Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Real Thing

At The Economist, a remembrance of the great Peter Drucker:

The most important reason why people continue to revere Drucker, though, is that his writing remains startlingly relevant. Reading “Concept of the Corporation”, which was published in 1946, you are struck not just by how accurately he saw the future but also by how similar today’s management problems are to those of yesteryear. This is partly because, whatever the theorists like to think, management is not a progressive science: the same dilemmas and difficult trade-offs crop up time and again. And it is partly because Drucker discovered a creative middle ground between rival schools of management. He treated companies as human organisations rather than just as sources for economic data. But he also insisted that all human organisations, whether in business or the voluntary sector, need clear objectives and hard measurements to keep them efficient. Drucker liked to say that people used the word guru because the word charlatan was so hard to spell. A century after his birth Drucker remains one of the few management thinkers to whom the word “guru” can be applied without a hint of embarrassment.

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