Friday, March 26, 2010

An interview with Gary Ryan, author of What Really Matters For Young Professionals!

Expertly interviewed by Dr Andrew O'Brien, Gary Ryan provides the background to the book and explains the key concepts that the book addresses.

For your convenience the interview has been split into small parts.

* What was the background to the book being created?

* What are 'Employability Skills'?

* What is the background to the title of the book and who are Young Professionals?

* How can Young Professionals and the more senior staff they work with connect with you?

* How would you summarise the book?

* Why did you develop the Online Course?

* How might Young Professionals fund the Online Course?

For more information on the ebook and Online Course please follow this link.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why good service is good business

In highly competitive times it makes sense that good service is good business. Even though customers are not particularly loyal, providing great service consistently and over a long period of time makes it all the more difficult for your competitors to attract your customers away from you. While your customers will try out the competition, if they do not receive a higher and consistent standard of service than your organisation provides, then your customers will come back and be less inclined to try out the competition again.

Implicitly your customers will trust you (just as you, in turn, trust your staff). It is however, good practice to maintain a healthy tension about your customers trying out the competition. The day that you either think that you don’t have any competition, or the day that you stop providing good service on a consistent basis, is the day that your organisation will start to decline.

No job is secure. But good, consistent service increases the security of every job, every department and every organisation. Good service IS good business!

Quote from a participant in one of our research activities

"Great service actually feels good. It feels good for me, it feels good for the people I’m serving and it keeps the business humming along. To me, good service just makes sense."

Please feel free to ask a question or to make a comment about this article.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Reacting to a redundancy

A magnificent two part article has just been released on the Pegasus Communications Blog. Chris Abbey wonderfully articulates his own experience of receiving what he terms a 'warn letter'. In Australia we might refer to being 'offered a redundancy'. On that point, I "chose to accept a redundancy" a number of years ago. I often hear people say that they were "made redundant". When queried, people usually say that, in the end, they chose to take the 'package' rather than stay. I then suggest that they were an active participate in the process that they experienced, and while they may not have liked the experience, they were still an active participant, versus being a passive participant who had a redundancy 'done to them'. While a subtle shift in self-talk, it is my view that the difference can have a massive impact on an individual's capacity to work their way through the seven stages of grief. (listed below)

1. Shock and denial
2. Pain and guilt
3. Anger and bargaining
4. Depression, reflection, and loneliness
5. The Upward Turn
6. Reconstruction and working through
7. Acceptance and hope

Once again Chris Abbey articulates his experience over two articles (Part One & Part Two). They are worth reading irrespective of the stage of your career and his insights about using the experience to help you to become even better are powerful. He certainly describes what my experience has been!

Please feel free to comment on this article.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Report Indicates That Gen Y Now More Loyal

A recent report published on the CIO website indicated the Gen Y are now more loyal to their employer than they have ever been. For a number of years I have been arguing that Gen Y are not as different as the older generations like to claim that they are. I'm not suggesting that as a generation they aren't different, what I am suggesting is that the degree of difference is not as high as some have been arguing.

For many years I was laughed at for suggesting that the apparent 'lack of loyalty' by Gen Y was more driven by a booming economy than anything else. Gen Y when new in the workforce are able to exercise their right to change employers if the employer's promises didn't match the reality of organisational life. Many of the rest of us would love to have had that freedom of mind to take the same action. The reality is that for many of the older generations, they choose to put up with poor cultures and organisations because of their life stage - many married with children and large mortgages. (I, for one took the "I'm creating my own path" choice and with my business partner Andrew I am loving that choice!)

It is little wonder, therefore that when the economy has changed Gen Y, when asked if they plan to stay or go have responded with a resounding increase in, "I plan to stay!" Gen Y aren't stupid. There's no point being 'mobile' in your career if there isn't anywhere to go!

My hope is that Gen Y don't lose their intolerance for organisations not matching what they say. I have experienced too many people in the older generations who wish that their organisation's culture was better than it is. But many of these people stay in those organisations for fear of not getting another opportunity elsewhere. Unfortunately this means that the organisations don't change like they should.

