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.         Don’t Chase Everything That Shines: If you hate the politics of your office, you should perhaps look inward and make sure that they aren’t of your own creation. This and other advice come from a New York Times interview with Sandra L. Kurtzig, chairwoman and CEO of Kenandy, a software management firm based in Redwood City, California. Also, fledgling ventures should be wary of things that look superficially appealing. “They tend to get a lot of opportunities from people who want to partner with them,” Kurtzig says. “And these are just shiny objects, because there are very few partners that end up being right for your company.”

2.       Locking Homeowners Out of Their Favorite Deduction: At What Price?: It’s one of the most loved and hated of tax breaks: the mortgage-interest tax deduction. Homeowners in higher income groups love it, but it doesn’t do much for the poorer ones, and it may not even do much to boost home ownership. “What the mortgage interest deduction is good at is encouraging households to spend more on housing once they decide to buy one,” says Wharton real estate professor Todd Sinai in an interview with Knowledge@Wharton. “In the absence of the mortgage interest deduction, households would buy smaller or less fancy houses, or house prices would fall to partially compensate for home buyers’ having a higher after-tax interest rate.”

3.         Our Political Leaders Need a Fiscal Flight Plan: The “fiscal cliff” approaches, but even if we avert it we may be stuck with short-term fixes and long-term problems. Writing at the HBR Blog, Dartmouth professor Vijay Govindarajan and consultant Srikanth Srinivas suggest the ideal for which our politicians should aim is that of a flight plan. Pilots avoid cliffs not by frantic dodging or by perfect planning but by having a system that includes a starting point, a destination, a plan and a means to correct course while in flight. They write, “The biggest legacy President Obama can leave behind is leaving such a system behind for all future Americans, rather than just crossing this fiscal cliff.”

4.     Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, when we noted that most Americans seem to be choosing smaller short-term gains over larger long-term gains, such as an extra week of vacation over a larger 401(k), reader Maverick18 had this to say:

When banks, automakers, airlines and even cupcake bakers are going bankrupt, why would any employee opt for a long-term promise over a short-term reward?