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 […]