Charles Handy is widely recognised as Europe's best known and most influential management thinker. He was born in Ireland in 1932 — the son of a Protestant clergyman. He says his home background played an important key in his development: "It gave me a slightly irreverent streak and a tendency to ask why?" He is noted for his studies of organizations and his far reaching ideas on the future work and business structures. He is the author of several highly acclaimed business books, including the, The Hungry Spirit. He was educated at Oxford and worked as an economist in the City of London.
He says that his strongest influence was Warren Bennis who he met when at MIT. "Bennis is my godfather" he once said. He has been an executive with Shell International Oil Company and a professor at the London School of Business. He launched and directed the "Sloan Management Program" and his first book was Understanding Organizations followed soon after by Gods of Management.
More recently he has moved into non-managerial fields of study, concerning himself with ethics, values and corporate issues beyond the bottom line.