Looking at things upside-down, or back to front, or inside out is a way of stimulating the imagination, of spurring our creativity in an Age of Unreason when things are not going to go on working as they have been working, whether we like it or not. This book is about adapting to changes in business through flexibility and open-mindedness. The Age of Unreason by Charles Handy was first published in Much of the book talks about predictions for how the world is going to change. Twenty-five years later there have been many changes but, as is usually the case with predictions, not exactly the way he envisioned them. Rather than diminishing the validity of his point, the incongruence bolsters it.
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Looking at things upside-down, or back to front, or inside out is a way of stimulating the imagination, of spurring our creativity in an Age of Unreason when things are not going to go on working as they have been working, whether we like it or not.
This book is about adapting to changes in business through flexibility and open-mindedness. The Age of Unreason by Charles Handy was first published in Much of the book talks about predictions for how the world is going to change.
Twenty-five years later there have been many changes but, as is usually the case with predictions, not exactly the way he envisioned them. Rather than diminishing the validity of his point, the incongruence bolsters it. First is the Shamrock Organization, a traditional organization, which has three parts. The Contractual Fringe who gets paid for their time in fees, not wages; they do not have residual company loyalty, and they are not obedient labor.
Last, the flexible and often part-time labor force, a market that employers dip into the as they like. These employees receive minimal pay and have minimal training and support. In return, they have minimal loyalty to the company. Next Handy talks about the Federal Organization. The main component is decentralization and shared power. Structure and overall direction come from the center, but each satellite operation runs on its own, and the decisions are made by those responsible for the outcome.
There is more personalization and greater dignity and respect for all employees. Finally, Handy describes the Triple I Organization. Together these equal Added Value.
This is not necessarily a stand-alone model but a possible benefit to any model. The idea is that self-enlightenment, human skills, continuous learning, and up to date technical expertise of the individuals in the organization add value beyond their individual qualities to the overall worth of the company.
The difference is in leadership. For a company to take advantage of these employee qualities they have to lead by persuasion and consent. This part is about how to apply the business concepts about learning to use change to our advantage in the rest of life. He also talks about creating a portfolio life or a themed collection of work experience and life experience. The theme is what makes the whole more valuable than its components.
People react in two different ways to change. The first is to adapt. When a crisis happens or comfortable patterns change, sometimes we recognize the difference and realign actions and goals. The second reaction is to look at it as a failure and experience anxiety and depression and become overwhelmed and worried about what might happen.
Worry about the future keeps us on our toes, but there is a point in which worry turns to inaction. When things change, if we recognize the right attitude to take we stay centered and focused. It is our focus that lets us envision the possibilities and the parts of ourselves we never saw before.
Being comfortable with change is what allows learning that leads to success according to Handy. In order to be comfortable with change, we must have a positive outlook and self-confidence. There are three essential qualities to cultivate:.
Reminding myself of my contributions gives me a sense of internal stability when things change. This is different from being self-centered because when you are self-centered you do not want to contribute. My contribution is essential because it creates a sense of value greater than I do alone. What do you do to feel good about yourself? How do you contribute? Negative personal perception is a block to learning and causes fear of change.
A negative change or a major loss such as a job or a key relationship can cause dark feelings of disliking and blaming ourselves. We may feel inadequate and demoted. Sometimes organizations have a structure that promotes negative personal perception they force on employees, and it becomes a way of life and stunts the growth of an organization. There are two main beliefs that diminish personal worth and block the ability to change and learn:. Compromise is part of life. We control some things and not others.
Power should be a balance. Do you have control of your decisions? Do you make people feel worthless by imposing your goals or opinions? Do you value your own time? Restoring your sense of worth and valuing others lifts the obstacles to changing, learning and growing. The examples in this book are outdated but the ideas are not. I am going through job changes, and I recognized the same paradigm of instability in my job as Handy walks the reader through in this book. Looking at things in different ways and keeping a positive perspective has helped me.
I have some sense of fear about my uncertain future, and sometimes I question my personal value. What I took from this book is this is I have an opportunity, not a problem.
I try to maintain a mindset of opportunity as it sparks my creativity, I think of possibilities, and my fear just melts. Without fear, I feel more like a victor than a victim and my sense of worth is restored. The important thing is I can change my perspective and change my life. To complete your subscription, please click the link in the email we just sent you, and we'll be sending you weekly goodies - direct to your inbox.
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It should be a great session. All you'll need to do is read the summary shouldn't take you more than 5 minutes , and show up. Enjoy the session! Actionable consultants conversations books. Part Two: Working Handy outlines three types of business models and focuses on how they function and are changing.
Part Three: Living This part is about how to apply the business concepts about learning to use change to our advantage in the rest of life. Do you have innovative ways you approach problems that turn them into an opportunity? I have a varied background, and I enjoy service-oriented work. In addition to business, I have a keen interest in food and nutrition, and I have been vegetarian or vegan my whole life Thank you for subscribing to the Actionable Books Weekly Digest.
The Age of Unreason
We will not survive unless we adapt to the way the world is changing. The Age of Unreason is an inspiring vision of an era of new discoveries, new enlightenment and new freedoms. It helps us to understand what Tom Peters, the American business guru, has called the new 'upside down' competitive realities in the world of work and of leisure. It is a book to turn your understanding of the world on its head.
Back to the future: The Age Of Unreason by Charles Handy
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