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. Internet Tolls and the Case For Strong Net Neutrality: A month or so ago, when Netflix made a deal to pay Comcast for improving Netflix access for customers, people saw a threat to net neutrality. Now, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has taken to the company’s blog to say he wasn’t too happy with the deal, either. But it had to be done, he adds, and he offers some broader thoughts on interconnectivity in general. Writes Hastings: “Netflix believes strong net neutrality is critical, but in the near term we will in cases pay the toll to the powerful ISPs to protect our consumer experience.”

2. The Daily Routines of Geniuses: We’d like to think that with some tweaks to our time management and habits we too could become Leonardo da Vinci. So we can thank Sarah Green of Harvard Business Review for giving us some insights from a new book called Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, by Mason Curry. Among the findings: Walks are good. So are metrics. Example: “Anthony Trollope only wrote for three hours a day, but he required of himself a rate of 250 words per 15 minutes, and if he finished the novel he was working on before his three hours were up, he’d immediately start a new book as soon as the previous one was finished.”

3. Can a Big Old Hierarchical Bureaucracy Become a 21st Century Network?: “One of the most difficult management challenges is taking a big old hierarchical bureaucracy, and turning it into a nimble 21st Century networked organization that can cope with the challenge of today’s dynamic marketplace and compete with younger organizations that have been networked from the outset,” writes Steve Denning in Forbes. But he notes that Rod Collins, former chief operating executive of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program, oversaw precisely such a transition. In an interview with Denning, Collins shares his insights. One big challenge, according to Collins: “People at the top of organizations are getting paid extremely well by occupying positions within hierarchies and are reluctant to make change because they would have to give up that kind of power, which is the only power they have ever known.”

4. Dx Comment of the Week: Last week, when we asked whether Microsoft would be wise to make Office available on Apple’s iPad, reader Elvira wrote to say the following:

What is your company good at? Microsoft was always good at doing software. Why has it begun doing hardware now? It was a bad decision. . . . Furthermore, putting your product in the heart of other company is the best strategy you can have, isn’t it?