A Big Field

As we noted earlier this week, Peter Drucker had an expansive, multi-sector view when it came to the practice of management. But even Drucker would have been stunned by what’s unfolding in Japan.

“Drucker in the Dug-Out,” an anime series, is now running on Japanese TV. And a movie version is set to hit Japanese theaters in June. Both are based on the bestselling book by Natsumi Iwasaki, What If a Female Manager of a High School Baseball Team Read Drucker’s “Management,” which has now sold more than 2 million copies.

[EXPAND More]Iwasaki’s novel tells the story of Minami Kawashima, a student who unexpectedly becomes the manager of the baseball team at Tokyo’s Hodokubo High. She soon stumbles across a version of Drucker’s 1973 classic Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices. She devours it and begins taking action that turns around the hapless squad.

Through this tale, Iwasaki has made Drucker — and a host of fundamental management principles, such as defining and pursuing a mission; providing value to the customer; and continually innovating — accessible to many people who never paid any attention to these things before.

“This isn’t something that’s taught in Japanese schools,” said Iwasaki, a seasoned entertainment writer. “It makes a big difference just to have that knowledge that there is something out there called management. Once you have that, you can figure out how to handle a situation.”

Drucker would have loved Iwasaki’s approach. “It is . . . important to assert, and to do so loudly, that management is not business management — any more than, say, medicine is obstetrics,” Drucker wrote. “Management is the specific and distinguishing organ of any and all organizations.”

What do you think? What are some non-traditional places where management would have the biggest impact? [/EXPAND]

The English-language poster for the Japanese film "Drucker in the Dug-Out"