For Peter Drucker history was an essential resource. Commentators have described the scope of his writings as “Braudelian” in honor of the work of historian, Fernand Braudel, the leader of the French Annales school of history, renowned for its broad, integrative approach. Drucker’s illustrations of organization and change included both the British Raj in India and the Meiji Restoration in Japan. A trio of little-known German thinkers, Willem von Humboldt (1767-1835), Joseph von Radowitz (1797-1853) and Friedrich Julius Stahl (1802-1861) informed his understanding of what it took to preserve the

We are on the threshold of a new and different world. How it will unfold depends on the collective thinking and actions of managers.   Over the last 250 years, a series of radical scientific and engineering advances has triggered an accelerating rise in living standards that even the two deadliest wars in history have failed to halt. The digital revolution propelled by Moore’s law is the latest and most far-reaching in this line of transforming “general purpose technologies.” It carries the tantalising promise to augment the power of the

Executive Summary/Management Implications   The “Great Transformation” is the current and on-going global economic transition from the “Industrial Age” (premised on physical production) to a “Knowledge/Creative/Human Economy” driven principally by globalization and technology (information/automation and the Internet). This great change is stressing an old industrial era top down/command-control leadership model with a new and emerging approach that more effectively addresses a complex and dynamic economic environment (“complexity leadership theory”) with a focus on learning, innovation and adaptability.   Companies who have responded to this economic transformation have shifted their leadership

In innovation and transformation we have avoided looking at the structural transformation of industries. This is arguably due to the fact that so many industries are changing at the same time, making the analysis of structural change an overwhelming task. Other reasons include: the fact that the change driver is not technology and nor is it an exogenous shock such as a fast rising emerging economy. Instead we have moved into an era where a combination of factors can quickly fragment an industry from tight vertical integration to broad horizontal

The economy is experiencing successive waves of change in industry after industry.   It is important to understand the common themes behind these changes and have a model that helps executives anticipate and manage the impact of disruption or to devise disruptive strategies. Increasingly executives are talking about change as “disruption” and many smaller companies are positioning themselves as “disruptors” of a sector. Arguably “disruption strategy” is taking over from competitive strategy. If so then we need to clarify terms and grasp what this means.   As identified by Christensen,

The challenges that leaders and organizations face today are interconnected. They are not a set of problems. It is a system of economic, technological, societal and cultural challenges – all conjoined and hence complex. As a result, it is time to view surprises as the new normal, and steady state as the exception. The difference over the past decade is the increasing speed with which leaders need to address multiple challenges – often simultaneously.   The major transformational shifts that we face in terms of a growing world population, changing

Following the discussion of what constitutes human essence-based management in Part 1, this piece will explore the link between new management and prosperity. To start off with another Peter Drucker’s lesson, social relevance comes first and the goal of every organization lies outside itself. If we hold Drucker’s words as ground zero, how relevant are current business practices to the society? Does acting on reason actually make for a good reason?   With business and society merging, it is important for managers to go beyond numbers into rich, deep, and

I listened and spoke to a lot of the leading management thinkers in the world at the Drucker Forum. Everybody is pretty much in agreement that we need to sort out our economies and to do that we need to have meaningful work to enable everybody’s full potential and capacity to be realised for their individual good as well as their employers, the economy and society generally. As always with this high-level thinking, there’s plenty of good research and evidence to support it, and some examples in real life companies,

The Global Drucker Forum of Vienna has become a major international convention for management and covers some of the main references of global management meetings. Held in memory of Peter Drucker it pays tribute to his inspiration. The alliance of the Forum with the Harvard Business Review guarantees global impact. Also, there was presence of prominent personalities from The Financial Times, The Economist and the BBC. Drucker defined modern management from a very humanistic perspective which continues to inspire the event in an extraordinary way, bringing together the best in

Just over two years ago Rick Wartzman noted in a Drucker Society Europe blog the numerous initiatives in recent years based around the evidence showing that a humane and thoughtful approach to leadership and management is actually better for corporate performance than more exploitative or short-termist approaches. Appreciative Inquiry, Conscious Capitalism and Shared Value, among others, all received a mention.   Though he approved of all these developments, he struck a cautionary note:   “Does this flurry of activity add up to more than a bunch of scattered conferences and