Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Peter Drucker - Tireless Chronicler of American Business

I know, I know. I am late to lament the loss of Peter Drucker. The man who gave birth to the field/study of "management" passed away on November 11th. He was 95 years old and left a legacy of theory and practice for us to consider as long as there are people doing work and someone taking note of their performance. He is arguably one of the most influential business leaders of all time. Perhaps even the top.

Link to the Wharton tribute/obituary. The article solicits thoughts from Wharton professors regarding Drucker's influence on management theory and practice. Something I didn't know was that of the 30 books he published, Drucker wrote a book on Japanese painting and two novels. Jerry Wind calls him a "true renaissance person". Wind goes on to say:

In his writing he bridged management as well as social and behavioral science, clearly demonstrating that no management problem can be addressed effectively from the narrow confines of a single discipline.
Drucker coined the term "knowledge worker"; he was a champion of managers getting out of the way of their employees and letting their expertise shine; and some consider him the father of marketing as well. He is quoted in this article as having said that "the role of business is to create a customer." His writings over the last 60+ years still ring true. He is a down to basics theorist. Simple yet not simplistic as one of the professors said. His teachings still ring true.

If there were ever a Saint of Management, I would have a little Peter Drucker figurine glued to the top of my computer monitor to watch over me as I reviewed spreadsheets and coached my teams.

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