Management – the human dimension
Stefan Stern

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Management, Peter Drucker famously said, is a liberal art. It may be informed by data and enhanced by technology. But it remains an art, not a science, and one practised by people, not machines. Do you want to be managed by an algorithm or a “platform”? Me neither. But, you may object, this is sentimental and out of date. Computer code already influences our lives in all sorts of unseen ways, nudging us into purchasing decisions and co-ordinating our customer experiences. Apps make things happen. They connect passengers with available taxi drivers, or instruct delivery drivers and couriers to bring goods to our offices or our homes. Sophisticated and productive factories and “fulfillment centres” operate […]

Three Principles to Bring the Best New Ideas to Life
Philip Black

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If someone in your organization has a great idea today, how long will it take for your customers to know about or benefit from that idea? For many companies, the answer is far too long. The pressure to bring new ideas to market faster has typically rested on the shoulders of product development, but it’s also moved to the boardroom, where CEOs are being asked to push for scale and make concepts like Agile work throughout the company. Agile was designed specifically to address this need for flexibility and speed. The Agile Manifesto was conceived as a set of 12 principles to guide improvements to software development, and each one is useful and relevant, and […]

Manageable and Unmanageable Managing
by Henry Mintzberg

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Imagine managing cheese products in India for a global food company, or running a general hospital in Montreal under the Quebec Medicare system. Sounds pretty straightforward, right? Now imagine that you have sold so much cheese in India that the company asks you to manage cheese for all of Asia. Or in Montreal, you did so well in the hospital that the government asks you to manage a community clinic too—to go back and forth between the two, or stay in an office somewhere and shoot off emails. When reorganizing health care services in Quebec, in one region the government actually went nine times worse: it designated one managerial position for nine different institutions: a […]

Digital! Enabler or influencing us: How human are our influencers?
Ananthanarayanan V

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It’s the 4th Industrial Revolution. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are here. With today’s information overload, even living in the moment is becoming a problem. Less than a decade ago, we were surprised when brands reached us on bulk-messaging services offering us products that we had recently shopped for. Now, most of us don’t bat an eyelid when we are showcased a product that our loved ones are using with the line, “You might be interested in this”, the ad copy featuring pictures of our friends. The advent of the faces of “known users” in our ads is slowly even negating the need for us to discuss the same with our loved ones. Today, over […]

Organisation or talent : Comments on Ulrich
by Friedberg Erhard

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In their recent book “Victory through Organization, Why the War for Talent is Failing your Company and What You Can Do About It”, Dave Ulrich and colleagues have argued forcefully that management has been too obsessed with the hunt for talent. They propose instead to focus more on organization. They develop their argument from and for an HR perspective, on the basis of empirical data from their last research on over 1,200 organizations. These data show that when compared to individual HR professionals, HR departments as a whole have three to four times the impact on business results: in other words, argue Ulrich and colleagues, departments matter more than people in predicting business and stakeholder […]

The Value of Humanising Organisations
by Professor Vlatka Hlupic

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Business as usual is no longer an option. A narrow focus on maximizing short-term financial returns has led directly to corporate scandals, environmental disasters from climate change to plastic waste in the oceans, low employee morale, distrust in institutions and the Great Financial Crash of 2007-2008. Yet amid this succession of crises, a more optimistic picture is emerging, supported by a growing body of evidence that makes an economic, as well as a moral, case for a different approach to business. It was assumed, until recently, that the business interest was on a collision course with social and environmental concerns. Recent research findings challenge this assumption. It turns out that organisations can secure superior financial […]

Want to scale? Don’t copy the big companies
by Nick Hixson

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Why does it seem that the big corporations always get away with it? How do they sleep at night, given some of the missteps causing such problems to the rest of us? Not our problem It seems like it’s no-one’s problem, always somewhere to pass it up/along/down the line so there’s no individual responsibility. Hence no action until a customer gets a real problem. The latest example is BMW’s delay in making a product recall on some of its cars, although knowing the electrical system could completely fail at any time. Someone has now died, and while the problem was identified by BMW (and the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Safety Agency) no-one took action. Reports […]

Peter Drucker’s view on Project Management – Interview with Richard Straub, founder of the Global Peter Drucker Forum
by Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez

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Peter Drucker was fully aware of the importance of disciplined planning and execution – hence his famous quote: “Plans are just good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work”. He saw the need to tightly integrate the ideas and the plans for execution in the strategy process itself. <<< This article was part of the ANR Newsletter series>> Several years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Richard Straub over a long breakfast in Brussels. Richard is the founder of the non-profit Peter Drucker Society Europe after a 32-year career at IBM. he is keeping Drucker’s legacy alive through the Global Peter Drucker Forum, which has its tenth year anniversary in November this year. Peter Drucker (1909-2005), […]