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.     Reshoring, Really?:  We recently asked whether American business was creating a true pendulum swing from offshoring and outsourcing back toward inshoring and insourcing. An article in ParisTech Review tries to make sense of the newest trends but notes it’s too early to tell what they all mean. Still, of one thing we can be pretty sure: “The prospect of a return of industrial activities does not automatically mean massive job creation.”

2.     Small Factories Give Baxter the Robot a Cautious Once-Over: Speaking of reshoring, one human—er, humanoid—who may wind up hogging some people’s jobs is BaxterMIT Technology Review reports that Baxter, produced by Rethink Robotics, is a $22,000 robot who can be programmed to do jobs that have never been automated before. He’s still in the testing stage, but interest is very high, as are hopes: “Rethink Robotics says the robot will spark a ‘renaissance’ in American manufacturing by helping small companies compete against low-wage offshore labor.”

3.     The Boeing Debacle: Seven Lessons Every CEO Must Learn: Meanwhile, if you’re among those companies still working heavily offshore, you might want to rethink your model. Over at ForbesSteve Denning writes a severe assessment of all that’s gone wrong with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. He finds that a lot of it has to do with excessive, often reckless, offshoring, and he cautions against being tempted by the quick savings: “Offshoring is not some menial matter to be left to accountants in the backroom or high-priced consultants armed with spreadsheets, promising quick profits.”

4.     Dx Comment of the Week:  Last week, when asked whether the U.S. justice system is tougher on individuals than on big business, reader Greg Basham said yes, and elaborated as follows:

The fines that businesses are paying that are actually borne by the shareholders are now just a cost of doing business. Without criminal charges against executives in firms this stuff will just go on and on.
The reality is that investigations of wrongdoing into business crime are extremely complex and there are simply limited resources applied to this stuff. Crimes such as robbery or murder are a lot easier to solve whereas any conspiracy-type charges are very hard to convict on and getting information to lay a charge difficult.