The Elephant And The Flea.

Charles Handy



Bookseller Charles Handy's best-selling new book looks at how individuals (the fleas in his analogy) relate to multi-national conglomerates (the elephants). In addition to addressing how and why we work today, he covers a wide range of preoccupations and issues including the increasing fear of big business: 'it is easy to see why many observers think that the big corporations are now both richer and more powerful than many nation states. They worry that these new corporate states are accountable to no-one - that their financial clout makes governments beholden to them ... The elephants, people feel, are out of control.'

What will you learn from this book

  1. Elephants and Fleas Metaphor: The book introduces the metaphor of "elephants" and "fleas" to represent two different types of workers and organizations. Elephants are large, traditional organizations, while fleas are smaller, independent workers or enterprises.

  2. Shift in Employment Patterns: Handy discusses the shift from traditional, lifelong employment in large corporations (elephants) to a more fluid and flexible employment pattern where individuals act as independent workers or freelancers (fleas).

  3. Portfolio Careers: The concept of "portfolio careers" is introduced, emphasizing the idea that individuals can have multiple sources of income and engage in various roles simultaneously rather than relying on a single job.

  4. Flexibility and Adaptability: The need for individuals and organizations to be flexible and adaptable in the face of changing economic and social landscapes is a key theme. This includes adapting to new technologies, markets, and working arrangements.

  5. Entrepreneurial Spirit: Handy encourages individuals to embrace an entrepreneurial spirit, taking charge of their own careers and creating opportunities rather than relying on traditional employment structures.

  6. Importance of Networks: Handy emphasizes the importance of personal and professional networks in the new world of work. Networking becomes a critical aspect of success for both individuals and organizations.

  7. Learning Organizations: The concept of the "learning organization" is discussed, where adaptability and continuous learning are essential for success in a rapidly changing environment.

  8. Individual Responsibility: The book underscores the idea that individuals are responsible for their own careers and should take an active role in managing their skills, learning, and professional development.

  9. Globalization Impact: Handy explores the impact of globalization on work, suggesting that individuals and organizations need to think globally and be open to international opportunities.

  10. Balancing Freedom and Security: The balance between the freedom and autonomy that come with being a "flea" and the security provided by traditional employment structures is examined, with Handy encouraging a thoughtful consideration of this balance.

Language English
ISBN-10 0099415658
ISBN-13 9780099415657
No of pages 233
Font Size Medium
Book Publisher Random House Business
Published Date 07 Nov 2002

About Author

Author : Charles Handy

9 Books

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