The Drucker School and Drucker Institute Announce the Drucker Centennial

Today, The Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University, along with The Drucker Institute, announced a commemoration and celebration of the life of the late Peter F. Drucker. The Drucker Centennial will be crowned by a week of special events at Claremont Graduate University in November 2009 and supplemented by other activities from Fall 2008-2010.

The Centennial will mark the 100th birthday of Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management; author of 39 books on organizational behavior, innovation, economy, and society; and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“The timing couldn’t be more urgent,” said Ira A. Jackson, Dean of the Drucker School. “With financial markets in crisis and political institutions around the globe in turmoil, Drucker’s insights on effective management, ethical leadership, and social responsibility have never been more essential. This Centennial celebration will be a bridge between Drucker’s timeless ideas and current transformative world events. Clearly, we need Drucker now more than ever.”

As Drucker himself wrote, “None of our institutions exists by itself and is an end in itself. Every one is an organ of society and exists for the sake of society. Business is no exception. Free enterprise cannot be justified as being good for business; it can be justified only as being good for society.”

To underscore the importance of the event, the Chairs for the Drucker Centennial include a Who’s Who of leaders, thinkers and management luminaries:

  • John Bachmann, Senior Partner at Edward Jones, Chairman, the Drucker School Board of Visitors and CGU Trustee
  • Warren Bennis, University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, University of Southern California
  • Bob Buford, Author, Social Entrepreneur and Chairman of the Drucker Institute
  • John Byrne, Executive Editor, Business Week
  • Jim Collins, Author of Good to Great and Built to Last
  • Doris Drucker, Author and Inventor
  • Rajiv Dutta, Drucker MBA ’82 and Former President of eBay Marketplaces
  • David Gergen, Director of Harvard University’s Center for Public Leadership, CNN Commentator and Former White House Advisor
  • Charles Handy, Author of The Age of Unreason and The Elephant and the Flea and Co-Founder of the London Business School
  • Frances Hesselbein, Chairman, Leader to Leader Institute, Former CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Masatoshi Ito, Founder and Honorary Chairman, the Ito-Yokado Group
  • Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Ernest L. Arbuckle Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University
  • Alan Khazei, CEO, Be The Change Inc. and Co-founder of City Year
  • Wendy Kopp, Founder and CEO, Teach for America
  • A.G. Lafley, Chairman and CEO, Procter & Gamble Co.

Born in Vienna on November 19, 1909, Drucker had a profound impact on how people around the world organize themselves in the realms of business, government, and civil society. Jack Welch, the former chairman of General Electric Co., has hailed Drucker as “the greatest management thinker of the last century.” James O’Toole, Distinguished Professor at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business, put it like this: “It is frustratingly difficult to cite a significant modern management concept that was not first articulated, if not invented, by Drucker.”

Among the activities being planned for the Centennial are a one-day summit with corporate leaders on “The Drucker CEO of the 21st Century”; a Drucker Centennial Public Lecture Series, to be held in conjunction with the Library Foundation of Los Angeles; a series of onstage conversations between Rajiv Dutta and senior executives on “Managing in the 21st Century”; a Centennial marketing symposium that will showcase Drucker’s pioneering contributions to the field; and the production of a new text, “The Drucker Difference,” by Drucker School faculty.

Also planned as part of the Centennial is the launch of a major community-service project in the Inland Empire by CGU students; the premiere of the Drucker Institute documentary “Closing the Responsibility Gap”; a doubling around the world of the number of Drucker Societies–all-volunteer groups that use Drucker’s teachings to bring about positive change in their communities; and a major conference devoted to Drucker’s concept of “management as a liberal art.”

Click here to view the keynote address by Daniel Yankelovich, who kicked off the Drucker Centennial at the Drucker School of Management’s annual Drucker Day event.

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