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. After Big Bet, Hedge Fund Pulls the Levers of Power: If you want to have your market speculation pay off, it helps to have policymakers on your side. The New York Times offers an extensive account of how hedge fund manager William A. Ackman took a big “short” position on Herbalife stock, essentially betting that the company would implode—and then manipulated elected officials and nonprofits to send letters to the Federal Trade Commission about the company, alleging shady business practices. The Times observes: “Mr. Ackman’s efforts illustrate how Washington is increasingly becoming a battleground of Wall Street’s financial titans, whose interest in influencing public policy is driven primarily by a desire for profit—part of an expanding practice in the nation’s capital, with corporations, law firms and lobbying practices establishing political intelligence units to gather news they can trade on.”

2. Precious Memories: Today, Coach Dean Smith is suffering from dementia, but in his heyday he coached the basketball team of the University of North Carolina to victory after victory. Tommy Tomlinson pens an affectionate portrait at ESPN.com of a man who understood how to lead and to bring out the best in teams. “Dean’s most lasting invention was his simplest,” Tomlinson notes. “When you make a basket, you point to the player who threw the pass. He taught his team, and those who watched, that everyone is connected.”

3. Why Tim Cook Doesn’t Care About ‘The Bloody ROI’: At a recent annual meeting of Apple shareholders, a contingent led by NCPPR, a conservative finance group, pushed CEO Tim Cook to commit to doing only things that were profitable, cutting out expenditures involved with things like “sustainability programs.” Cook’s response: “When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don’t consider the bloody ROI.” Steve Denning approves. Writing in Forbes, Denning dismisses NCPPR’s mindset as obsolete and lauds Cook’s response, arguing, “Apple understands that business is no longer about making money out of better products, and charging for anything it can make a buck out of: it’s about creating a customer ecosystem that continues to delight customers.”

4. Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, when we asked readers who has been particularly helpful to them in their careers, Mike Grayson had the following to say:

The person who knows me better than anyone else, and often the one who has the greatest insight, is my wife. She has been fundamental in my career. And has put up with crazy ideas as well as successful ones over the years.

Many couples don’t realize the opportunity they have in front of them by building a strong partnership with one another. One that is built on the foundation of mutual support and success. There is none that can be stronger and none that can be more challenging and at times frustrating. But the benefits of success are enormous.

Doris Drucker was married to Peter Drucker for over 60 years. The two complimented one another and while I can’t say for sure, they seemed to draw strength from one another.