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Charles Handy was, for many years, a professor at the London Business School. He is now an independent writer and broadcaster. He describes himself, these days, as a social philosopher.
After he graduated from Oriel College, Oxford, with first-class honours in "Greats", an intellectual study of classics, history and philosophy, Handy worked for Shell International as a marketing executive, economist and management educator, in South-East Asia and London before entering the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 1967 he returned to England to design and manage the only Sloan Programme outside the United States, at Britain's first Graduate Business School, in London.
In 1972 Handy became a full Professor at the School, specializing in managerial psychology. From 1977 to 1981. He holds honorary Doctorates or Fellowships from twelve British Universities and was appointed CBE in 2000. He is known to many in Britain for his 'Thoughts for Today' on the BBC's Radio Today programme and, in a 2001 survey commissioned by FTdynamo.com, was voted the world's second most influential management guru, after Peter Drucker.
Handy's main concern is the implication for society, and for individuals, of the dramatic changes which technology, demography and economics are bringing to the workplace and to all our lives. His books on these themes, which he started writing in 1975, have sold well over a million copies around the world in all the principal languages.
The Empty Raincoat (Age of Paradox in the U.S.) was awarded the JSK Accord Prize for the Best Business Book of the Year in 1994
In it he surfaces his doubts about some of the consequences of free market capitalism and questions whether material success can ever provide the true meaning of life.
In 1999 he and his wife, Elizabeth, a portrait photographer, combined to produce The New Alchemists - a photographic and literary portrait of Londoners who have 'created something out of nothing'.
His next book The Elephant and the Flea, a very personal reflection on our changing society and ways of working, was published in September 2001. In 2002 he and his wife collaborated again to produce 'Reinvented Lives: Women at Sixty, A Celebration