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July 17, 2012

News & Opinion: Thinker in Residence: Irial OFarrell

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 1:00 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

There's a new Thinker in Residence over at KnowledgeBlocks - Irial OFarrell. Awhile back, Ms. OFarrell sent us a copy of her book Values: Not Just For the Office Wall Plaque and it struck multiple people here. On the surface, values might seem like something used to position oneself against another, or an overall vision. But, that's not necessarily the case, and this lesson can help us understand how values can work for the greater good of all. Here's a sampling:
Who's right? Who's wrong? On a personal level, there is no right or wrong, just differing sets of values. However, not being aware of and understanding the impact of this basic assumption can cause emotional distress and conflict within an employee and spill over into the wider organizational context. In turn, this diverts people's energy away from what they should be focused on, i.e., the company's objectives and purpose. This ultimately leads to lower performance than the company is capable of.

And this sets the tone for OFarrell's objective. The book provides tactical, "how-to" advice on developing a sense of one's values, and aligning them with an organization. For more about her ideas and insights, visit her KnowledgeBlocks Thinker in Residence page.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.