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. Long on Cutting Edge of Print, New York Magazine Cuts Back: One by one, the weekly print magazines have been cutting back. The latest to downsize is New York, which is slated to become a twice-a-month publication rather than a weekly. As David Carr writes in the New York Times, “The move to bi-weekly publishing represents the end of an era and underscores the dreary economics of print and its diminishing role in a future that’s already here.” Nevertheless, for the magazine’s many admirers, Carr included, “the change will beget misty eyes.”

2. Is Capitalism in Trouble?: It’s not the first time the question has been asked, and we expect capitalism will be around for a while to come. But Pope Francis (see below) isn’t the only one expressing concerns these days. As Chrystia Freeland writes in The Atlantic, “In Western capitalism circa 2013, fear that the market economy has become dysfunctional is . . . being publicly expressed, with increasing frequency, by some of the people who occupy the commanding heights of the global economy.”

3. What if Performance Management Focused on Strengths?: As followers of Peter Drucker’s wisdom, we all know that it’s best to build on strengths. But over at the HBR BlogMarcus Buckingham suggests that we’re still rating employees the wrong way a lot of the time and failing to play to strengths. “Although we label weaknesses ‘areas of opportunity,’ brain science reveals that we do not learn and grow the most in our areas of weakness,” he writes. “In fact the opposite is true: We grow the most new synapses in those areas of our brain where we have the most pre-existing synapses.”

4. Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, when we looked at the exhortation of Pope Francis and asked about the pope’s efforts to reshape the Catholic Church, reader Richard Straub had the following to say:

We live in a time of value confusion. Given the slowness of the Church to adapt its communication and its message to a new era, it has stayed internally focused on its own issues. Hence, in a way it has lost the contact to its ‘customers.’

This created a void in which the new secular religions of sorts—such as the ecological religion, the socialist religion, the nationalist religions, the pure capitalist religion, etc.—have found a new fertile playing ground.

We need to remind ourselves that our Western civilization is based on the Judeo-Christian value system. To ignore this means ignoring 2,000 years of history. Should we continue to let NGOs and political parties be our new high priests and let them impose their values of the day? This is the fundamental question that the various Christian churches need to address. In this sense, the initiative of Pope Francis seems to go in the right direction.