Can The Drucker Forum Establish The Human Dimension Of Management?
Steve Denning

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In November 2018, the world’s leading management conference—the Global Peter Drucker Forum—will debate a profound question: “management—the human dimension.” A cast of eminent thinkers and executives will consider nothing less than the possibility of “a business reformation”— something analogous to Martin Luther’s call of 1517 for the Roman Catholic Church to abandon the sale of indulgences. The Drucker Forum invites us “to rethink how organizations, businesses, are actually run, why they are run, and what their purpose and role are in society.” The Three Responsibilities of Management In responding to this call, a good starting point is Peter Drucker’s 1954 classic book, Management, which formulated three responsibilities of management: assuring the performance of the institution […]

Management Needs to Return to Reason
by David Hurst

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‘The arts of life…turn out to possess their own special methods and techniques…Bad judgement here consists not in failing to apply the methods of natural science, but, on the contrary, in over-applying them’. Isaiah Berlin, Political Judgement Ever since the European Enlightenment reason has been regarded as the hallmark of our humanity. The French philosophes argued that it was the power of abstract thought that separated us from animals. Only reason promised a certainty that could free us from the tyranny of tradition, dogmatic faith and arbitrary rule. Reason and rationality There was, however, not a single Enlightenment. While the French took Descartes as their model and focused on the supremacy of his rational method, […]

A business reformation: lighting the flame
by Charles Handy

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Five hundred years ago an unknown friar in an unknown German town laid a complaint against his employer. The friar was Martin Luther, the town Wittenberg. His employer was the Catholic Church, and the burden of his complaints – 95 of them – was twofold. First, to be permitted to buy your way to heaven – as the church offered through the sale of indulgences – was wrong: a scam on the poor to make the rich richer, which sounds familiar today. The second was that the route to heaven was not through what you did, which after all was laid down by the organization, but through what you were. He called this “justification by […]

“We can make business competition extinct.”
by Anne Twombly

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The largest and most lasting idea that I’ve taken from the Drucker forum is the words of a fellow challenge winner, Nayyara Rahman: “We can make business competition extinct.” That short, bold statement contained an idea that I never thought was possible. As most do, I viewed competition as a fundamental aspect of business. Competition certainly isn’t always negative, and there are plenty of examples of competition being the driving force for progressive improvement. But it is critical to remember that change is possible, even at the very foundation. I heard these words against a backdrop of red curtains in a theater, a few hours before the 9th Global Peter Drucker Forum officially opened. I […]

Please welcome CSR 2.0
by Henry Mintzberg

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(See lisamintzberg.com for more of her photography.)   I address this especially to business executives, but as citizens of their societies and neighbors in their communities.   Why do we focus on the conditions of our problems instead of addressing their root causes? Medicine, for example, gives far greater attention to treating diseases than to preventing what caused them in the first place. Jonas Salk provided a telling exception: instead of treating polio, he created a vaccine to eradicate it.   0.0, 1.0, 2.0    Much the same can be said about corporate social responsibility, or CSR. A corporation is considered responsible when it attends to the evident conditions of some social or environmental problem. But […]

Does Inclusive Policy and Strategy Making Matter for Entrepreneurial Organisations?
by Jay Mitra

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Inclusive policy and strategy making tends to be associated with policy matters affecting developing countries. This is mainly because of the gap between the rich and poor in relatively poor environments, and the relatively low income levels caused by significant levels of poverty. An excessive share of riches being concentrated in the hands of the few is not a developing economy prerogative. Income and wealth inequalities have attracted much attention in the developed economies in particular since the last economic recession began in 2008, generating the iconic ratio of 99:1, although there are wide variations between countries. The richest 1% of Swiss manage to survive with half the income of their UK counterparts, and in […]

Why it’s time to bring back –and modernize– government
by Carlota Perez

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Government lag When Ronald Reagan said in the 1980s that “government is the problem”, he was right in only one sense: that the specific policies that were designed to enable the full deployment of the mass production revolution were inadequate for dealing with its exhaustion and decline. In fact, government did not yet know – and indeed could not know – how to deal with the emerging information revolution. It was true, as Schumpeter would have said, that unfettered free markets were better suited for the period of experimentation with new Silicon Valley technologies; and open competition was more likely to persuade the old industry giants to modernize with computers and take-up the new organizational […]

Humanity at a Crossroads
by Charles Handy

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We cannot let technology, however advanced, replace humanity with all its sensitivities, it’s appreciations of love, beauty and nature, it’s need for affection, sympathy and purpose, it’s hopes and fears, intuitions, imagination and leaps of faith.  Technology, even AI, in all its possibilities, can never replicate these. We must not let the demands of economic man/woman dominate our fuller humanity.  AI must be our servant rather than our master, economics the basis of a good life for all but not its purpose. In the past century the organisation, the company (literally a gathering of companions) at its best, recognised this.  It offered security and personal development in return for commitment.  My own company, Shell, was […]