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. Botching the Bomb: Will bad management prevent a nuclear Iran before any outsiders do?  Jacques E. C. Hymans makes the case in Foreign Affairs, as he cites one study suggesting that Tehran’s ambitions to build a bomb may well fail because of its emphasis on authoritarian, rather than professional, management. As the study notes: “A loyal person can learn new skills, but it is much more difficult to teach loyalty to a skilled person.”

2. Developing Better Change Leaders: Being a leader means making big and wrenching decisions. But Aaron De SmetJohanne Lavoie and Elizabeth Schwartz Hioe assert in McKinsey Quarterly that implementing hard decisions, and making changes stick, requires soft skills: “These skills include the ability to keep managers and workers inspired when they feel overwhelmed, to promote collaboration across organizational boundaries, or to help managers embrace change programs through dialogue, not dictation.”

3. Value Added: Maybe we used to think we could do without manufacturing in the modern U.S. economy. No more. Michael Lind and Joshua Freedman of the New America Foundation push for public policies that will encourage the revitalization of the nation’s manufacturing base: “Innovation in the U.S. cannot be severed from domestic production; the two belong to an innovation system whose elements benefit each other and flourish or fail together.”

4. The Dx Comment of the Week: In response to our post “How to Succeed in Mexico Without Really Bribing?,” reader Daniel Pacheco said lay off Wal-Mart:

‘When in Rome do as the Romans do.’ A saying of Saint Ambrose. Wal-Mart deserves no criticism for its behavior in Mexico, as it is following the advice of Saint Ambrose.