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.  Is It Time for the Fed to Wind Down the Economic Stimulus?: To taper or not to taper—that is the question. The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates low and “quantitative easing” high. As an article in Knowledge@Wharton notes, “Federal Reserve policies during and after the financial crisis have been controversial, with many conservatives believing the Fed tinkered too much with free markets, while many liberals think the stimulus programs should have been even more aggressive.” But what’s next? Economists offer their prescriptions and predictions in the piece, with several of them suggesting that low interest rates and bond yields are the new normal.

2.  The Catch of Having an Unlimited Vacation Policy: Are you reading this aboard a well-appointed yacht in the Mediterranean Sea?  Then wave to us, floating nearby, because that’s where we have located our summer headquarters of the Drucker Exchange. Or so we wish. In any case, vacation is in the air, and Jena McGregor at the Washington Post wonders whether those employees at companies with unlimited vacation are genuinely happy about it: “Yes, there’s the chance that employees could abuse the policy and take too much. But just as worrisome, if not more, is that when there’s no clear guidance on how much time off is okay, people could actually end up taking less.”

3.  Craft a Sustainable Career: Job satisfaction ain’t easy. Lots of people hit dead ends or find rugs pulled out from under them. But Monique Valcour offers some ideas in a post at the HBR Blog for how to navigate such waters. Among them: “Develop a discipline of identifying and documenting the ways in which you add value to your employer. Spend a few minutes at the end of each week to record what you’ve learned and accomplished as well as to record feedback received. Just five to 10 minutes of systematic effort weekly will soon yield a rich archive of material that you can use to deepen your self-awareness, hone your career goals and document your value.”

4.  Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, when we asked how a business should measure the effectiveness of its advertising, reader Greg Zerovnik offered an interesting and detailed answer:

Actually, there are several ways to measure advertising effectiveness. . . . So the first metric one can track is revenue. If it goes up in response to advertising, then the advertising was probably a good investment, assuming of course that one controls for other factors in the equation, such as product/service availability, distribution chain efficiency, and macro factors like the economic condition. . . .

Another worthwhile metric is the brand evaluation study, typically run before an ad campaign runs and then afterward. This measures things like consumer awareness and affinity toward the brand. Young & Rubicam has a proprietary instrument it uses for this purpose, but there are many other ways to do this.

Lastly one can measure market share relative to one’s top three or four competitors.