Gen Y may have a serious impact on organisational cultures over time because they may make them more accountable. While there is good reason to celebrate the reported increase in Gen Y 'loyalty' my hope and belief is that they are just plain smart and they'll be loyal while they are shown loyalty themselves. I also believe that they will continue to take responsibility for themselves and their career development far more than previous generations. Such action comes with being 'employably mobile'.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Monday, March 15, 2010

New Website Launched

After eight months of solid work by Andrew and myself, the new Organisations That Matter website has been launched. Our website address is exactly the same however we now have the capacity to better communicate what it is that we do, as well as provide Online Courses, ebooks, webinars (online seminars) and much, much more! You may wish to check out our Free stuff as a place to start.

Over the next couple of weeks we will be testing our new webinar software so please look out for our free webinars while we learn the software - they won't be free for long!

We will continue to operate The Organisations That Matter Learning Network and it is now part of our "" website with direct links from the website to this network.

In addition many of you may have already discovered that the web address now takes you directly to this network, so you might like to bookmark that address on your web browsers.

While Andrew and I have worked very hard to ensure that our new website is error free, if you notice that a link doesn't work, or we have missed a typo, please let us know. Please send me an email at Gary.Ryan@orgsthatmatter and include a link to the page that contains the error. Your help, as always will be highly appreciated.


Gary & Andrew

Thursday, March 4, 2010

An artist, a dream and creating desired futures in action

Inspiring stories don't have to come from far away places. On many occasions they can come from a single degree of separation. This article is about a family friend, Camilla. My wife and I met Camilla through our local primary school where our children go to school together. Camilla has an inspiring story about creating the future that she desires. Camilla has two daughters and is an active mum.

Camilla's story
At heart, Camilla is an artist. Trained as a secondary school teacher, Camilla teaches Italian part time at a local private girls school. As her life unfolded and the pressures of family life grew, Camilla's art took a back seat in her life. Yet, deep down she wanted to see if she really had what it took to be a genuine artist - could she create an exhibition and sell her art?

When rare opportunities arose Camilla continued to paint her oils on canvas, producing at least a couple of paintings per year. On occasion friends and family would say to her, "Camilla, these paintings are so wonderful. They are bright and the colour combinations are amazing. You really should try to sell them."

Self doubt sat heavily on Camilla's shoulders for a long time. "No one would ever buy my paintings, they aren't good enough.", she would say to herself. This went on for many years. Then one day Camilla asked herself, "What do I really want?". Her answer was to "Have a go. You never know, maybe my dream could come true! I'm going to have an exhibition!".

Camilla's first step was to find out what was involved. Her research uncovered that she required 30 paintings, but she only had 12. So, with less than 12 months to prepare, Camilla set about creating a further 18 paintings. This is an important step in her process. When Camilla discovered that she was well short of the required number of paintings for an exhibition, she could have easily given up. Yet her clarity about why she was doing what she was doing it was such that quitting never entered her mind. "I just had to paint, it was as simple as that!" Camilla told me. This is the power of desired futures in action!

Later that year Camilla opened her exhibition at an art gallery in Glen Waverley, Melbourne, Australia. Her 30 paintings looked amazing as they adourned the walls of the gallery. Varying in size from 30 square centimetres to 1.5 metres by 1.8metres, Camilla was stunned when a single buyer bought a collage of her paintings. By the end of the exhibition, 22 out of her 30 paintings had been sold. I'm told that such a high number is extraordinary for a first time exhibitor at a local community gallery. It certainly looked impressive to walk around and see so many red dots (which means that theb painting had been sold) on her paintings.

Camilla is now preparing for her next exhibition. What is also interesting about her story is how she discovered that the energy that she gained from living her passion enabled her to get back into exercise and to increase her fitness. People often report how living their passion provides energy for the rest of their life. What is your passion? Are you living it, at least in some part of your life?

Camilla's story really is inspirational in the context that she had a dream and made it come true. No doubt a lot of effort went into creating her dream, and while it was terrific that she did sell her paintings, she genuinely states that it was the experience and the fact that she was having a go that was more important than selling her paintings. An added bonus was the look on her two daughters' faces. They were so proud of their mum that it cannot be put into words. And what do you think the lasting effect on them will be?

If you are interested in seeing Camilla's art, please check out Art By Camilla.

What are your examples of inspiring friends or family who are truly creating the future they desire?