Julienne B. Ryan began her professional career at age five when she did TV commercials and learned important things like “the teamsters always eat first,” her social security number and how to endorse checks for bank deposit.
Ryan studied psychology in college because she wanted to understand humans. She conducted her “field work” in a variety of roles, hearing the phrases “merger synergies, reorganizations, downsizing and rightsizing for change” more times than she cares to mention. Later she enrolled in an Ivy League graduate school where she paid oodles of money to validate her prior on-the-job learning experiences. However, she did learn to name drop up-to-date theories and trendy psychologists with alarming ease.
Ryan evolved into working in “Talent Management,” a fancy way of saying “try to find people and keep them moderately happy.” With inadequate budgets and staff allocations, she had to find creative ways to encourage her staff to work effectively. These ranged from begging and borrowing resources, improvising childcare, telling stories and even giving snacks as rewards. She tried to convince herself that working a bazillion hours and “multi-tasking” equaled achievement.
Her work took place in cubicles, conference rooms or, with luck, in offices with a door. Occasionally she would make the time to emerge from her allotted real estate to really talk to people. Ryan learned something transformative in the process:
- Yes, she was effective. But not because she used fancy theories - or gave great snacks.
- Ryan’s success, her staff believed, was a result of her uncanny knack for weaving storytelling with humor to motivate and encourage them. Crucially, they encouraged Ryan to de-emphasize “that normal HR stuff” and focus on bringing her unique storytelling skills to a broader stage.
Thanks to them, Ryan continues to collect, connect and tell stories in her work helping people find their “true, productive selves in the world of work.”
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Ryan’s industry pedigree is varied — non-profits, small businesses and academic institutions with assignments responsible for supporting organizational development, as well as change and transition. Her background includes positions with Fortune 500 hundred companies including Avon, American Express, Guinness United Distiller & Vintners, a division of DIAGEO, and Con Edison.
She has a left positive imprint with various cross-cultural groups by developing multi-leveled training for members throughout the organization. Focus areas include: career and performance management, personal development, and employee selection.
Her Master’s in Organizational Psychology and Leadership is from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a dual B.A. in Psychology/Urban Studies from Manhattan College, Riverdale, NY. Ryan is a member of the Organizational Development Network, American Society of Training & Development, Society of Human Resources Management, Toast Masters International, Storytelling Network, Arts Westchester, Blue Door Gallery and the World Future Society