Learning from Lehman

When President Obama went to Wall Street recently, a year after the demise of Lehman Brothers, he urged those in the financial community to begin “learning the lessons of Lehman and the crisis from which we’re still recovering.” Peter Drucker, it’s clear, would have agreed that this is a perfect teaching moment. In this edition of Drucker Apps, you’ll find tools to help you understand the perils of short-term thinking, the virtues of promoting regulation, the need for leaders to anticipate crisis, and the importance of encouraging honest communication from the bottom up. These insights—at once timely and timeless—are based on the ideas and ideals of the late Peter F. Drucker, the father of modern management.

In the short run, we’re all dead

“The most critical management job is to balance short term and long term.”— Peter F. Drucker in a 1999 interview

Heal thyself

“It is the responsibility of business to think through and work for the appropriate regulation before there is a scandal.”— Peter F. Drucker, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices

  • The responsibilities of business. Read more here.
  • Hear Lyle Gramley, a former Fed governor, discuss the realities of self-regulation of Wall Street

A Fuld’s errand

“The most important task of an organization’s leader is to anticipate crisis.”— Peter F. Drucker, Managing the Nonprofit Organization

See no evil, hear no evil

“Communications are practically impossible if they are based on the downward relationship.— Peter F. Drucker, The Effective Executive

  • How to stimulate “upward contribution.” Read more here.
  • Listen to Lawrence McDonald, former Lehman vice president and author of A Colossal Failure of Common Sense, on the self-isolation of Lehman’s top executives.