Chapter 33. A World of Fleas and Elephants

Charles Handy

The world of organizations is fast dividing itself into fleas and elephants. The elephants are the large organizations of business and government; the fleas are the technological startups and the new dotcoms. Fleas are the small consultancies and professional firms, the self-employed experts, and the specialty suppliers that service the elephants. On a humbler scale, the fleas include the little businesses that pepper our main streets with restaurants, family-run stores, hairdressing salons, and real estate agencies, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of small not-for-profit organizations as well as all our local schools and churches.

The elephants get all the attention, from academics ...

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