Charles Handy: We’ve been seduced by the curse of efficiency

In an exclusive interview, the management sage explains why good managers can be hopeless leaders, and predicts the "disintegration of everything we’re used to".

by Stephen Jones

Charles Handy admits he hasn’t held many commanding positions, except for a 10-year stint as a Shell executive and what he rather modestly describes as “once” running the executive MBA programme – the first of its kind in Europe – at London Business School. 

While he might consider his experience of corporate management to be sparse, his influence on the way we think about it has been huge. 

Over the past five decades, Handy’s philosophical – at times polemic – management books have anticipated the dominance of telecoms, the rise of portfolio careers and called for ownership models that ditch shareholders in favour of more community-centric models. Handy, now in his late eighties, talks to Management Today about what management feels like, the next workplace trend and why leaders would benefit from doing a drama course. 

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