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.       In the Idea Kitchen, Too Many Cooks Can Spoil the Broth: Even if you’re committed to doing innovation properly, there are all sorts of ways to get it wrong. A New York Times interview of John Nottingham and John Spirk, co-presidents of Nottingham Spirk, an innovation consulting firm based in Cleveland, reveals that the optimal number of innovators in a room is between eight and 12, that PowerPoint is often bad news, and that innovation requires an internal champion. Among their techniques: “Everybody gets three 3-by-5 notecards, and one notecard says, “Wow.” One notecard says, “Nice.” And the third notecard says, “Who cares?” Everybody sits around the table with their cards face down.”

2.       The Troubling Dean-to-Professor Ratio: If you’re wondering where all that tuition money is going, one answer might be college administrators. “At universities nationwide, employment of administrators jumped 60% from 1993 to 2009, 10 times the growth rate for tenured faculty,” notes Bloomberg News reporter John Hechinger. University administrators, for their part, insist that a lack of state support has been the main driver of tuition increases, not administrative bloat.

3.        Six Tips to Hire for Attitude: Of all decisions made by executives, those concerning hiring and promotion had, in the observation of Peter Drucker, some of the lowest rates of success. It’s just tough to know whom to put on what. Writing at the WOBI blog, Mark Murphy, founder and CEO of Leadership IQ, tries to shepherd a would-be hirer away from some of the worst pitfalls. Example: “Instead of asking about strengths and weaknesses (and leaving it up to the candidate to share a prepared answer), ask ‘Could you tell me about a time you tried to fix or improve something but your solution just didn’t work?’”

4.     Dx Comment of the WeekWhen we brought up the ballooning of student-loan debt and asked if there are viable alternatives to the traditional four-year college as the primary gatekeeper to a middle-class life, reader Mike Grayson had this to say:

We are beginning to see the cracks in the old models, and new models will emerge, although they will be resisted by the brick and mortar schools. The real questions are: How will competency be measured? And how will organizations recognize, and accept, that competency?