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.           Why Is Google’s Eric Schmidt Going to North Korea?: This much we know: Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is visiting North Korea. This much we don’t know: why he’s doing it. Since everyone’s keeping mum, Bruce Einhorn of Bloomberg Businessweek interviews some people and gets two answers: 1. It means North Korea is serious about reform. 2. Who knows?  Einhorn writes, “As with so many things related to North Korea, there’s a lot of mystery surrounding this trip.”

2.         Startling Look at Employment Demographics by Age Group: Spotlight on Age 25-54: Who, exactly, is out of work these days? Looks like it may not be the old but the young. Mike “Mish” Shedlock looks at the numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and comes to the conclusion on his blog that “100% of the job growth since the recession is in age group 55 and over.” He also finds a plunge in employment among those under 55, which he calls “irrefutable proof that the drop in employment and the falling participation rate is not based on aging boomer demographics.”

3.        Strategy and The Uncertainty Excuse: If your company, based on the excuse of uncertainty, hasn’t formulated a strategy, it still has a strategy. It’s just a bad strategy. Roger Martin of the University of Toronto writes on the HBR Blog that many companies put off formulating a strategy on the grounds that the world is too much in flux and work is too busy. That’s a recipe for a competitor putting you out of business—and fast. Writes Martin: “What I generally observe about companies that say that it is too uncertain to do strategy, is that they complain after the fact about having been blindsided by something unexpected.”

4.     Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, we posed the question of whether some workplaces would benefit from putting a little more stick into the carrot-and-stick incentive structure. Reader Richard B. Mann, PhD said, well, it all depends on whom you’re dealing with:

Management is a ‘people’ business! Managers only get things done by working with and through people. The manager must understand how each person responds to each situation in each ‘environment’ and culture. There is no one system that works best in every situation, and it is the job of the manager to figure out what works best in each situation with each worker.