May 08, 2012

What Peter Drucker Would Be Reading

Recent selections from around the web that, we think, would have caught Peter Drucker’s eye:

1.  The Structural Revolution: Is our current recession a down cycle or a grand reset? David Brooks writes in the New York Times that many people on the left think what we’re going through is a deeper-than-normal cyclical downturn. But Brooks believes that’s missing the truth: “The recession grew out of and exposed long-term flaws in the economy. Fixing these structural problems should be the order of the day, not papering over them with more debt.”

2.  Why a Little Pessimism is a Good Thing: Americans are optimists in general. And if they’re not, they get told they’d better be. But Leslie Brokaw makes a good case on the Improvisations blog at MIT Sloan Management Review that pessimism should get a little more respect as a tool in its own right: “For one thing, it’s a good defensive tactic.”

3.  Why Innovation Dies: If you have a wonderful innovation to suggest and want to make sure it goes nowhere, put it into the hands of a committee. That is what entrepreneur Steve Blank writes on his site. Blank offers many reasons why committees are no good for making innovation happen. One of them: “New market problems call for visionary founders, not consensus committee members.”

4.  The Dx Comment of the Week: In response to our question about what it means that, according to new research, the workplace tends to be dominated by a small band of superstars and a large mass of below-average workers—a Pareto curve rather than a bell curve of talent distribution—Scott Kuethen had this to say:

Maybe the true stars are high-performing individuals who are team players. Fewer of those types than the masses to be sure.

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