January 03, 2006

A riff on Drucker

I have gotten in the habit, before starting to write a book or an article, of first checking to see what Peter Drucker has said about the subject. Bigger Isn't Always Better was no exception. It was actually a comment Drucker made in a book he wrote over 30 years ago that prompted me to start rethinking what growth is really about:

The idea that growth is by itself a goal is altogether a delusion. There is no virtue in a company getting bigger. The right goal is to become better. Growth, to be sound, should be the result of doing the right things. By itself, growth is vanity and little else.

Drucker always knew how to get to the point:

To use up more wood each year may be a rational objective for the Gypsy Moth. It is an inane objective for a paper company.

In many ways Bigger Isn't Always Better is essentially an extended riff on Drucker's ideas.

My writing has been influenced by his example as well as his ideas. He showed how it's easier to make sense of something when you're not caught up in its midst. He wrote about big business, but never had a career there. He did more to thoughtfully define what management is about than anyone has. But the only person he ever managed was himself.

This is the first New Year I can't count on reading new ideas being spun off by Drucker. I'll miss him. But I can still keep up my old habit. He's left behind a good three-dozen books and hundreds of articles and interviews. What a legacy!

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?