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OUr History


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Resource Development Systems was founded in 1997 by Gary Lear as a part-time venture.  The goal was to offer small business with some of the same leadership and management skills that Gary was delivering in his role as a training manager for a 9000 person region of the largest state agency in Florida as he helped it implement a culture change initiative.  It wasn’t long before the need for Gary’s services grew, and RDS became his full time job.  His wife, Ann, joined the company to provide operations support as Gary provided the delivery of training programs.   

 Through the years our focus has shifted from time to time.  We started out as primarily being a training provider, where we provided a variety of programs, including customer service and management training.  We also worked with several clients to create training programs for them.  Later we added training products to our offerings.  At one time our Off-the-Shelf-Training.com offered training products from the top ten training product providers, including self-study workbooks, books, thousands of videos, and complete training programs, with participant and trainer’s guides, videos, and other support materials.   

Later we added adult basic education programming when RDS became the representative for Kentucky Educational Television in the states of Florida and Georgia.  As the leading developer and provider of basic literacy, pre-GED, and GED learning materials for PBS, RDS helped to distribute these programs to adult basic education programs and train them on its use.  RDS was also involved in training end users of the PBS LiteracyLink project, as well as providing information on the new GED test to educators.  For two of the four years RDS represented KET we were their sales leader and we were second place the other two years.  Yet, our focus always remained training, not sales, and we received special recognition from Kentucky’s Governor Paul Patton for our work in the training we provided for enhancing adult basic education.   

Because of our experience in adult basic education, in 2001 Gary was asked to work on a yearlong project to set up a new division at Educational Testing Service that was focused on adult literacy issues.  Gary functioned as the first General Manager of the ETS Literacy Services Division, which was tasked with the creation of a revolutionary computer-delivered literacy assessment.  This assessment, based on the extensive research that ETS had conducted on adult literacy, was fully adaptive and didn’t rely on multiple choice answers, but rather required the highlighting of the answer in the text on the computer screen.  The assessment was used in the SkillsMax project for Enterprise Ohio, as well as for a project for StatCan in Canada.    After completing this project RDS returned to its training provider roots.  It was at this time that Gary became unsatisfied with the typical training approach, and instead wanted to insure that he made a difference in the organizations he worked with.  In order to discover that difference, our focus changed to researching about organizational performance and consulting about our findings.   

This is our passion.  We strongly believe in helping organizations to increase their performance by using research-based approaches that deliver real results.  These approaches aren’t just the most recent fad based on one person’s ideas or the latest management book, but rather a tightly woven design that is based on well over 100 different research studies and the review of over 40 books and 800 articles, all research based and all about exceptionally performing organizations.  Yet our model is so flexible that it is always unique in each organization we implement it in, providing a highly customized approach for each of our clients.   

It took us many years to achieve our own focus, and several more years to research what actually makes a difference in organizational performance.  This resulted in the discovery of the Seven Elements of High Performance™, a model that is based on what the many research studies were saying that was the same.  We received a lot of excitement about the model in some of our professional circles, but we knew that we were on to something when the US Navy contacted us about using the model as part of their leadership development programs at the Center for Naval Leadership.   

After that it took us another couple of years to design and integrate the models, programs, tools and techniques that allow us to help our clients.  These approaches make a real difference in creating the kind of culture that will allow them to engage employees, engage customers, and which allows them to increase performance and achieve significance.  We help our clients to be the best that they can be by being more effective at Managing the Human Side of Businesssm, resulting in their ability to achieve their goals.

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Copyright 1997-2016
Resource Development Systems, LLC