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The Question Looming at Apple: Who’s Next?

Jan 18, 2011

The Question Looming at Apple: Who’s Next?

With Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs headed out again on medical leave and some speculating that he may not return—at least not in the same role—the world can’t help but wonder: What is the company’s succession plan? As we’ve noted, Peter Drucker had strong feelings on the subject of succession. A company’s “survival,” Drucker asserted in his 1946 book Concept of the Corporation, depends on its ability…

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Opportunity in Disguise

Jan 14, 2011

Opportunity in Disguise

In the latest issue of Harvard Business Review, Michael Porter and Mark Kramer call for nothing short of reinventing capitalism by “reconceiving the intersection between society and corporate performance.” “Capitalism,” they write, is an unparalleled vehicle for meeting human needs, improving efficiency, creating jobs and building wealth. But a narrow conception of capitalism has prevented business from harnessing its full potential to meet society’s broader…

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Focus, Focus…Forget About It

Jan 13, 2011

Focus, Focus…Forget About It

Isaiah Berlin’s fable of the fox and the hedgehog (“The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing”) has become a lodestar for management thinkers of all stripes.

Elephants vs. Mice

Jan 12, 2011

Elephants vs. Mice

Today’s announcement that the conglomerate ITT Corp. is planning to split itself into three companies has observers suggesting that in the corporate world these days, bigger isn’t necessarily better. “More and more companies are coming to the conclusion that it’s better to be smaller and nimble than a slow-moving Leviathan,” CNNMoney declared on the heels of the ITT news. Actually, Peter Drucker came to that…

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On Getting Engaged

Jan 06, 2011

On Getting Engaged

“Engaged employees plan to stay for what they give; the disengaged stay for what they get.” So says a new report on employee engagement from the consulting firm BlessingWhite Inc. The trouble is, only 1 in 3 employees around the world are engaged, according to the study. And nearly 1 in 5 are actually disengaged. BlessingWhite defines full engagement as “an alignment of maximum job satisfaction…

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Bye-Bye, Boss

Dec 30, 2010

Bye-Bye, Boss

A survey by the job-placement firm Manpower Inc. has found that 84% of workers say they plan to look for a new job in 2011. That’s up from 60% last year. Douglas Matthews, president of Right Management, a division of Manpower, termed the results “a wake-up call to management.” “This finding is more about employee dissatisfaction and discontent than projected turnover,” he said. Job satisfaction…

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A Woman’s World

Dec 24, 2010

A Woman’s World

The basic task of management, Peter Drucker once wrote, is “to make people capable of joint performance.” Now, a report published in the journal Science has provided some interesting insights into how to do that more effectively. The study, titled “Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups,” shows that teams of people display a collective intelligence that has surprisingly little…

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Regaining Your Virginity

Dec 17, 2010

Regaining Your Virginity

We went through a fascinating exercise this week at the Drucker Institute: figuring out what our “leemers” are. “When something unexpected happens, you’ll know it because you’ll feel surprised, puzzled, agitated, anxious, unsettled, frustrated, or even startled,” Karl Weick and Kathleen Sutcliffe write in their 2007 book Managing the Unexpected. “Aviators call these feelings leemers (probably from leery).” The leemer that’s left us most unsettled…

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Finding Drucker—and Fast

Dec 09, 2010

Finding Drucker—and Fast

“There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer,” Peter Drucker declared. This week, in a dispatch from Tokyo, Bloomberg explores how Tadashi Yanai, the CEO of Japan’s Fast Retailing Co., is trying to recapture that simple—but often elusive—principle at his clothing company. “Drucker is not only my management professor, but he is like the compass to provide a path I…

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Engineering vs. Financial Engineering

Dec 08, 2010

Engineering vs. Financial Engineering

In 1981, Peter Drucker famously asked Jack Welch, who had just been named General Electric’s CEO, a couple of simple questions: “If you weren’t already in this business, would you enter it today? And, if the answer is no, what are you going to do about it?” This led Welch to a key strategy: If any GE business wasn’t No. 1 or No. 2 in…

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Japan’s Bestseller: Drucker and High School Baseball

