Peter Drucker: The unreleased recordings
Title: A Class with Drucker: The Lost Lessons of the World's Greatest Management Teacher;
Author: William A. Cohen;
Publisher: AMACOM, 2007;
ISBN: 978-0814409190; 272 pages
Review: A Class with Drucker
By Rolf Dobelli, Chairman, getAbstract
William A. Cohen studied with management guru Peter Drucker while working toward his Ph.D. in executive management at Claremont Graduate School (now the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management). The lessons he learned from Drucker, he says, were life-changing, and in this book he aims to transmit to his readers the great man's wisdom.
In fact, Drucker took a somewhat different approach with his students from the one in his books and articles. Thus, Cohen builds upon and reinterprets many of Drucker's insights and concepts. getAbstract particularly recommends this book to managers who are already Drucker fans and want to learn more -- the book is really more like a CD of unreleased recordings by a great artist of the past than like an album of covers by a lesser artist.
Drucker as Teacher
Peter Drucker had an exemplary career as a management theorist, business consultant and best-selling author. However, relatively few of those who respect him ever experienced him as a classroom teacher. This is unfortunate, because he said things during rough-and-tumble debates in the classroom that never made their way into his formal writing. Each new class created a dynamic that pulled Drucker, as a teacher, in a direction unique to that group, even though the essential thrust of his thinking remained the same. Drucker's classes at Claremont Graduate School were large compared to others at the school - he had 50 to 60 students in each - but this size still allowed for lively interchanges.
Drucker never stopped evaluating new ideas and exploring unorthodox opinions. He often told his students that the corporation was his laboratory. He was never shy about analyzing the results that flowed from his corporate clients' actions, even when his conclusions flew in the face of established principles. Drucker wanted his students to succeed as managers, but not by following formulae or precepts they learned by rote. He wanted them to respect certain core principles but then to apply them creatively.
Common Knowledge is Commonly Wrong
People are usually surprised when common knowledge fails them. Why, if they're doing what everyone has always done, have they fallen flat on their faces? Usually the problem is that they acted upon outdated assumptions.
"Groupthink" is another source of error. You get 100% agreement only when no one is analyzing the evidence or re-examining the goals. Questioning assumptions should be part of your organization's normal routine.
Drucker didn't have an entourage or a huge consulting practice. He had no use for inflated titles and did not require the praise of others. He was confident not because he felt entitled to success but because of his accomplishments...
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June 7, 2010; 10:39 AM ET |
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