Rick Wartzman, the executive director of the Drucker Institute, delivered the keynote speech last week at the Sixth Peter F. Drucker Management Forum in China.

The event—held on September 21, 22 and 24 in Beijing, Nanjing and Guangzhou—was put on by the Peter F. Drucker Academy, an education and training organization based in China. The theme of the forum was “Undertaking Responsibility in a Time of Great Change.”

In his address, titled “Leading in Turbulent Times,” Wartzman encouraged the more than 1,500 forum attendees in the three cities to “take leadership beyond the walls of their own organizations.” He noted that the balance is tricky. “If history has taught us anything about organizations,” Wartzman said, “it’s that they run into trouble when they take on too much, particularly outside their own spheres of expertise. But at the same time . . . leaders must take responsibility for what happens to the community at large.”

Quoting Peter Drucker, Wartzman continued: “Yes, each institution is autonomous and has to do its own work the way each instrument in an orchestra has to play its own part. But there is also the score, the community. And only if each individual instrument contributes to the score is there music.”

Other speakers at the forum included attorney and entrepreneur Cecily Drucker, Peter Drucker’s daughter and a board member of the Drucker Institute; Drucker Institute board member Minglo Shao, founder and chairman of Bright China Holding Ltd. and head of the Peter F. Drucker Academy; Joseph Ma, China vice president for General Electric Co.; Albert Wu, director of corporate strategy for Hewlett-Packard’s China operation; and Zhao Xiaojun, president of the architectural firm CCDI, which designed the Beijing National Aquatics Center, popularly known as “the Water Cube,” for the 2008 Summer Olympics.