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. Outrageous Predictions 2014Steen Jakobsen, chief economist of Saxo Bank, based in Denmark, tends to take a contrarian view of the world. Now, Jakobsen and his colleagues have released a report of “outrageous predictions” for 2014. Among them: “Amazon, Netflix, Twitter, Pandora Media and Yelp,” which the writers call the “Fat Five,” are likely to lose a hefty portion of their stock value, since they have been “defying the ‘Newtonian laws’ of financial markets.” Another prediction: Quantitative easing will increase, not taper off, as housing markets start to decline once more.

2. Goodbye, Dilbert: ‘The Rise of the Naked Economy’: Even as Americans were getting to enjoy Dilbert, the comic strip by Scott Adams lampooning corporate culture, we were moving beyond its world. Few of us spend lifetimes at a single company, and even traditional full-time work, as opposed to contract work, seems to be on the decline. A new book,The Rise of the Naked Economy: How to Benefit from the Changing Workplace, by Ryan Coonerty and Jeremy Neuner, examines this new reality. According to Knowledge@Wharton, the authors “make a spirited and compelling case that the new reality has a serious upside. If embraced and correctly harnessed, they argue, the forces reshaping the nature of work can result in “more productive, happier, and sustainable lives.”

3. Hire by Auditions, Not Resumes: For his firm, Automattic, Matt Mullenweg, creator of WordPress software, doesn’t require people to show up at the office, since, as he writes at the HBR Blog, “we measure work based on outputs.” What he does require is that everyone go through a tryout before being hired. He also spends a third of his time on hiring decisions. Mullenweg writes, “It’s a huge time commitment, coordinating the short-term work being done by job applicants, but it leads to extremely low turnover.”

4. Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, when Rick Wartzman explored the Peter Drucker question “What do you want to be remembered for?” reader Bob Jack responded as follows:

I want to leave behind a positive instructive idea or thought that someone will remember for the rest of their life. For example: In the late 1990s, at one of Peter Drucker’s classes on a Saturday morning in a packed auditorium, Peter, in his unique Austrian voice, asked, What is the most important thing in business?

The audience was silent, no one daring to guess at an answer to such a profound question. We were all waiting for an earthshaking new revelation from this giant of a management guru. And then Peter said in a voice of clear confidence: Good manners.