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. Will Economics Finally Get Its Paradigm Shift?: The confidence that many economists acquired in the perspicacity of their profession was a little shaken by failures to anticipate the recent financial crisis. But paradigms tend to shift only when there’s something to replace them. Therefore, notes Justin Fox at the HBR Blog, “while mainstream academic economists have become more open to alternative approaches and willing to acknowledge gaps in their knowledge . . . they haven’t really changed how they go about their work.”

2. China vs. the U.S.: It’s Just as Cheap to Make Goods in the U.S.A.: Getting something manufactured in Germany or Belgium or Italy will run you as much as 30% more than in the United States. But getting something manufactured in the United States may well cost you no more than getting it made in China, notes Harold L. Sirkin in Bloomberg Businessweek. “Many companies continue to make manufacturing investment decisions based on conditions a decade or more ago,” Sirkin writes. But “new data show there’s a competitive marketplace of manufacturing opportunities today, with high-cost and low-cost countries virtually everywhere.”

3. Managing Our Way to Prosperity: No Holy Grail: Competitive advantage is something you can hold on to for a little while if you’re lucky. But, according to Professor Rita Gunther McGrath, author of The End of Competitive Advantage, lots of organizations act like they can hold on to it forever. “One of the things I hear companies say all the time is that they are too busy to do strategy,” McGrath tells Forbes’ Steve Denning in an interview. “Of course, you can be really, really, really busy until you’re not.”

4. Dx Quote of the WeekLast week, when we asked readers what they’d say to a young person trying to figure out what sort of career and job to seek, David Talley had the following to say:

As dumb as it may seem, I would encourage any young person to do the exercises in the book What Color Is Your Parachute? or something similar. After 10 years in the corporate world I realized I needed to change direction. However, I had only a vague sense of where true north was. Doing the exercises in that book helped me realign myself and gave me hope while I was in a career fog. In the years since then I have referred to that document whenever I sensed the need to change direction or focus. Consequently, I have continued to grow and learn while keeping myself aligned with the values I identified as my core.