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Peter Drucker - Remembrance

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  • Peter Drucker - Remembrance

    David has made several references to Peter Drucker in the FAST CD and other places, and anyone who has ever studied management certainly knows the name and his ideas. Since Peter Drucker died Friday Nov 11 at the age of 95, I thought it might be worthwhile to start a string in honor of the man who coined the term "knowledge worker", among numerous other terms and concepts. He really did fit the definition of "management guru".

    Here's a link to one of my favorite articles by Peter Drucker if anyone is interested. "Beyond the Information Revolution" was published in the Atlantic in Oct, 1999 and I still keep a hard copy in my reference file for occasional re-reading. It's fascinating to see how he weaves a link between biotechnology, e-commerce, fish farming, and the railroads, with a little bit of Luther and Machivelli thrown in the mix. I'm sure others on this forum have their own favorite books & articles he wrote.

    http://www.welchco.com/02/14/01/60/99/10/0102.HTM
    Last edited by spectecGTD; 11-13-2005, 12:47 PM.

  • #2
    I have read some of the obituaries on Peter Drucker and am eager to read his writings, including the article you link to.

    What I have taken away from my readings thus far is that he had a humane perspective on "human resources," and counseled corporations to see their labor pool as a resource (capable of returning dividends) rather than as a "cost center" (or overhead cost).

    Having recently gone through a major corporate downsizing (landed on my feet) I witnessed and experienced behaviors and attitudes which were completely contrary to Drucker's assertions.

    As I left the company, one of my underlings said, "I don't know if your departure increases my value here or if I should be looking on Monster.com" My response was, "Your value is great whether or not I am here. They absolutely need you. But that wil not affect their decision about whether or not they keep you."

    During the downsizing, one of the terms I heard was "squeeze out as many heads as possible." An M&A friend of mine told me this is a common term in usage by companies (along with RIF -- reduction in force)."

    I believe the stance between people who work and the coprorations they work for will become increasingly acrimonious to the point where companies will not be able to trust or rely on their employees any more than the employees can rely on the companies they work for.

    In any case, thanks for starting the Drucker thread -- I hope to learn a lot from reading other posters thoughts.

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    • #3
      "RIF" - an old military term I first heard in the 60's, then the management consultants adopted it when the downsizing rage started and you'd think they invented it.

      I was in a meeting with a plant manager for a large multi-national a few yeas ago and he explained they had been through a "RIF", followed by an "RSI" (right-sizing initiative), then an "SLTR" (strategic long term realignment). Each time he was charged with doing substantially more with significantly less people. He said at this point he was just waiting for the "BOHICA". When I asked that that was, he replied "Bend Over, Here It Comes Again".

      In thinking about it, "squeeze out as many heads as possible" seems an apt description of this short-sighted business philosophy.

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