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. How Netflix Reinvented HR: Patty McCord writes in Harvard Business Review that when she helped write a PowerPoint deck at Netflix, which in 126 slides lays out the company’s values and culture, she “had no idea it would go viral.” But the document—authored by McCord (who was chief talent officer), Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and some others—has now been viewed more than 5 million times online.

2. China Trust Default Avoided . . . What Comes Next?: When Chinese investors put up the equivalent of nearly $500,000 each to invest in a trust product called “Credit Equals Gold #1,” they believed they’d be getting 10% annual returns. Instead, the fund—offered by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd., the country’s biggest bank—went into default and required a bailout. But this does not sit well with many people. Oliver Barron of Forbes writes, “Despite the bailout this time, there were many in Beijing calling for a default of the trust product, recognizing the moral hazard that is created when the government bails out the market, allowing investors to continue to take riskier bets in expectation of future bailouts.”

3. Green Fade-Out: Europe to Ditch Climate Protection Goals: Is it the rough economy or something else? Whatever the case, Brussels intends to dial back its involvement in regulating environmental policy in the member states of the European Union. “The stated aim of increasing the share of green energy across the EU to up to 27% will hold,” writes Gregor Peter Schmitz in Spiegel Online. “But how seriously countries tackle this project will no longer be regulated within the plan.” Also, fracking for natural gas will be easier. Schmitz worries that “the European Union is seriously jeopardizing its global climate leadership role.”

4. Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, when we examined the idea of “do what you love” and asked if it’s a legitimate way to chart a career course, we also mentioned that Peter Drucker had come across companies that had created workplaces of dignity and fulfillment for unskilled service workers. Reader Scott said he would love to know which companies have managed such a feat. Reader Cecily Drucker (who happens to be on the Drucker Institute’s Board of Advisors) had this to say:

I think that Peter would have held out ServiceMaster (and many of its companies, such as Terminix) as an example of a company which has made the non-knowledge workers’ jobs self-respecting and productive. The extent to which these values are imbued in the company culture is a reflection on the respect and value which senior management have for the work of these semi-skilled workers. At the other end of the spectrum lie many coal mining companies, and other pitiful examples, where semi-skilled workers are treated poorly and where their lives and their contribution to the enterprise are devalued by senior management.