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Build the organisation of your dreams – Six Word Wisdom from Professor Gareth Jones

We’re launching a series where we call on thought leaders in business to summarise their message – in just six words.

In honour of Bloomsday on Sunday we’ll kick off by quoting Molly Bloom and asking:

“Oh Rocks – Tell us in plain words what you really mean!”.

First up is Professor Gareth Jones expert in organisational design, culture, leadership and change and award-winning author of “The Character of a Corporation: How Your Culture Can Make or Break Your Business” and “Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?”, co-authored with Rob Goffee.

Irish Management Institute: Summarise your message for us in six words.

“Build the organisation of your dreams.”

Irish Management Institute: What does this really mean?

Gareth Jones:We asked people “What is your idea of an authentic organisation?”. We found that the there are six real principles you can adopt to create the most productive and rewarding working environment possible:

Difference beyond diversity – celebrate characters (not just categories).
Radical honesty – tell the truth before someone else does (you can’t keep corporate secrets like you used to).
Extra value – add value to the individual (don’t extract it).
Authenticity – live the values (don’t just have them on a mission statement card).
Meaning – a meaningful job in an organisation (which itself has meaning).
Simple rules – no bureaucracy

Irish Management Institute: Where should we go to learn more?

Gareth Jones: Our Harvard Business Review article Creating the Best Workplace on Earth.


So the workplace of our dreams is one that takes account of our characters as well as our skills.

Ulysses may have more relevance to management than we think; Joyce’s novel is a celebration of practical thinking in everyday life.

James Joyce Management Business Simple Words Advice Summary

Through the mutual insights shared between the newspaper advertising salesman Leopold Bloom and the student-artist Stephen Dedalus, Joyce makes the case that two often divided concepts of work and creativity – or labour and play – are mutually dependent and must be realigned.

Jones and Goffee’s work has shown this message is as relevant today as it was when Ulysses was published in 1922.

Happy Bloomsday.

Professor Gareth Jones will be discussing his new research at an IMI HR Briefing on the evening of the 4th of July. If you’re interested in attending this event register here.

In conversation with Eva Maguire, IMI

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