Natsumi Iwasaki, Curt Pullen join our board

May. 9, 2011

The Drucker Institute announced today the addition of two new members to its Board of Advisors: bestselling Japanese author Natsumi Iwasaki and Curt Pullen, executive vice president of Herman Miller and president of Herman Miller North America.

“Both Curt and Natsumi are tremendously talented individuals who bring real Drucker-like attributes to the Board, including a penchant for innovation and a strong sense of values,” said Bob Buford, the Drucker Institute’s chairman. “I have no doubt that both will be deeply engaged and have a real impact on our work.”

Iwasaki is the author of the novel What If a Female Manager of a High School Baseball Team Read Drucker’s “Management,” which has sold more than 2 million copies and was the top-selling book in Japan in 2010. It tells the story of a student who unexpectedly becomes the manager of the baseball team at Tokyo’s Hodokubo High. She soon stumbles across a version of Peter Drucker’s 1973 classic Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices and uses its lessons to lift the team’s performance. Moshi-Dora, as Iwasaki’s book is called for short, has also been turned into an anime TV series, and a movie version is set to hit Japanese theaters in June.

In his position at Herman Miller, Pullen leads a $1.2 billion business unit that serves as the company’s flagship. In 2010, Herman Miller—which Peter Drucker served as a consultant over two decades, beginning in the 1970s—was one of only six corporations to rank in Fortune‘s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” Fortune‘s “Most Admired” and Fast Company‘s “Fast 50″ Most Innovative. The company’s Aeron chair and Eames Lounge were two of Fast Company‘s 15 best-designed consumer products of the 20th century. Herman Miller is a global leader not only in design but also in operations and sustainability, for which it has received major awards and recognition from NASDAQ, Dow Jones, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and many others. Pullen, who joined Herman Miller in 1991, was the company’s CFO prior to his current job.

Pullen and Iwasaki join an extraordinary group of board members. In addition to Buford, a cable TV pioneer, author and social entrepreneur, they include: John Bachmann, senior partner at the investment firm Edward Jones; John Byrne, the chairman and CEO of C-Change Media Inc. and the former executive editor of BusinessWeek magazine; attorney and entrepreneur Cecily Drucker, daughter of the late Peter Drucker; author and inventor Doris Drucker, wife of the late Peter Drucker; CGU President Deborah Freund; Nobuhiro Iijima, president of Tokyo-based Yamazaki Baking Co.; Jody Greenstone Miller, the CEO of Business Talent Group; KH Moon, the president of the New Paradigm Institute of Korea and the former chief executive of consumer-products company Yuhan-Kimberly; C. William Pollard, chairman emeritus of ServiceMaster Co.; Minglo Shao, founder of Bright China Holding Ltd. and head of the Peter F. Drucker Academy, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to teaching Drucker’s principles and practices in China; and Craig Wynett, Chief Innovation Officer at Procter & Gamble Co.

“As our programs continue to grow and evolve, and we touch more and more lives—everyone from CEOs to high school students—with Peter Drucker’s timeless insights on effective management and responsible leadership, we will really benefit from the creativity that Curt and Natsumi bring,” said Rick Wartzman, the Drucker Institute’s executive director.

Both Pullen and Iwasaki noted how excited they were to join the Board. “I am honored to serve the legacy of Peter Drucker,” said Pullen. “His remarkable curiosities, ambitions, observations and teachings remain essential tools to anyone facing the complexities of modern management. His work is incredibly durable, and it is a privilege to help further his work.” Said Iwasaki: “I am very honored to participate on the Drucker Institute Board, and I look forward to making a strong contribution.”

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