Corporate governance: embracing a new mindset
by Peter Crow

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The limited liability company is a great construct; an efficient vehicle for commerce, through which to pursue an overall aim and to create value over an extended period. What’s more, greater economies of scale are attainable (over what a sole trader or entrepreneur could typically hope to achieve), mixed levels of ownership are possible and, for shareholders, liability is limited to the level of capital invested. Yet for all their benefits, companies are not without flaws—they are social constructions, after all. Even seemingly strong and enduring organisations are susceptible to missteps and failure at the hands of ineffective boards. The societal and economic consequences are not insignificant. When failures occur, blame is typically placed at […]

Trumpeters of Nothingness
by Kenneth Mikkelsen

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As a student I elected to study journalism. I was taught how to discover, craft and tell stories. I was motivated to understand what was behind the choices people made, to gain different perspectives, to hold the powerful to account and to spark critical discussions. Investigative journalists like Woodward and Bernstein were my inspiration. My first job after graduation, however, was with a PR agency. I never felt at peace there but it taught me some valuable lessons about life.  If you wish to work in the service of the highest bidder, to become a master of deception, quick fixes, short cuts and shady deals are all part of it. Each day, I observed how political, economic and corporate interests shaped […]

AI and Quantum Logic to rescue Humanity?
by Thomas Wienold

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The Good News We still have roughly 4 billion years before our sun turns into a red giant and scorches the earth, which will bring the end of life on earth. So why worry? The Not-So-Good News Life on earth may end much before the end of our sun, much sooner – in fact, a little too soon. Why? Because our brains are still rooted in ancient history and behaviors. Trained to survive, to win, to be the number one, to be the strongest, to be a hero. This was coded into our beings as it was necessary to win over wild animals – eat or be eaten! The Consequence There is no wild beast […]

The Engineer and The Gardener: the Central Tension in 21st Century Management
by David Hurst

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in 10th Global Peter Drucker Forum

“Warm hearts allied with cool heads seek a middle way between the extremes of abstract theory and personal impulse” Stephen Toulmin, Return to Reason In Masters of Management (2011) Adrian Wooldridge (Bagehot columnist for The Economist and frequent Drucker Forum participant) identified four defects in management theory: That it was constitutionally incapable of self-criticism Its terminology confuses rather than educates It rarely rises above common sense It is faddish and bedeviled by contradictions After declaring management theory “guilty” on all charges in various degrees, he identified the root problem as an “intellectual confusion at the heart of management theory; it has become… a battleground between two radically opposed philosophies. Management theorists usually belong to one […]

How a Gig Mindset Inside Organizations Will Shape Our Future
by Jane McConnell

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in 10th Global Peter Drucker Forum

How does the gig mindset differ from a traditional approach to work? Is it just a question of nuance, of degree, or are there real, meaningful differences? What does it mean for people and their individual development? What impact does the gig mindset have on organizations? Does it build resilience, and trigger innovation? Does it create disorder and increase risk? The “gig mindset” research is based on eight behaviors (see figure below). The traditional mindset and the gig mindset are posed as opposites on the table, but in reality, people find themselves at different points along the spectrum, and individual people see themselves at multiple points on the spectrum depending on context and circumstances. The […]

Business Does Not Need the Humanities — But Humans Do
by Gianpiero Petriglieri

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Sometimes a simple story is all it takes to capture complex issues, or so it seems. Take this one. A few years ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg lost a game of Scrabble to a friend’s teenage daughter. “Before they played a second game, he wrote a simple computer program that would look up his letters in the dictionary so that he could choose from all possible words,” wrote New Yorker reporter Evan Osnos. As the girl told it to Osnos, “During the game in which I was playing the program, everyone around us was taking sides: Team Human and Team Machine.” The anecdote was too delicious to ignore, seeming to capture all we (think we) […]

Make Space for Humans
by Esther Clark

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As schools explore how to educate students and prepare them for a future that we can only imagine, organizations have similar questions. How do we create a product or service to address the needs of markets that don’t exist yet and how can we develop the skills required to do this? The focus of most organizations is on developing skills and know-how to address different scenarios. Rote memorization of facts or of the latest management theory is useless if it is not combined with the skills and empathy needed to adapt to new or uncertain circumstances. As humans, we need to think, discern, and curate rather than just memorize and consume. It’s what makes us […]

The Role of a Manager Has to Change in 5 Key Ways
by Joseph Pistrui & Dimo Dimov

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“First, let’s fire all the managers” said Gary Hamel almost seven years ago in Harvard Business Review. “Think of the countless hours that team leaders, department heads, and vice presidents devote to supervising the work of others.” Today, we believe that the problem in most organizations isn’t simply that management is inefficient, it’s that the role and purpose of a “manager” haven’t kept pace with what’s needed. For almost 100 years, management has been associated with the five basic functions outlined by management theorist Henri Fayol: planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. These have become the default dimensions of a manager. But they relate to pursuing a fixed target in a stable landscape. Take away […]