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on 3 August 2017
I re-read this book every couple of years. The book does not change but the context does, and you get move from it each time. Visionary, prophetic it makes you wonder if you should have had an investment strategy based on it.
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on 22 May 2015
Do not buy this version - the typeface reproduction is very poor and makes it almost unreadable and certainly not enjoyable
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on 2 December 1998
A book that is probably chronically under-read because it is categorised as a management book. It writes compellingly about the nature of work, the nature of the individual, and the nature of organisations to come. The main premise of it is that change is a constant, evolutionary process, and the individual and the organisation must be open to this, in order to not be left behind. Several theories such as The Inverted Doughnut and the Personal Re-framing are introduced to illustrate Charles Handy's theory, and are very accessible. My first 'management' book!
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on 5 November 1999
I found this amazingly farsighted, it would be of great interest to anybody involved in how work is evolving and the futures of individuals and their place in the work market. It gives plenty of food for thought on how not just employees but employers should view the work market in the years to come. Would be of interest to anybody involved in education, careers guidance, personnel and management, especially management!
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on 3 March 2013
As the author of Manage Your IT for Profit: Teach Yourself I was fortunate enough to meet Charles Handy and was struck by his wisdom and insight into how we manage our businesses. The key words that jump out at you from `The Age of Unreason' are `change,' `discontinuity', `upside down thinking' and `uncertainty'. The changes of the last twenty years have been immense and have challenged our comfortable perceptions of the world. Handy identifies how organisations and individuals must learn to cope with shifting work patterns. The book flows from argument to analysis and through theory to practical examples of how the future, as Handy sees it, might work. This book could have been written today and still have currency and relevance as a roadmap for an uncertain future.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and therefore reviewing this work twenty odd years after its publication, allows a privileged view. One thing impresses and must be emphasised. Handy's journey is one he has personally undertaken. Once you have finished `The Age of Unreason', reflect on the lessons learnt, then read `The Elephant and the Flea,' (2001), in which he describes how the independent life has worked for him. This is more of a reflective and philosophical work, than `The Age of Unreason' but the two can be seen as milestones in a rich and varied life.

Handy succeeds in painting an appealing picture of a future where many of us could work from home using our talents to their full and diverse potential. Read `The Age of Unreason' and imagine how Handy's vision could work for you. Haven't we all dreamed of waking in the morning and commuting an undemanding few yards down the corridor to our home office? Now, where did I put my pinstriped dressing gown?
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on 30 December 1996
When considering the jump to independent consulting, this book inspired me to leave the comfort (and confinement) of corporate life.
Handy makes it clear how the business and social trends of today are affecting each of us personally and professionally.
Anytime someone asks me for career advice, I recommend this book!
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on 6 October 2007
I have been a manager for around 10 years. I have done my fair share of management courses - nowadays they tend to be called leadership courses - and it was in one of these that I first came across Charles Handy.

I heard the quote which was along the lines "I once facitiously described a typical british group as a rowing eight, a group of people going backwards, steered by the one person too small to see where they are going". This stuck with me and I have used it many times in coaching my own teams about leadership.

I had high hopes for The Age of Unreason. The other reviews all speak highly of it and remark on the foresight. Well, I agree. The foresight is remarkable and Handy should be commended for it. But, the reviews are around 10 years old, as is the book. Foresight aside, the book is dreadfully dull and there is very little of the useable quotes and insights that I was hoping for. There is a wealth of more relevant and appropriate management models in other places.

I like reading and read all sorts of things. Some for pleasure and some for background reading to support my own personal development. I hoped Handy would be the latter, perhaps I just picked the wrong book. Sue Knight's book on NLP was much better, Heinz Guderain's "Panzer Leader" was an interesting insight despite not being a text book.

I am suggesting you look elsewhere. This was probably really good then, isn't very good now.
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on 26 December 2012
This is a book I have been meaning to read for years and finally got round to getting a copy! Considering this book was written in the late 80's, Charles Handy's vision and foresight is truly remarkable. Much of what he predicts about the world of work and organisations has happened and is also getting more extreme. A most interesting book, which I now wished I had read in the 90's!
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on 22 April 1997
Handy's reasonable tome unveils an argument for becoming questioning, seeking, unreasonable individuals. Written several years ago, Handy's ability to forecast the direction in which businesses are moving (adopting 'cores' and contracting out much of the work) is fascinating. I wonder what I would have thought of this book 8 years ago when it was first published. 'Is he for real?' Charles Handy is very real and so is the future about which he writes.
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on 18 April 2013
I have found this book very useful on my Business Management with Marketing degree course. I would recommend reading it.
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