation of our first ever OTM Academy member created ebook – Inspire 2011!

I’m confident that you will agree that after reading Inspire 2011! you will be bursting for 2011 to come along so that you can hit the ground running!

Please note that the entries in this ebook are, for most people, their first written piece to be published, so a huge congratulations to each of them and thanks again for taking the time to make your submissions.

The purpose of this ebook is for it to be shared, so please follow the instructions on page one and share it as broadly as possible.

You can download Inspire 2011! here.


Gary Ryan

Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at

Primary school teacher develops conversation skills with children

One of the members of the OTM Academy has applied and modified the OTM Strategic Conversations® process to teach conversation skills to eight and nine year old children in his primary school class.

His humility is such that he has asked to remain anonymous, but for the sake of this article I’ll call him John.

Focusing on water conservation as his topic, the children were organised into groups of six. They were asked to be conscious about how much they were talking and listening.

The first question asked was, “What would be the perfect world to have for water?”

The children engaged in the conversation expressing ideas about how water could be managed. While they were conversing, John moved around the room listening to what they were saying. Part of the purpose of the conversation was to see how much they had learned from the previous few weeks of learning about water.

John, initially nervous about using this process with young children, was quickly convinced that the process worked as he heard the children talking with passion, focus and knowledge as they conversed on the first question.

As the process encourages, John mixed up the children in their groups for the second question, “What are the challenges of achieving this world?”

As John moved around the room again he was once again impressed by the way the children were sharing the conversation and demonstrating that they were listening. A Teacher’s Aid who witnessed the process remarked that she was amazed at how engaged some of the children were, particularly a number of them who had not previously shown much interest in contributing to classroom conversations.

Collecting the output from the second question John was amazed at the maturity and deep understanding of the topic that the children had clearly developed.

Rotating the children again to ensure that they learned to speak with different children, the third question focused on action. “What are we going to do?”

John was delighted that the children came up with a broad range of practical ideas, which included sharing them with the rest of the school community.

Delighted by the outcome of the conversation John contacted me to share his story. “I was very nervous at first wondering if this would be too much for the kids, but as you had encouraged me, I let myself trust the process. And it worked. I couldn’t believe that the 90 minutes we spent talking went so fast. And the kids were on centre stage, not me!”

Teaching people to hold conversations can occur at any age.
The OTM Strategic Conversations® process is based upon the original work by Juanita Brown and David Isaacs.
What are your experiences of conducting large group conversations or, as we like to say Conversations That Matter®?
The OTM Academy is a free Online Community created by Gary Ryan to enhance the Personal & Professional Development of members. More information on how to host a Strategic Conversation® is available in the academy. Otherwise, email for more information.
Gary Ryan enables individuals, teams and organisations to matter.
Visit Gary at