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HALL OF FAMEon April 4, 2000
MANAGEMENT CHALLEGES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY is a breakthrough work, even for Peter Drucker. Through 6 impressive essays, Professor Drucker sets the agenda for the next several decades, for every organization and individual. He begins by pointing out that the way most people think about management is all wrong, and immediately needs to be changed. He outlines the needed changes. He then picks the key strategy issues that will strongly affect all organizations for the next 50 years. Next, he points out that we live in turbulent times and that one must lead the changes that one's organization must make so they occur faster than for the competition. There is no choice for any organization, except to fail to survive. From there, he points out that we have information TECHNOLOGY, but very little information worth looking at on the devices the technology brings us. He goes on to define what must be done to create the right information. In a remarkable section, he then tells how to create knowledge worker productivity (something he has said in the past that no one knows how to do). Finally, he provides a remarkable essay on how to get the most out of yourself, for yourself. These essays were previewed in leading publications, and substantially improved from the originals. There is no repetition of his work and thinking from earlier books. This is like finding a whole new Peter Drucker. I especially loved the new examples that he included, as well as his historical references that only Peter Drucker can make. YOU ARE MAKING A BIG MISTAKE IF YOU FAIL TO BUY, READ, AND APPLY THE IMPORTANT LESSONS OF THIS BOOK. If you read only one book by Peter Drucker, read this one! I was especially pleased to see that he addressed the stalls that delay organizational progress such as the old habits reinforced by tradition, unwillingness to address the new through disbelief, poor communications at all levels (he states the rules that you must follow to be a better communicator and be more effective), needless interactions fostering mindless bureaucracy, the temptation to procrastinate (standing still in front of a truck about to run you over is a mistake you will not repeat), avoiding the unattractive key issues of your organiztion (he recommends doing the dirty jobs yourself for several weeks a year in order to understand how to improve), and failing to set high standards. As always, the book is filled with powerful questions that you can answer for yourself in order to accomplish much, much more and feel great while you do so. Read and apply the lessons of this book and you will have many more 2,000 percent solutions (achieving 20 times the usual results with the same resources or getting the same results 20 times faster).
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on November 8, 2017
I purchased this because it was required reading in my master's program. The information Drucker shares is on point but I found the tone irritating. The book is dated as we are now living in the future this book describes.
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on October 10, 2003
Peter Drucker has a beautiful mind, forever fresh and overflowing with innovative thoughts. This book, published just as the master of management began his tenth decade of life, shows him at his perpetual best. The text carries with it the sweeping knowledge, deep experience, and astute analysis that a reader might expect from Drucker at this point in his life. But you will find no timid conservatism, no holding on to safe ground here. Drucker has made a lifelong habit of leading the way in business thought and this book confirms that he just can't help himself.
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!
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on March 9, 2017
Good words
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on March 8, 2017
Extremely insightful and still relevant today. Quote many of the predictions and suggestions that this book reveals.
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on March 2, 2017
Found the book interesting and quite educative.A good guide for young managers in particular.
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on November 21, 2016
This book wasn't bad. Hard to grasp at points. Overall though it all makes sense. Will most likely help in the future!
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on December 5, 2016
dry read. difficult to get into at first. overall good.
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on October 4, 2016
A true treasure trove of knowledge for managers and employees alike.
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on October 29, 2010
Drucker raises a lot of interesting issues about changes in business and society. But I found this a frustrating book to read, because he makes lots of assertions but doesn't bother substantiating them with much evidence. Apparently, we are supposed to accept his assertions just because he is a venerated guru in the business world.
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