Capitalism eats itself

A famous guru of Ch. Handy suggests radical upsets in business philosophy and changes in the business elite’s relationships with their social environment. Charles Handy, 81, is considered one of the leading gurus of management.

But he himself describes himself as a “social philosopher” – and it is true that, over the past twenty years, he is more concerned with ecology and philosophy than with management.

Growing up in a hieratic setting in Ireland, the man who became known by the books “The Ancient Gods of Management” (1978) and “Understanding the Organizations” (1976), then wrote another 17 books, later with his own autobiography, and “The Young Filmmakers” (2006). The second on the 2001 Thinkers-50 list, behind the late Peter Dracer, Charles Handy is today busy with ecology and finance.

On the basis of his theories, the fleeting flight of fleas, the collapse of elephants, the management of portfolios, and the writing of a written business constitution, the lone guru, always with Elizabeth’s wife, philosophizes and wants to predict.

In this context, Handy calls on entrepreneurs and business executives to rethink the business and get rid of the permanent hunting of money and the increase in the assets of their businesses. It also calls on shareholders to be less greedy and more ethical about social behavior.

Challenging the status quo: Handy worked for Shell until 1972, when he left to teach at the London Business School (LBS), where he was the first manager of LBS’s Sloan Management Program.

Since then, he has written a number of great-selling books, including “Understanding Organizations” (1976), “The Age of Unreason” (1989), “The Hungry Spirit” (1998) Recently, “The Elephant and The Flea” (2002). One of his most famous ideas is the “cloverleaf” – which later was called the “clover organization” – with a small core at the center of the “leaf” system, consisting of external partners, contractors, consultants and fixed-term workers. A revolutionary idea for its era, which proved to be an accurate prediction of the future.

Since then, Handy is causing the status quo. For him, capitalism is a system, the best we have invented so far, but it is not just the beginning.

It is a starting point for what really matters to people: their expectations, their families, and the sense of their personal value. The book published in 1998, The Thirsty Spirit, warned against the dangers of the speculative society that companies have created and emphasized that, in today’s circumstances, business ethics should be a starting point for business.

The purpose of the business: In an interview with the Financial Times, Handy emphasizes that he is concerned about the fact that capitalism is eating for himself.

“I believe that money is an essential element in successful societies. Most families that are dissolving are because their finances are not doing well, just because love is leaving. I never want to say that I say that money is not important, but it is the means for another purpose ”

“I think the danger with capitalism and with organizations and businesses is that money has become an end in itself. We simply compete for who gets the most money, whether it’s a multinational business, an industry or a businessman. I believe that this is detracting from the human spirit. In this fight, you can never win. You may be Bill Gates for a while, but it is absolutely certain that there will be another Bill Gates – so if you do not start using your money for some other purpose, as it seems to do – to be fair – Bill Gates himself, makes no sense. ”

Of course, if you are successful in the business sector, you will earn money.

But then you can remain a successful entrepreneur only if you continue to do something that is useful to more people than other businesses do and you need money to grow and succeed.

So, I think the purpose of the business is not to make money, but to do something that is more useful to more people than anyone else. However, I fear that the majority of capitalists do not think so.

Not even the majority of managers think so. They want promotion because they can make more money to repay a larger mortgage and have a larger home – not because they can be able to do something more valuable to their lives. But I think it is necessary for a manager to cultivate his spirit and to be an example to be imitated with his behavior, “says Charles Handy.

The theory of “good selfishness”: In this sense, Handy believes that managers should take care of themselves. “A person who does not do well with himself is not useful to anyone else. The same applies to companies. If they are not healthy, they are no longer useful. They have no value for anybody else, “he underlines. On the basis of this logic, Handy develops the theory of “right selfishness.”

Proper selfishness can be extremely useful in a company because it gives content to what managers want to do. “Leaders must look far beyond the company’s simple profitability. They have to ask what to do and do the right things, “he points out.

However, in the peculiar guru, it is now vital to have a new balance of power in the business. “The current correlation has to be shifted somewhat, from the shareholders that finance the creation of wealth, to the people who actually create the wealth. That will not happen because I say it, but because we have to discover new ways to reward people who create wealth – and that means, perhaps, giving them an increasing share of ownership.

One part will be through the placement of company shares in special funds for employees and other similar actions. The right to buy shares is a rather insidious way to pay the world inexpensively.

However, I do believe that if you and your team are responsible for creating wealth, then you will have to have both a share in the company and those who fund it. Gradually, the idea of ??ownership will subside. The financiers will not be so strong and the employees will have a decisive role, as they should. That would be healthy, “says Handy.

And to combat inequality: He also argues that capitalism must put itself in the production of wealth and, on the other hand, in combating global inequalities. “It is necessary for the servants of capitalism to realize that they must not let the money erode values,” Charles Handy stresses with a strong philosophical mood – and, in many ways, is far from right.

Moreover, he expressed his views in a rare public appearance in Dublin on June 28, where he developed his positions on a “new charity”. According to the writer of “Young Filmmakers”, by search and profit centers, businesses have to evolve into collective self-integrating pockets.

In this sense, Handy states that the perception and appreciation of the employee for the undertaking which employs him rather than the opposite plays a huge role.

Influenced, apparently, by the fact that he is the son of a divorce family, Handy nowadays has a more moral perception of his business and charity, which may also be a good social tool.

Under varying circumstances, every experimentation is good.


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