Archivist’s Pick: When the Innovation Is “Innovation” Itself

Here’s this month’s piece from the Drucker Institute’s archivist, Bridget Lawlor. By drawing lessons from the vast treasure trove of papers and other objects that are collected in Peter Drucker’s archives, Bridget is giving new life to decades-old material.

This 1984 report from Peter Drucker to the president and other leaders of the then-named Claremont Graduate School, on the results of his recent sabbatical, offers a direct view into a pivotal moment in Drucker’s career.

Having spent a semester away from the classroom to concentrate on finishing his book, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Drucker returned with good news about having met his publisher’s deadline.

More importantly, he returned with the understanding that the book constituted the “first attempt . . . to treat the topics of innovation and entrepreneurship systematically and to create a discipline for innovation whether in the existing enterprise or in a new venture, whether in a business or in a public service institution.”

Drucker closes his letter with a few words of gratitude. “I only hope that the book will be important enough—it is surely an ambitious book, trying to establish a new discipline—to justify the generous help I have received from Claremont Graduate School for which I am duly grateful,” he writes.

Today, Innovation and Entrepreneurship is widely considered a classic in the field.

Source: Claremont Colleges Digital Library/Drucker Archives