- File Size: 689 KB
- Print Length: 224 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins e-books; 1 edition (October 13, 2009)
- Publication Date: October 13, 2009
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000FC12PK
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,762 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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In contrast to the typical business book which is 200 pages too long, every chapter and every page of Management Challenges for the 21st Century relentlessly tweaks the noses of bad assumptions while focusing our attention on the future. Drucker pulls together diverse trends and forces to map out the truly new management challenges. His first chapter, "Management's New Paradigms" argues that organizations (or what ManyWorlds calls "business architecture") will have to become part of the executive's toolbox, yet we continue to operate on outdated assumptions about the role and domain of management.
Fortunately much recent management thinking explicitly challenges one assumption pulled apart by Drucker: The idea that the inside of the organization is the domain of management. This assumption, says Drucker, "explains the otherwise totally incomprehensible distinction between management and entrepreneurship". These are two aspects of the same task. Management without entrepreneurship (and vice versa) cannot survive in a world where every organization must be "designed for change as the norm and to create change rather than react to it."
Although Drucker is intent on uprooting old certainties and focusing organizations on constant change, he does not leave the reader without a compass. In the second chapter, "Strategy-The New Certainties", Drucker says that strategy allows an organization to be "purposefully opportunistic" and explains five certainties around we can shape our strategy. While other writers have addressed a couple of these, too little attention has been paid to some of the inevitabilities analyzed here, including the collapsing birthrate, shifts in the distribution of disposable income, and the growing incongruence between economic globalization and political splintering.
The book's third chapter, "The Change Leader", gives Drucker's unique perspective on the need for 21st organizations to be change leaders. "One cannot *manage* change. One can only be ahead of it." Change leaders have four qualities. They create policies to make the future which means not only continual improvement but *organized abandonment* - a practice still almost unknown in practice. Contrary to typical company reactions, change leaders will starve problems and feed opportunities. For Drucker this means, in part, having a policy of systematic innovation and - in tune with recent calls for new budgetary practices - having two separate budgets to ensure that the future-creating budget is not stopped off in difficult times.
Strong as the first chapters are, I found the other chapters of this book even more incisive. The reader may come away with the sense that many of Drucker's points are obvious, but will realize that they only *became* obvious after hearing them. In his chapter on "Information Challenges", Drucker gives his own, historically-rich, controversial, and provocative take on our current information revolution - the fourth such revolution, he says).
The man who coined the term "knowledge worker" has no shortage of fresh thoughts in the chapter on "Knowledge-Worker Productivity", and has profoundly important things to say in the final chapter on "Managing Oneself". Management Challenges for the 21st Century is, of course, essential reading for aspiring manager-entrepreneurs in these confusing times. As for aspiring business writers, I can only say: Read it and weep!
Top international reviews
This book is not so much a list of do's and don'ts of management or organisational theory as it is Drucker's reflections on some of the challenges that workers in developed countries shall face in the next half century. He takes on six issues arranged in six different chapters. The first five chapters deal with the issues that shall determine organizational strategies such as:
- The declining birth rate in the developed world: This will have tremendous social and political consequences, as it is without precedent in the modern era. Therefore, organisations' strategy must take demographics into account
- Global competitiveness: No institution, whether business or NGO can succeed unless it measures up to the leaders in its field, anywhere in the world. It shall no longer be possible to base a business or countries' success on the availability of cheap labour.
- Distribution of disposable income : businesses will have to base their strategy on their knowledge of, and adaption to the changes in, disposable income
In the last chapter, which is to my mind the most perceptive, Professor Drucker shares his thoughts on the productivity of the knowledge worker and the increased importance of managing oneself. He argues that, just as the improvement in the productivity of the manual industrial worker was the key to emergence and wealth of the developed West and East Asia in the 20th century, the improvement of the productivity of the knowledge worker will be pivotal in the 21st century if the West is to maintain its economic position. He observes that the knowledge worker will have to manage him/herself in the future instead of waiting for the human resources department of his/her organisation. He also argues that, in order to perform at their best, knowledge workers must know themselves and to plan for the second half of their lives (due to longer life expectancies) by asking the following questions:
- Who am I? What are my strengths?
- How do I perform?
- In what organisation do I belong? What is my contribution?
The message in the last chapter hit close to home. As one in the early stages of a knowledge career, I found Drucker's thoughts to be perspicacious, clear and penetrating.
One small snag though: I thought his writing was clear - most of the time. Sometimes, whole words were written in capital letters. Perhaps, he did this to emphasize the importance of the idea under discussion. However, the effect was to put me off. I thought it was a bit rude to SHOUT at the reader. I am sure that most people who take the time to read Professor Drucker's works need not be shouted at. Professor Drucker also argued that the retirement would be raised to 79 from the current 65 in most Western countries. My thoughts while reading that chapter were, "What would the strike-happy French railway workers think about that one?"
In conclusion, the book is a mine of ideas on the future of organisations and knowledge workers in the developed world. I found it to be a stimulating and engaging read. It deserves my 4 stars.
Though the writer insist that he makes no predictions, a lot of the trends he indicates are remarkably visible now, 17 years later...
第1章 Management's New Paradigms
経営学において常識と考えられていた7つの事項が誤りであることを解説する。どれも興味深いが、例えばTechnologies and End-Users Are Fixed and Givenでは、ある企業・業種に必要な技術は従来は自ら研究開発していたが、21世紀においては全く別の業種の企業が新しい解決手段を提供する時代になっており、人々のニーズを満たす手段も多様化して多業種がそれを提供する時代になったことが説明されている。これは思い当たることが多々ある。例えば発電事業においては伝統的な火力・水力・原子力に加えて、太陽光や風力など多岐にわたる手段が他業種から提供されていることがよい事例だと思う。思いもよらぬ異業種が競争相手になる大変な時代に突入しているのだ。
第2章 Strategy - The New Certainties
1. The Collapsing Birthrate in the Developed World.
2. Shifts in the Distribution of Disposable Income.
3. Defining Performances.
4. Global Competitiveness.
5. The Growing Incongruence Between Economic Globalization and Political Splintering.
第3章 The Change Leader
冒頭の"One cannot manage change. One can only be ahead of it."は有名な一節であるが、激動の時代において変化の先取りするものだけが生き残れること、そのためにどのような組織・戦略が必要かを熱く語っており、短いが必読の章だ。
第4章 Information Challenges
第5章 Knowledge-Worker Productivity
21世紀においてはManual-WorkerではなくKnowledge-Workerの生産性が企業の競争力を決めることが熱く語られる。"knowledge-worker productivity requires that the knowledge worker is both seen and treated as an asset rather than a cost."や"Knowledge workers have to have autonomy, and that entails responsibility."など示唆に富んだ言葉が並ぶ。
第6章 Managing Oneself