Thursday, June 19, 2008

Peter Drucker's Timeless Advice

It is hard to imagine anyone that when through a formal (or informal) business education could have done so without experiencing the wisdom of Peter Drucker.

Professionally, he was a college professor (Bennington, NYU and Claremont) and business consultant. He wrote nearly 40 book and untold papers, articles and commentaries. He addressed for-profits, non-profits including governmental organizations. He had and still does have great impact in Asia, providing framework guidance for the Chinese, Japanese and Koreans.

Drucker's writing style, as described by George Anders in the 6/18/08 WSP (page B2),
mixed anecdotes and precepts in a way that lead some fans to describe him as a philosopher is out of step with the tastes at many leading business schools, where the preference is for conclusions based on large statistical studies.
There's a place for both. The pure academicians probably prefer the later whereas the average business person will probably benefit from and implement the former.

From The Essential Drucker, as referenced in Anders' WSJ article, consider some of his timeless pointers:

-- The essential activities of business are innovation and marketing; it's a mistake to fixate on profits.
-- Good management should make work productive and the worker effective.
-- Set objectives. Set separate ones for each crucial area of the business.
-- Take social responsibility seriously. An enterprise exists only as long as a society believes it does a necessary and useful job.
-- Quality is what the customer wants, not what's expensive and hard to do.
-- 'Knowledge workers' in modern organizations may manage no one, yet their decisions' impact can be comparable to what executives do.

And one of my favorites: "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things."

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