Charles Handy to win Lifetime Achievement Award at Thinkers50 Summit

I was delighted to hear that British thinker and specialist in organisational behaviour and management is set to be given the lifetime achievement award at the prestigious Thinkers50 Summit next month in London.

“The award is given to someone who has had a long-term impact on the way people think about and practice management,” explained Thinkers50 co-founder Des Dearlove.  “Charles Handy has done just that.  His work on how people work and the changing shape of organisations has been consistently prescient and powerful.  He was talking about flexible working, ethics and social responsibility long before their importance was recognised within organisations or elsewhere.”

Charles Handy (born in Ireland in 1932) has a first-class degree from Oxford. He worked for Shell and studied at MIT. He launched the Sloan Programme at London Business School where he became a professor. Handy’s first book was Understanding Organisations (1976). 

It was in 1989, with the publication of The Age of Unreason that his thinking made a great leap forwards.  Handy foresaw a future of “discontinuous change”.  Like many of Handy’s phrases, this has now entered the management mainstream. His other bestselling books include The Empty Raincoat, Beyond Certainty and The Elephant and the Flea.  He has also written books with his wife, the photographer Elizabeth Handy, and appeared regularly on Radio 4’s Thought for the Day.

Others have made the shortlist for a number of awards which will be announced on the 14th November 2011 including Michael Porter and Vijay Govindarajan for the Breakthrough Idea Award, Marcus Buckingham and Marshall Goldsmith for the Leadership Award and Clayton Christensen for the Innovation Award.

Award details and full list of nominees can be found at


2 responses to “Charles Handy to win Lifetime Achievement Award at Thinkers50 Summit

  1. Handy is surely one of the best. I actually used some of his concepts for “Understanding Voluntary Organisations” whilst writing a Master’s dissertation. Glad to hear he’s getting the recognition!

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