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. Raising Children With an Attitude of Gratitude: Most of us have a lot to be grateful for this season. We should remind our kids of that, too, suggests Diana Kapp in The Wall Street Journal. Research shows that teens who are inculcated with a sense of gratitude “reported having stronger GPAs, less depression and envy and a more positive outlook than less grateful teens.”

2. How Google Sold Its Engineers on Management: As recently as 2002, writes David A. Garvin in Harvard Business Review, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin wondered whether Google needed managers at all. Their question was answered quite quickly, in a matter of a couple of months, after some unsuccessful experiments: Yes, managers were needed. Still, not a lot. Google remains a remarkably flat organization. Google has 37,000 employees but just 5,000 managers, 1,000 directors, and 100 vice presidents. Software engineer Eric Flatt tells Garvin,“There is only so much you can meddle when you have 30 people on your team, so you have to focus on creating the best environment for engineers to make things happen.”

3. Cloudy With a Chance of Beer: There’s a lot of money in weather—forecasting it, planning for it, making use of it. Alexis C. Madrigal of The Atlantic interviews Vikram Somaya, general manager of WeatherFX, the advertising arm of the Weather Company, and finds out some interesting facts. For instance, Somaya, points out, his researchers “found that a very small difference in dew point made a huge difference in bug-spray orders.” Somaya concludes, “Weather has always been fundamental to how we live; we want to make it more transparent in terms of what impact it actually has.”

4. Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, when we asked whether we should do away with the 9-to-5 schedule for knowledge workers, reader Jeffrey Smyth had a concise reply:

Work expands to fill the time available—so does malingering!