What Peter Drucker Would Be Reading

Peter Drucker

Recent selections from around the web that, we think, would have caught Peter Drucker’s eye:

1. What Matters About Mozilla: Employees Led the Coup: Last week on the Dx, we looked at the ouster of Mozilla’s CEO, Brendan Eich, who drew protests for having contributed to the Proposition 8 ballot proposition effort six years ago, which sought to ban same-sex marriage in California. Writing at the HBR Blog, Jerry Davis at the Ross School of Business skips the who’s-right-who’s-wrong discussion and instead zeroes in on what he feels is an underappreciated factor in Eich’s resignation: the strong negative feelings of his own employees. Writes Davis: “Employees are perhaps the most important constituents in these brouhahas, because they are the ones who have the most intense day-to-day engagement with the company and its values.”

2. The Next Generation Model for the Investor-Startup Ecosystem: Technology start-ups would love to get a fat check from a venture capitalist. But they would also love it if the venture capitalist could provide some advice and guidance—especially when it comes to management. “Many founders are young and have never run a company,” Wharton management professor Raffi Amit tells Knowledge@Wharton. “Having a ‘grown up’ to help them avoid pitfalls would be enormously helpful.” The article notes that this new approach is due to hard-earned wisdom: “The new focus of start-ups and VCs also reflects a maturing of players in the technology sector after learning painful lessons from the dot-com crash of 2000.”

3. Can Your Management Draw?: Peter Drucker encouraged people to think of their work for an organization in terms of contribution. Writing in Bloomberg Businessweek, management consultant Dan Roam further urges them to think of their contribution in terms of a drawing. He asks “senior executives to draw one picture that best illustrates their individual contribution to the team and the organization.” That’s how you can tell if leadership is up to speed. “The images don’t need to be elaborate, polished or perfect,” Roam writes. “They do need to be created, shared and seen.”

4. Drucker Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, when we asked whether organizational change starts with knowing yourself a little better, reader Marilyn Ambrosini said yes:

To know how you feel and react to a situation offers two benefits: Awareness — knowing at the time when something triggers you to feel a certain way and to react to that feeling can be positive or negative behavior. For example, some days you might be able to control a negative response because you are feeling good about yourself. Then there are days when you are pressured, not up-to-par, and have little tolerance for things and people. These days are when you need to know yourself the most. You must be able to either not respond, keep a low profile or snap into a more positive frame of mind.