Speakers List 2012

Please check per speaker. You will find videos and presentations as far as agreed to be published.

Platzhalter Speakers
Rick Wartzman

Executive Director, The Drucker Institute, Claremont Graduate University


Rick Wartzman is the Executive Director of the Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University. In addition to his duties at the Institute, Rick writes “The Drucker Difference” column for Bloomberg Businessweek online. A collection of his columns, What Would Drucker Do Now?, was published by McGraw-Hill in 2011.

He’s also the editor of The Drucker Lectures: Essential Lessons on Management, Society, and Economy, published by McGraw-Hill in 2010. Before joining the DruckerInstitute, Rick worked for two decades as a reporter, editor and columnist at The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. He is the author of two acclaimed books of narrative history, The King of California: J.G. Boswell and the Making of a Secret American Empire and Obscene in the Extreme: The Burning and Banning of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath.

Rick serves on the boards of several civic organizations, including the National Human Services Assembly, a Washington-based association of leading nonprofits, including the American Red Cross, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and United Way Worldwide.


How to Cure Our Managerial Myopia

Sixty years ago, most chief executives (in the United States, anyway) didn’t sound anything like they do now.

Typical was Ralph Cordiner, who led General Electric in the 1950s. The way he described his role, he was there to serve as a “trustee” for the “best balanced interests” of all stakeholders—shareholders, yes, but also employees, customers and the communities in which GE operated. The difficulty with this approach is that it sometimes led to poor corporate performance, with no repercussions for top management; when you’re accountable to everyone, you’re really accountable to no one.

The cure, however, has turned out to be much worse than the disease. The focus on maximizing shareholder value over the past 30 years has led to obsessive short-term thinking—the worst kind of managerial myopia. And it’s this kind of thinking, as Peter Drucker observed, “that means damaging, if not destroying, the wealth-producing capacity of the business.”

 What to do instead? The best companies “do not attempt to maximize shareholder value or the short-term interest of any one of the enterprise’s ‘stakeholders,’” Drucker wrote in Managing for the Future. “Rather, they maximize the wealth-producing capacity of the enterprise. It is this objective that integrates short-term and long-term results and that ties the operational dimensions of business performance—market standing, innovation, productivity and people and their development—with financial needs and financial results. It is also this objective on which all constituencies depend for the satisfaction of their expectations and objectives, whether shareholders, customers or employees.”

My talk will explore what Drucker meant by maximizing “the wealth-producing capacity of the enterprise”—and how we can get there.