Peter Drucker on Management

I have a Daily Drucker – pithy comments for every day of the year — by my desk.  He was voted number 1 Guru’s Guru by the Harvard Business Review.  The introduction to the book (written by Jim Collins – co author of Built to Last) had a rejoinder to that.  As he was leaving, Professor Drucker said “I have learnt much from our conversation today”.  Jim suggested that Drucker didn’t see himself as a guru; he remained a student.  Amen to that.

It wasn’t today’s piece that inspired me – just a quote in my daily newspaper (The i ,as you have asked). Here it is:

“So much of what we call management consists in making it difficult for people to work”

This is a bit like watching “The Office”.  You don’t know whether to laugh or cry.  Or just wince in recognition.

But, whether you are a manager or a team member – you know what he means.  That is the power of a quote – like the one above.

So what did it make you think?  Here’s my list:

  • You can always learn from a bad manager.  When you become one, at least you already know what not to do.  Embrace the learning opportunity with a sly smile!
  • We see examples of this everyday.  From hearing of yet another scandal in a large organisation, to government interventions in areas it knows little about (e.g. the NHS in the UK), to large scale posturing (the current US stand off between the republicans and the president) – Drucker feels more right than wrong
  • Is it just that bad news sells, and we witness the results in our news?  May be so – but there is a lot of it about!
  • Does it make you want to look at your systems anew and think “if we were starting today, would we have all this in place?  Or would it be best to edit what we have, or even wipe the slate clean?”
  • Don’t just sit there and moan – invent your own future!





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