Dec 01, 2010

Japan’s Bestseller: Drucker and High School Baseball

The number 1 selling book in Japan for all of 2010 is Natsumi Iwasaki‘s What If a Female Manager of a High School Baseball Team Read Drucker’s “Management”? The runaway success has sold more than 1.2 million copies in less than a year, beating out Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84” and a book on dieting. What do you think: Would young people benefit from learning Drucker’s management and leadership…

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The Profit Motive

Nov 30, 2010

The Profit Motive

The Commerce Department’s announcement last week that corporate profits hit an all-time high in the third quarter—coming in at an annual rate of $1.659 trillion—would likely have left Peter Drucker wondering one thing: When will all of this dough accrue to the greater good? Drucker was never shy about stressing that businesses need to make money—and even lots of it. “No apology is needed for profit,” Drucker…

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Of Pyramids and Pancakes

Nov 24, 2010

Of Pyramids and Pancakes

At last week’s Global Drucker Forum in Vienna, Josephine Green – formerly the senior director of Trends and Strategy at Philips Design and currently a consultant at Beyond 20– argued that we are witnessing the “death of hierarchy.” The worldview reflected by the classic, Industrial Age, hierarchical pyramid with power concentrated at the top, according to Green, is “bankrupt.” “It made sense in one era,”…

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Do We Need to Reinvent Management?

Nov 18, 2010

Do We Need to Reinvent Management?

Quick, when was the following statement written—1954, 1973 or 2010? “The new model (of management) will have to . . . push power and decision-making down the organization as much as possible, rather than leave it concentrated at the top.” And what about this one? Was it 1949, 1985 or 2008? “We are dealing with decentralization carried a step further. . . . Such decentralization…

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Can Sony Get Its Mojo Back?

Nov 18, 2010

Can Sony Get Its Mojo Back?

Check out Drucker Institute executive director Rick Wartzman’s latest column for Bloomberg Businessweek. The column takes a look at Sony’s recent decision to stop production of the once ubiquitous Walkman and explores the company’s opportunities for reclaiming a prime position in the electronics market.

New from the Institute: The Second Global Peter Drucker Forum

Nov 18, 2010

New from the Institute: The Second Global Peter Drucker Forum

Today and tomorrow, the second global Peter Drucker Forum will convene in Vienna, Austria.  This forum marks the conclusion of a series of events related to the Drucker Centennial. This gathering also represents a starting point for exploring the challenges for management in the future.  Having paid tribute in Vienna last year to Peter F. Drucker, participants are now set to look forward–yet not without keeping…

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Nov 15, 2010

New from the Institute: Converting Knowledge into Action, cont’d

Last week the Drucker Institute hosted the Drucker Innovation Forum, an intimate, cross-industry, cross-sector gathering of leading managers of innovation. Our aim was to inspire each of the two-dozen participants to implement one new management tool, approach, or practice at his or her home organization. Regular readers of the Dx will notice a theme here: so much of what we do at the Institute is…

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Leading Without Walls

Nov 08, 2010

Leading Without Walls

The Drucker Institute recently underwent a renovation to improve storage for the archives and to create a more functional work space for our growing staff. A partnership with Herman Miller — built on the friendship between Peter Drucker and former Herman Miller CEO Max DePree — provided the Institute an opportunity to examine our individual work styles and needs, to maximize flexibility for a multi-use…

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Nov 06, 2010

Tom Peters’ Keynote Speech at Drucker Day 2010

Watch renowned management and leadership consultant Tom Peters‘ keynote speech at Drucker Day 2010.  Peters’ presentation was part of the culminating events of the Drucker Centennial celebration commemorating the birth of Peter F. Drucker.

“Chile! Chile! Chile!”

Oct 19, 2010

“Chile! Chile! Chile!”

Friends in Japan tell us that when the 33 Chilean miners were rescued last week, broadcaster NHK reported on its nighttime news that the foreman, Luis Urzúa, must have been a Peter Drucker fan because of the strength of his leadership during crisis. Actually, we aren’t really sure that Urzúa has read any Drucker. It seems that the NHK story may mostly be a reflection…

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