the essential drucker

Posted by anton
on Monday, April 13, 2009

perhaps it is my destiny to stumble into things that i should have known (and probably have known at some point, but they only became relevant now). in any case, i am happy to add drucker to my pantheon of striking bald men (already staffed with the likes of foucault, seth godin, and crowley).

i really enjoyed this updated/revised “best of” collection of drucker essays. he is not instantly quotable – i do not think he goes after the effect of catchy parables, so it is hard to pick out the pearls to quote here.

but of course, i cannot resist:

[...] the three stonecutters [...] were asked what they were doing. The first replied, “I am making a living.” The second kept on hammering while he said, “I am doing the best job of stonecutting in the entire county.” The third one looked up with a visionary gleam in his eyes and said, “I am building a cathedral.”

perhaps proverbs and fables are a retreat for those that cannot come up with an original wording themselves, but dammit, this is the kind of stuff that you hit people over the head with to get your idea across.

anyway, i really liked his writing on building innovation into the organization. his essays on the place of the organization in the society were also quite eye-opening, especially with respect to the non-profits. he does not go into heavy theorizing – everything is quite high-level and appears simplified, but there are a lot of good observations, especially once you read them in context. yes, some of it is a bit dated, but it is easy to make a quick mental adjustment to see the core of what he is getting at.

i’ll have to pick up a few more of his books; at this rate i will be reading f. w. taylor in no time. oh boy.