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Category Archives: Peter Drucker

The meaning of management

Surprisingly, it isn’t all that clear what the professional activity is that managers do. Indeed, as he delved in to the effort to define “management” in his must-have “Management: tasks, responsibilities, practices” (see review here), Peter Drucker began by pointing out that the term as used in the U.S. cannot be directly translated into any […]

Amateur Hour

In the course of this current series, we have seen that the general concept of individual leadership in organizations suffers from a debilitatingly long list of failures. It lacks system, it defies definition, it is unable to develop practitioners or to predict outcomes . . . But never mind: perhaps it is really too dispiriting, […]

Foresight and serendipity

Peter Drucker used to say that the thing to look out for isn’t the trend, but a change in the trend. But he also emphasized that true innovation doesn’t aim to change the future, but to better address the present. Of course, he also argued that as soon as a product or service became profitable, it was time to develop a new one to keep the company viable in the future. Modern-day observers, on the other hand . . .

Lingering leadership

We noted yesterday that society has changed dramatically over the past few hundred years, but individual leadership continues to be conceived and cultivated virtually as it has for millennia. What, exactly, has changed, and why has the concept of leadership resisted changing with it? One major change, of course, has been . . .

Creating businesses

Peter Drucker used to argue that the purpose of a business is to create a customer. He encouraged executives not to try to explain their businesses to their customers, but to let their customers – and potential customers – explain their businesses to them. The business should then organize itself around the results. Capitalism is the ideal vehicle for facilitating this process. . .