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.  Leadership Lessons From Johann Sebastian Bach: Drawing management principles from music—something Peter Drucker loved to do—Steve Denning writes at Forbes.com about the “overwhelming” musical experience he recently enjoyed: listening to Bach’s Mass in B Minor in the National Cathedral in Washington. “So far as we know, Bach did not set out to compose the work in its entirety,” Denning writes. “Instead he proceeded in an iterative fashion over some 15 years.”

2.  To Be More Productive, Limit Interruptions:  We know how costly interruptions can be during the workday. Researchers say the effects can be worse than those of pulling an all-nighter. But Leslie Brokaw at the MIT Sloan Management Review’s Innovations blog says it’s not enough to stop others from breaking up your concentration, because sometimes you’re the responsible party. “It’s one thing to deal with people who interrupt you,” she writes. “It’s another thing to deal with your own tendency to interrupt yourself.”

3.  To Innovate, Turn Your Pecking Order Upside Down: Even the greatest idea with the greatest brain trust can go wrong if you don’t put the right people on the right tasks. Chris Trimble, writing on the HBR Blog, says one thing to which we’re especially resistant is fiddling with established power structures. But if you want to get something truly innovative done, you can’t afford to leave hierarchies untouched: “To build the right kind of team, for any breakthrough innovation effort, you have to think, quite literally, as though you are building a new company from scratch.”

4.  The Dx Comment of the Week: In response to our post “The ROI on That Sheepskin,” in which we asked whether a college degree was still worth the increasingly enormous sums required to pay for it, reader Rob Perhamus had this to say:

Will Bill Gates’s projection that technology will reduce a four-year higher-ed degree from $200,000 to $2,000 over the next 10 years come true? Will universities embrace technology or attempt to defend themselves from Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’? My opinion is that there is no defense. I would hate to be the person who paid $200,000 for a $2,000 degree.