Zach First named Executive Director of The Drucker Institute

Today we announced that Zach First will succeed Rick Wartzman as its executive director, effective February 16, 2016.

Wartzman will stay on as a senior advisor to the organization.

First has been serving as senior managing director and, along with Wartzman, has been part of the leadership team at the Drucker Institute since its inception in 2007.

“From the way it was first envisioned by Peter and Doris Drucker to the present moment, the Drucker Institute has always been an audacious experiment,” First said. “Management is too often preoccupied with fads and overloaded with tasks. Our goal has been to help those we serve do the right things well—and stop doing everything else. It is work worthy of Drucker’s name and, for me, the gift of a lifetime to be called on to lead.”

The Institute’s succession planning process has been underway for nearly a year, with input and approval from CGU and the Drucker Institute’s Board of Advisors.

“As we enter our ninth year, this is the perfect time to hand the executive director’s responsibilities over to Zach,” Wartzman said. “The Institute is in terrific shape financially, and our focus as a social enterprise has never been sharper. I am excited to stretch in new ways personally—while, at the same time, continuing to be connected to the Institute. As senior advisor, I will spearhead several key projects, including the creation of a Drucker Index to measure corporate management performance.

“Most of all,” Wartzman added, “I couldn’t be more pleased that Zach will be leading the Institute going forward. He is incredibly smart and talented, and is the ideal person to take the Institute to even greater heights.”

Under Wartzman and First, the Drucker Institute honed its mission—“strengthening organizations to strengthen society”—while developing and delivering on a long-range strategic plan to deepen its impact.

Over the past two years, hundreds of corporate executives have indicated that the Institute’s high-velocity consulting engagements, dubbed “Drucker Un/Workshops,” have helped their businesses tackle their biggest challenges and take advantage of their greatest opportunities. Thousands of nonprofit leaders have reported that the Drucker Nonprofit Award application process has helped them see additional opportunities for innovation in their work. And nearly 175 senior government managers have observed an increase in their effectiveness because of the Drucker Playbook for the Public Sector.

“The most important reason we have been able to achieve all this is the exceptional quality of our team, which is small but mighty,” First said. “From the start, we have endeavored to practice what Drucker taught, and that begins with our people. They make strengths productive, they focus on results, and they know that our bottom line is measured in changed lives.”

Curt Pullen, the Drucker Institute’s chairman, noted how pleased the Board has been with the organization’s performance and the transition process. “We are incredibly fortunate to have these two leaders, who have worked tirelessly to help organizations become more successful,” Pullen said. “Under Rick and Zach, the entire Drucker team has made great progress, and is extremely well positioned for the continuing work. We are delighted with Zach’s new appointment, and we are equally grateful that Rick will remain with us as a senior advisor and for all of his tremendous contributions.”