Chapter Three

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 start-ups and the new dot-coms, they 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 ...

Get The Future of Leadership: Today's Top Leadership Thinkers Speak to Tomorrow's Leaders now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.