Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Peter Drucker Wisdom

Jim Champy's new book, What I learned from Peter Drucker looks like a winner.  Drucker is one of the pioneers of modern management theory and practice and Champy appears to have had a lengthy personal and professional friendship with Drucker.  Here is an excerpt from the Introduction:

Peter's work had two major components. The first was the big picture: He believed that healthy organizations of all kinds — corporations, nonprofits, museums, libraries, sports teams, garden clubs, hospitals, government agencies — are the glue that holds society together and shields it from totalitarianism and economic chaos. Calling himself a social ecologist, he argued that every organization should understand its place in this sustaining mosaic and do its fair share of aiding the common good in all its actions.

The second thrust of his work focused on management per se, on organizational structure, function, and efficiency. His books and lectures were filled with practical and proven solutions to some of the most vexing challenges businesses face. For example, he was unyielding on the importance of focusing on customer needs, using time wisely, and scrapping weak or obsolete processes and products.

The two strands of his thinking intersected in his belief that companies succeed to the degree they make work meaningful, giving employees a sense of purpose and fulfillment. His ability to clearly articulate and balance these two complementary elements of his lifework, the macro and micro, was one of his great strengths. 
This connects with the management and leadership skill sets that I Kotter highlight in his article.  Leaders succeed to the extent that they can balance progress on the micro and macro areas of leadership.

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