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.  Udacity’s Sebastian Thrun, Godfather of Free Online Education, Changes Course: Wasn’t it just last year that it was “The Year of the MOOC”? Now there are doubts, and they come from an unexpected source: Professor Sebastian Thrun, a major force behind MOOCs and founder of Udacity. A remarkable article in Fast Company notes that Thrun has been “obsessing over a data point that was rarely mentioned in the breathless accounts about the power of new forms of free online education: the shockingly low number of students who actually finish the classes, which is fewer than 10%.” So now he’s changing course. Read on.

2.  Study Finds More Americans Would Rather Work for a Male Boss: How seriously should we take this study, and what does it mean? Hard to say, but, as Jena McGregor of the Washington Post reports, only 41% of us say we don’t care whether our boss is male or female. The rest of us tend to prefer one sex to the other. And we don’t crave our own, necessarily: “Forty percent of female respondents said they’d prefer a male boss, while just 27% of women said they’d like to work for a woman.”

3.  Havoc in the Workplace: Coping with ‘Hurricane’ Employees: Hiring mistakes are common, and sometimes the result is what an article in Knowledge@Wharton calls a “hurricane employee,” a self-centered person who severely disrupts the workplace. But many companies could avoid the problem simply by exercising a little more care. “I hear people say that a particularly disruptive person is acting out or can’t get with the program, but I think of that person as a symptom,” says Jeff Klein, executive director of the Wharton Leadership Program. “The problem tends to be around alignment within a team: Are we clear about the roles people play, about the norms and expectations, and about the way we work together?”

4.  Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, when we asked whether recent college graduates suffer from a shortage of “soft skills,” reader Maverick 18 wrote:

Quite the opposite. Due to the internet and social media, today’s graduates have more ‘soft skills’ than ever before. The real issue is whether their ‘hard skills’ measure up to international standards and the demands of the workplace.