Blog


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…

Read More

Guns and Gadgets

Dec 03, 2010

Guns and Gadgets

A conflict is erupting over “conflict minerals.” Large retailers such as Best Buy, Costco, Wal-Mart and Target are reportedly seeking to limit a requirement within this year’s Dodd-Frank financial law that may require them to report whether their store-brand products contain conflict minerals from Central Africa. The provision in the law is part of an effort to use corporate pressure to choke off illegal mining operations that…

Read More

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…

Read More

Above All, Do No Harm

Oct 31, 2010

Above All, Do No Harm

Peter Drucker always had mixed feelings about corporate whistle-blowing, likening the practice to “informing” and maintaining that its encouragement can break down fundamental bonds between supervisor and employee. “Whistle-blowing,” he asserted, “is ethically quite ambiguous.” Still, there is little doubt that Drucker would have had few qualms about the actions taken by former GlaxoSmithKline quality-assurance manager Cheryl Eckard, who last week won $96 million in…

Read More