Charles Handy, The Age of Unreason (1989)
Irish oil executive who became a London Business School professor and renowned
business philosopher (pictured right).
Charles Handy in the Management
What is discontinuous change?
Where the future bears no relation to the past because of
This is happening now in the Age of
How to make
a) overcome resistance to
Welcome change so that you can use it to your
b) challenge yourself and get out of the
Avoid the boiled frog syndrome
(pictured right) where the frog dies when slowly heating it in cold water.
What is upside-down
1. Challenging the status quo.
2. Thinking the unlikely and doing the
3. Turning conventional wisdom upside-down.
The results of upside-down
1. New ideas.
2. New rules for living (e.g. valuing time, not money, work-life
3. New language (e.g. house-husband, single parent
This has three parts (or leaves, pictured right):
The emphasis is on flexibility -
a) working at home
(so that the office becomes a social meeting place)
b) quickly responding to customer requirements.
This is a mixture
(similar to Peters and Waterman's loose-tight
People are given the power to make their
own decisions (the principle of subsidiarity), so authority over others must be
3. Triple I
This is an
organization which cares for individual employees and their learning and development.
- portfolio living
In response to shorter
careers in full-time employment, people must embrace portfolio living where people have five different types of
work in their lives:
1. Wage (or
(paid for time
(all the jobs for home
(work done for free
like charity work).
Your future is what you make it, so live the dream.
Key quotes on
The times are changing and we must change with them.
In an age of unreason there can be no certainty.
Key quote on the past,
present and future
We are all prisoners of our past.
Key quote on management and
Trust has to be earned, but in order to be earned, it must first
Key quote on learning and
Thinking the unthinkable is a way of getting the wheel of learning
Learning...is solving our own problems for our own