Our Story

“Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can’t deliver good service from unhappy employees. I view my role more as trying to set up an environment where the personalities, creativity and individuality of all the different employees come out and can shine.”

Tony Hsieh, CEO Zappo’s

Founded in 2002, LifeWork Systems (formerly Expanding Human Potential) is a full-service training and consulting firm specializing in cooperative practices and leadership development.

We are Progressive

The vision of owner Judy Ryan has been the driving force in shaping the company. Her experience has been that most authority figures, including executives, parents and educators, adopt human systems (how people think, act, feel and behave) originally designed for survival, conformity and compliance rather than strong leadership, creativity and collaboration. These obsolete and counter-productive systems hinder the development of alignment, accountability and positive social interest.

We are Innovative

Judy Ryan, Our Founder has always been drawn to unorthodox methods for forming authentic community and developing people into good citizens. In the last thirty years, she has turned that interest into an obsession and a company. Here are key questions that have led to liberation in her life and the lives of many:

  1. How can we shift our civilization process so rather than diminish people and demean the human spirit, each person is assisted in expanding into their wholeness?
  2. What can we do to create a world in which it feels safe to be powerfully influential, inventive, vulnerable, and collaborative?
  3. What does an organization, business, school, and family look like in which people thrive rather than simply survive?
  4. How do we avoid that which makes us feel and act like victims and rebels and adopt that which makes us feel empowered, lovable, connected, and contributing?

We are Comprehensive

We specialize in corporate, organizational, education and family culture change, delivering training and coaching in businesses, non-profits, and primary, secondary and higher education settings. We have written, received and implemented full service programs in two comprehensive, multi-year, school reform projects that impacted the lives of students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members simultaneously within multiple schools.

We are Recognized Experts

We were awarded the Vanguard Award for Innovation in Service to St. Louisan’s from the St. Louis Mental Health Board. We have been invited and selected to write articles for years in a local and national publication and have over 100 published articles to date. We were invited to participate in an organization called Experts for Entrepreneurs, where we offer our expertise to peers and business owners from St. Louis and St. Charles. We have been approached and published as radio announcers, authors of several books and have had our online and live programs approved for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) as well as college credit. We have been repeatedly invited to appear as guest speakers on radio and television.

We are in the Media

In April 2006Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 2.39.45 PM, we were invited by the Women’s Journals to provide a national column on Emotional Intelligence and are still writing that column today.

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In January 2013, we were invited by St. Louis Small Business Monthly to provide a column on The Extraordinary Workplace and still contribute monthly.KolbeCo Cover Story1

In March of 2013, we made the cover of the St. Louis Small Business Monthly in a lengthy article outlining our success in providing a cultural transformation that led to increased productivity and revenue in an area business.

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We have been invited as a guest speaker on television and radio on topics related to organizational culture, productivity, healthy relationships, emotional intelligence and leadership development.


We are Strategic Partners

In 2011, we were invited to be a member of an exclusive organization called Experts for Entrepreneurs. In 2013, we were invited to be the premier training provider for Pole Position Raceway, Powers Entertainment, and Spectrum Cleaning and Restoration. In 2014, we were invited to collaborate as partners with The Healing Ties organization. Our first joint training cruise is fall 2015.

We are Award-Winning

MHB AwardIn 2007,  we received the Vanguard Award for Innovation in Service Delivery from the St. Louis Mental Health Board, a governing agency who collected, tracked and reported on all results concerning services provided by LifeWork Systems.

We are Virtual

Also in 2012, we launched our online training center, making it easy and affordable for all to receive tools and training needed to create extraordinary cultures in workplaces, schools and homes. Knowledge is power. Equitable distribution of information and opportunity to excel is a foundational value and practice of everything we do.