“Handy Gem” Worth Reading and Keeping
Charles Handy has had a most interesting professional life. His roles have included global executive with an oil company; academic administrator who developed a framework for business education for Britain; head of a think tank based in one of the Queen’s official residences, a commentator on life for the BBC Radio, and a best selling author. This is a man worth getting to know.
The book’s title is accurate. While the basic framework is Handy’s life story, it really is a platform for his much broader discussion about capitalism and where it is going.
Charles Handy, often called the “Peter Drucker of the United Kingdom,” (though he’s much more than that) has penned a page-turner autobiography. If you’re over 50, it’s must-reading. In between his short, crisp management meanderings, he dispenses wisdom on the “portfolio” life–why your middle and later years might be better invested on your own versus at the whims of an organization. (Attention all wanna-be consultants!)
Under 50? Then I’d suggest it’s required reading. You’ll be shocked–and educated–when you discover that Britain had no books on management in the 1950s (none). And no business schools until he co-founded the London Business School in 1967 (after a year at MIT’s Sloan). “Business…was long seen by the British as a lower status occupation, definitely inferior to the armed services.” His thoughts about America, flavored with his peculiar “cultural Christian” insights (his father was a Church of Ireland minister) will intrigue you.