Who is Charles B. Handy?

Irish philosopher and author of The Age of Unreason.

Books by Charles B. Handy

Quotes by Charles B. Handy

“A consultant solves other people's problems. I could never do that. I want to help other people solve their own problems.”

Charles B. Handy

“A good team is a great place to be, exciting, stimulating, supportive, successful. A bad team is horrible, a sort of human prison.”

Charles B. Handy Twenty-One Ideas For managers

“A leader shapes and shares a vision, which gives point to the work of others.”

Charles B. Handy

“Anything that takes us out of our comfort zones for a while can act as a reminder that the past we are used to may not be our best future.”

Charles B. Handy The Second Curve

“Change is only another word for growth, another synonym for learning.”

Charles B. Handy

“Citizenship is the chance to make a difference to the place where you belong.”

Charles B. Handy

“Competition is healthy... but there is more to life than winning or we should nearly all be losers.”

Charles B. Handy

“Creativity is born of chaos, even if it is somewhat difficult to glimpse the possibilities in the midst of the confusion.”

Charles B. Handy

“Creativity needs a bit of untidiness. Make everything too neat and there is no room for experiment.”

Charles B. Handy

“Democracy assumes that individuals must be allowed to be the best judge of their own interests, even if they often seem to be misguided. ”

Charles B. Handy The Hungry Spirit

“Home is the first school for us all, a school with no fixed curriculum, no quality control, no examinations, no teacher training.”

Charles B. Handy The Elephant and the Flea

“I like less the story that a frog if put in cold water will not bestir itself if that water is heated up slowly and gradually and will in the end let itself be killed, boiled alive, too comfortable with continuity to realize that continuous change at some point may become intolerable and demand a change in behaviour.”

Charles B. Handy

“If economic progress means that we become anonymous cogs in some great machine, then progress is an empty promise.”

Charles B. Handy

“If there is one general law of communication it is that we never communicate as effectively as we think we do.”

Charles B. Handy

“In a knowledge economy, a good business is a community with a purpose, not a piece of property.”

Charles B. Handy

“Instead of a national curriculum for education, what is really needed is an individual curriculum for every child.”

Charles B. Handy

“Learning is experience understood in tranquility.”

Charles B. Handy Beyond Certainty

“Life can only be understood backwards but you have to live it forward. You can only do that by stepping into uncertainty and by trying, within this uncertainty, to create your own islands of security....The new security will be a belief that... if this doesn't work out you could do something else. You are your own security.”

Charles B. Handy

“Most of us prefer to walk backward into the future, a posture that may be uncomfortable but which at least allows us to keep on looking at familiar things as long as we can.”

Charles B. Handy

“Ordinary citizens are so accepting of what is going on, grumbling when their material interests were affected, but seemingly accepting the spiritual poverty so characteristic of today.”

Charles B. Handy

“Passion is born of vague hopes.”

Charles B. Handy

“Profit has to be a means to other ends rather than an end in itself.”

Charles B. Handy

“Purpose, pattern, and people, the three P's at the heart of life.”

Charles B. Handy

“Some of my unhappiest moments have been in organizations. Somehow it seems to be quite respectable to do things in organizations that you would never do in private life. I have had people insult me to my face in front of colleagues. I have had my feelings rammed down my throat on the pretext that it would do me good. I have been required to do things which I didn't agree with because the organization wished it... In my worst moments I have thought organizations were places designed to be run by sadists and staffed by masochists.”

Charles B. Handy

“Talent comes with an individual name tag.”

Charles B. Handy The Elephant and the Flea

“The best learning happens in real life with real problems and real people and not in classrooms.”

Charles B. Handy

“The companies that survive longest are the one's that work out what they uniquely can give to the world-not just growth or money but their excellence, their respect for others, or their ability to make people happy. Some call those things a soul.”

Charles B. Handy

“The first step is to measure whatever can easily be measured. This is OK as far as it goes. The second step is to disregard that which can't be easily measured or to give it an arbitrary quantitative value. This is artificial and misleading. The third step is to presume that what can't be measured easily really isn't important. This is blindness. The fourth step is to say that what can't be easily measured really doesn't exist. This is suicide.”

Charles B. Handy

“The future is not inevitable. We can influence it, if we know what we want it to be.”

Charles B. Handy

“The market is a mechanism for sorting the efficient from the inefficient, it is not a substitute for responsibility.”

Charles B. Handy The Age of Paradox

“The moment will arrive when you are comfortable with who you are, and what you are– bald or old or fat or poor, successful or struggling- when you don't feel the need to apologize for anything or to deny anything. To be comfortable in your own skin is the beginning of strength.”

Charles B. Handy

“The sobering thought is that individuals and societies are not, in the end, remembered for how they made their money, but for how they spent it.”

Charles B. Handy

“The world may admire the truth-tellers, but few will want to employ them.”

Charles B. Handy

“There is as far as I know, no example in history, of any state voluntarily ceding power from the centre to its constituent parts.”

Charles B. Handy

“To learn anything other than the stuff you find in books, you need to be able to experiment, to make mistakes, to accept feedback, and to try again. It doesn't matter whether you are learning to ride a bike or starting a new career, the cycle of experiment, feedback, and new experiment is always there.”

Charles B. Handy

“Villages are small and personal, and their inhabitants have names, characters, and personalities. What more appropriate concept on which to base our institutions of the future than the ancient social unit whose flexibility and strength sustained human society through millennia?”

Charles B. Handy

“We are all prisoners of our past. It is hard to think of things except in the way we have always thought of them. But that solves no problems and seldom changes anything.”

Charles B. Handy

“We cannot wait for great visions from great people, for they are in short supply. It is up to us to light our own small fires in the darkness.”

Charles B. Handy The Age of Paradox

“We learn by reflecting on what has happened. The process seldom works in reverse, although most educational processes assume that it does. We hope that we can teach people how to live before they live, or how to manage before they manage.”

Charles B. Handy

“We need to have faith in the future to make sense of the present.”

Charles B. Handy The Empty Raincoat

“We should see schools as safe arenas for experimenting with life, for discovering our talents... for taking responsibility for tasks and others people, for learning how to learn... and for exploring our beliefs about life and society.”

Charles B. Handy

“Why don't we teach our children in school what they are? We should say to them, 'You are unique... you have the capacity for anything. You are a marvel'.”

Charles B. Handy

“You have to stand outside the box to see how the box can be re-designed.”

Charles B. Handy The Elephant and the Flea