4th Global Peter Drucker Forum

Trust Is Dead. Long Live Trust!
by Tammy Erickson

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As business leaders pick up the post-recession pieces, I’m increasingly asked how companies can restore “trust” with employees.  My answer:  only by instituting new talent management approaches that reflect the reality of today’s relationship between employees and the corporation.   Until roughly fifty years ago, there was a tacit understanding between employees and corporations:  If employees worked hard and demonstrated loyalty to the company, the company would reward them with a steady career and comfortable retirement.  This equation had been at the heart of the relationship between individuals and organizations throughout centuries of Western economic tradition.   One side of the equation began to erode in the 1970’s as companies chipped away at the security […]

4th Global Peter Drucker Forum

Going for good growth
by Andrew Hill

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Earlier this year I visited Patagonia, the American outerwear manufacturer, headquartered just north of Los Angeles.   Patagonia has a perverse dislike of selling more products. When at a recent strategy meeting, his executives asked founder Yvon Chouinard what he thought about their plans, he responded – according to his lieutenant Rick Ridgeway – “I’m kinda worried that you’re training all those consumers out there to buy a bunch of shit they don’t need.”   At the other extreme is Jack Welch, ex-CEO of General Electric, whose tenure was marked by GE’s uncanny ability to hit year-on-year growth targets. GE’s mantra was shareholder value: to keep investors happy, it did everything possible to meet their […]

4th Global Peter Drucker Forum

Is a Well-Lived Life Worth Anything?
by Umair Haque

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How would you define a good life? It’s a bafflingly tough question. An even tougher one: does the economy we have today value such a life? Does it help us create one?   Here’s what I see when I look not just at the surface, but deep inside the heart of the economy today:   Instead of an “energy industry,” I see a resource addiction that saps money and preserves self-destructive expectations. I see, instead of food and education “industries,” an obesity epidemic and a debt-driven education crisis. Instead of a pharmaceutical industry, I see a new set of mental and physical discontents, like rates of suspiciously normally “abnormal” mental illnesses and drugs whose lists […]

4th Global Peter Drucker Forum

Is There Really a Movement Building to Counter
“Maximizing Shareholder Value”? By Rick Wartzman

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Last January, a group of leading management thinkers gathered in Switzerland to “see what can be done to . . . energize organizations in ways that make them better for the organizations themselves, better for the people doing the work, better for those for whom the work is being done and better for society as a whole.”   Next April, a group called Conscious Capitalism expects to draw some 1,500 people to San Francisco to explore how companies can “adopt a higher purpose that transcends profit maximization.”   And in between, hundreds will convene in Vienna on November 15 and 16 for the fourth Global Peter Drucker Forum, which will examine how business can become, […]

4th Global Peter Drucker Forum

Precious Competencies
by Lynda Gratton

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We may be happy to eat the food that multinationals make, and fly in their aircraft, and even take the pills they have invented. But many of us say we don’t trust corporations, and we don’t trust the people who lead them. Some are even willing to go out onto the streets to make this clear. It seems to me that now is the time for corporations and their leaders to be more explicit and transparent about their purpose and goals.   To do this, corporations have to address three questions: how is leadership ensuring there is sufficient inner resilience to take the corporation through these turbulent times? What is the corporation doing to positively […]

4th Global Peter Drucker Forum

Improving share-holder capitalism
by Adrian Wooldridge

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The debate about shareholder capitalism has an unfortunate habit of becoming a clash of absolutes. In the 1980s and 1990s Michael Jensen and his followers argued that shareholder value was the secret sauce of management. In the wake of the 2007-8 financial crisis many influential management theorists declared that the secret sauce was in fact a deadly poison. The search is now on for a better way of measuring success and motivating managers.   There is no doubt that the cult of shareholder value produced perverse results. The fashion for linking remuneration to share prices allowed bosses to manipulate their shareprices to boost their income. The emphasis on short-term results rather than long-term health tempted […]

4th Global Peter Drucker Forum

Drucker our contemporary
by Stefan Stern

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Economic crisis, political uncertainty, the dangers of extremism: these things haunt us today just as they shaped and influenced Peter Drucker many decades ago. Out of the tumult of the 1930s and 40s emerged the steady voice of the original and best management guru. What would he be saying now?   As the British politician Nye Bevan once asked: “Why look into the crystal ball when you can read the book?” Drucker, of course, left dozens of books for us to study. But in spite of his impressive output we seem to have lost sight of some of his timeless ideas. How many meetings that you attend begin with an agenda and the word “objectives” […]

4th Global Peter Drucker Forum

The Gaming of Games
Roger L. Martin

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I have to admit that the thing I like most about Peter Drucker is how often he said things that were dismissed at the time as improbable, extreme or even wacko and 25 years later were considered so obvious that they are assumed to have always been the case. In 1954, he told managers that they should sit down with their direct reports every year and establish objectives by which they will be managed.  Sounded farfetched in 1954 but now you would be considered incompetent if you didn’t manage by objectives. In 1966, he told the business world that its important players would soon be ‘knowledge workers’ not the physical workers that it was used […]