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.   The End of the Great-Man Theory of Innovation: What companies used to do was hire great talents to help them to produce and innovate. Today, the great talents refuse to be pinned down. They’ll do a little work for you today, a little work for your competitor tomorrow. Therefore, write Joerg Schrottke and Thomas Weber of A.T. Kearney in Bloomberg Businessweek, “Before much longer, the differentiator among great managers will be less individual brilliance and more skill in extracting value from a fluid network of internal and external parties.”

2.   Three Myths About Your Strengths: Peter Drucker always counseled focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses. That’s now conventional wisdom. But, write Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman of the consultancy Zenger/Folkman at the HBR Blog, this notion has led to myths of its own. Among them is the idea that strengths and weaknesses are necessarily linked. Instead, strengths can exist without a lot of weaknesses, and a lot of weaknesses can exist without a lot of strengths. In fact, note the authors, “Our data show that it is in fact rare for strengths and weaknesses to cohabitate in the same person.”

3.  The Dark Side of Customer Experience: We value loyal customers, notes Monique Reece in the World of Business Ideas blog, but often that’s because we can abuse them. For example, magazines hike their prices even higher on existing subscribers. Reece thinks car rental companies can be some of the biggest exploiters and that fairer play would be a big moneymaker: “This is one industry that has opportunity written all over it.”

4.  Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, when we asked whether employer-provided healthcare has run its rightful course and what might work better, reader Maverick 18 wrote the following:

The problem with health care overall is that as more and more sophisticated solutions, including high priced diagnostic equipment, high priced drugs and high priced therapy and treatment, have become available, the overall cost of healthcare has outpaced wages and prices. At the same time, the average age of the U.S. population is rising, and the average age of the legal population is rising even faster. There is no economic solution for this.

At present, employer-based healthcare, private insurance and public insurance, e.g. Medicare, co-exist. Nothing will make private insurance, employer-based or not, a relic short of universal public healthcare essentially extending Medicare to everyone and wiping out private and all other public plans as well.