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The Age of Paradox

Overview

"Living with paradox is like riding a seesaw. If you know how the process works, and if the person at the other end also knows, the ride can be exhilarating. If, however, your opposite number does not understand, or willfully upsets the pattern, you can receive a very uncomfortable and unexpected shock." As it is with seesaws, so it is with life. We live and work in an age of numbingly rapid change. If we are to cope with the turbulence of today, we must start by organizing it in our minds. Until we do, we will feel impotent, victims of events
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Overview

"Living with paradox is like riding a seesaw. If you know how the process works, and if the person at the other end also knows, the ride can be exhilarating. If, however, your opposite number does not understand, or willfully upsets the pattern, you can receive a very uncomfortable and unexpected shock." As it is with seesaws, so it is with life. We live and work in an age of numbingly rapid change. If we are to cope with the turbulence of today, we must start by organizing it in our minds. Until we do, we will feel impotent, victims of events beyond our control or even our capacity to understand. As Charles Handy so eloquently explains, framing the confusion is the first step to doing something about it. In The Age of Paradox, one of the most brilliant and engaging thinkers of our day extends a guiding hand in the search for such a framework. In a book born of the compelling need to manage our lives in a sounder and more satisfying fashion, Handy ranges widely over business, family, education, citizenship, money, relationships, and myriad other subjects that touch the very core of our search for meaning. In 1989, Charles Handy's groundbreaking The Age of Unreason documented new developments in technology, global economics, and the intensifying pursuit of efficiency - and their impact on our organizations, careers, and lifestyles. Declared one of the best books of the year by Fortune and Business Week, The Age of Unreason offered profound observations about the world in which we live. Now, in this striking sequel, Handy proposes bold ideas for how individuals and organizations can navigate their way through this brave new world. Change is occurring more rapidly than ever, challenging the assumptions and traditions of previous decades. Fewer full-time positions create more flexibility - but put the responsibility on us to create job opportunities. The end of lifelong careers gives us the freedom to explore new organizations and industries - but provides us with

In a widely acclaimed book, the bestselling author of The Age of Unreason contends that what society needs is a new ethic--one based on a renewed humanism, a fresh interpretation of capitalism, and a belief in proper federalism.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Handy ( The Age of Unreason ) here surveys the state of the world--and his observations are unsettling. People have been adversely affected by change; capitalism ``has not proved as flexible as it was supposed to be''; and increased technology and productivity have resulted in fewer jobs for some, increased consumption for others. His solution lies in ``the management of paradox,'' in essence planning for the unplanned. Handy identifies nine global paradoxes--e.g., the U.S. and Britain have the highest percentages of employed people but their workers are the least protected; in Bangladesh 90% of houses are owner-occupied, in richer Switzerland 33%--and notes that to cope with the turbulence of life, organization must start in the mind. His analyses of intelligence, work, time, productivity, business purpose and the age of conglomerates are insightful. 30,000 first printing; author tour. (Mar.)
Booknews
In this sequel to The Age of Unreason (Harvard Business School Press, 1990), Handy, long associated with the London Business School and now an independent writer and educator, tells how capitalism must change in order to survive. He encourages reexamination of the meaning of business and the paradoxes of progress, suggesting measures of progress beyond efficiency and economic growth. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780875846439
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 4.99 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
1 We Are Not Where We Hoped to Be 1
2 The Paradoxes of Our Times 17
3 The Sigmoid Curve 49
4 The Doughnut Principle 69
5 The Chinese Contract 87
6 Twin Citizenship 115
7 Subsidiarity 133
8 The Corporate Contract 155
9 The Membership Business 173
10 The Intelligence Investment 199
11 The New Scorecard 221
12 A Sense of Continuity 249
13 A Sense of Connection 259
14 A Sense of Direction 273
A Postscript: Two Stories 283
Acknowledgments 289
Bibliography 291
Index 295
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