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.  Dirty Medicine: Generic drugs are cheaper—but they’re still supposed to work. That hasn’t been the case at Ranbaxy, an Indian drug company that manufactured critical drugs for people all around the world, including the United States. Much of what Ranbaxy produced was no better than a placebo—or worse. Writing in FortuneKatherine Eban tells a chilling story of how globalization and trade can be abused to generate profits and evade all accountability.

2.  Leaders Everywhere: A Conversation With Gary Hamel:  The latest McKinsey-Harvard Business Review management prize revolves around a theme that author Gary Hamel calls “Leaders Everywhere. The thought underneath this is that we live in a world where never before has leadership been so necessary but where so often leaders seem to come up short,” Hamel tells the folks at McKinsey & Co. “Our sense is that this is not really a problem of individuals; this is a problem of organizational structures—those traditional pyramidal structures that demand too much of too few and not enough of everyone else.”

3.  With 3-D Printing, the Shoe Really Fits:  The emergence of 3-D printing has some predicting that it will revolutionize manufacturing top to bottom, creating new, small-scale manufacturing with little waste,” Michael Fitzgerald writes at the MIT Sloan Management Review. Some of the more intriguing examples, he finds, come from shoe manufacturers such as Nike and New Balance. Concludes Fitzgerald: “Custom-made suits, long the province of a privileged few who could afford them, now are being churned out by e-commerce sites and pop-up shops. In the long term, there’s reason to think that shoes might go the same direction as suits.”

4.  Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, we asked readers for thoughts on the brouhaha caused by Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Michael S. Jeffries when he said his store goes after the “cool kids” and not everyone else. Reader Katie wrote that targeted marketing strategies are fine—but if you say something childish and alienate parents, then you’re doing your business no favors:

We all know that kids are cruel to each other, but what we don’t expect is for an adult to promote and in a sense validate this behavior. Adults should rise above this and be the voices of reason during this awkward time in adolescence. When someone like a CEO comes out sounding like a 17-year-old himself, it might just turn off the audience he needs most: the parents with the pocketbooks.