While Peter Drucker was not the earliest writer on management, he added significantly to post-WW2 understanding.  First, he argued it was vital to study business and the legal, social, and ethical consequences of its freedoms to choose its purposes and practices.  Second, endorsing America’s distinctive contribution to business thinking – prioritizing the customer – he anticipated our often-breathless talk of rapid market, social, and technology change, and of managing as a global rather than local practice.  Third, he pointed to change within organizations.  While managers had been managing work for

Today, most businesses have found themselves operating in turbulent times; there is no such thing as ‘business as usual’ anymore. Over the past years, evidence has emerged of a new way to operate businesses. My research unveiled people-centric management and a high ability to act as the new way to better navigate in this ever-changing environment. Given this context, are democratic structures a viable response to the required dynamic capabilities when volatility, complexity and uncertainty rise?   During the past 25 years, the speed of change has accelerated and employee

But technological innovation can help improve management.   When I stumbled upon Devin Fidler’s recent HBR blog post “Here’s How Managers can be replaced by software” (https://hbr.org/2015/04/heres-how-managers-can-be-replaced-by-software), a loud voice in my head said: “What a nonsense. Here’s one more clueless author contributing to the mass-confusion about the nature and purpose of management.”   I was already turning the page in my Flipboard when something made me go back and actually read the article. And sure enough, what the article celebrates as the iCEO is not much more than an (admittedly

Clearly, the answer depends on how well we manage their introduction and use.   But let’s start by reminding ourselves that robots are already found in every conceivable area of life – from what is domestic (mowing grass, cleaning swimming pools), through sports and entertainment (car racing, playing music, producing artistic material), to the care sector (medical operations, looking after the elderly) … all the way to the military (drones, robot soldiers, autonomous weapons).   Moreover, the exciting possibilities of a robot-driven future are equally clear: since the 1980s, Japan

“Enough! Enough of the imbalances that is destroying our democracies, our planet, and ourselves,” writes the Canadian management thinker Henry Mintzberg.“ A society out of balance, with power concentrated in a privileged elite, can be ripe for revolution.” – How can that be?   In the West it has been our enduring crisis: an overleveraged financial economy, huge debts and imbalances, increasing inequalities, and resistant high unemployment rates. At the same time we see stock markets at all-time highs and CEOs earning obscene  amounts of money. This is what Henry

I’ve been stealing from Peter Drucker for nearly 40 years. It’s been a largely subconscious endeavor because Drucker’s early thinking and articulations had become so embedded in my operating framework that they became detached from the original source. It wasn’t until recently when I came across a veritable trove of tweetable Druckerisms neatly assembled by J.D. Meier –– that I realized how much I had been cribbing, cadging, and quoting from the man Business Week said “invented management.”   I began my career in the late 1960s at Mary Quant,

The humanist strand of management thinking that celebrates teams and collaboration through respect for customers and workers as human beings has a long and distinguished history. It includes Mary Parker Follett (1920s), Elton Mayo and Chester Barnard (1930s), Abraham Maslow (1940s), Douglas McGregor (1960s), Peter Drucker (1970s), Peters and Waterman (1980s), Katzenbach and Smith (1990s), and Gary Hamel (2000s).   Yet despite almost a century of fine management writing and many successful initiatives, the ugly truth is that the lasting impact on general management practice has been limited. Even humanist

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