Wednesday, August 1, 2001

The Essential Drucker

An essential, but incomplete, compendium from the mahatma of management.
Gautam Chikermane
AS I eagerly await Peter Drucker’s next book (the last one, Management Challenges for the 21st Century, was published in 1999), all I get are compendiums–Peter Drucker on the Profession of Management (1998) and, now, The Essential Drucker. No one’s complaining–be it a book, an article, a collection or a speech, there is always a freshness and a deep insight into everything this mahatma of management touches. Even in his early-90s, Drucker is, in a sense, much younger than many young writers (including myself), and more open, more incisive than all of us.
This collection–put together by Drucker himself–is essential, but incomplete. Essential writings on management, the individual and society include masterpieces drawn from his 30 books in a 60-year-long career. So, we have The Information Executives Need Today, a must for all leaders; Picking People: The Basic Rules, a must for every manager; and The Second Half of Your Life, a must for everyone. It is incomplete because it is my firm opinion that Drucker can’t be sliced: in every book, he takes up a theme and expands on it in great detail, and surgical procedures don't do justice to that theme or his handling of it. How, for instance, can you encapsulate the vastness of his 1985 classic Innovation and Entrepreneurship in five small excerpts?
Book review in Outlook Money

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