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Hardcover The Definitive Drucker: Challenges for Tomorrow's Executives -- Final Advice from the Father of Modern Management Book

ISBN: 0071472339

ISBN13: 9780071472333

The Definitive Drucker: Challenges for Tomorrow's Executives -- Final Advice from the Father of Modern Management

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Book Overview

"We need a new theory of management. The assumptions built into business today are not accurate."-Peter Drucker

For sixteen months before his death, Elizabeth Haas Edersheim was given unprecedented access to Peter Drucker, widely regarded as the father of modern management. At Drucker's request, Edersheim, a respected management thinker in her own right, spoke with him about the development of modern business throughout his life-and...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A story of the interview process

I enjoyed this book. The author shared her experience of going to Peter Drucker's home over a period of time to interview him and recounts having to contend with Peter's wife and the 2 hour limitations on his time thru her. The book presents his theories of business management and real life examples how companies employed them and where certain com[anies did not employ them.

MBO for 2007: Read this Book

In this wonderful book, Elizabeth Edersheim not only channels the master, she jams with him. Peter Drucker invented much of modern business' language and, therefore, many of its core concepts. Where would business be, after all, if it weren't for knowledge workers meeting MBOs? Which of us would be customer driven and results oriented? Without Drucker, would we have struggled as mightily to tradeoff effectiveness and efficiency? Would we be systematically seeking new opportunities for innovation in realms of discontinuous change (presaging most strategy gurus by at least 15 years)? If you are a fan of Drucker -- one of the clearest thinkers and writers of the 20th Century -- this exploration of many of his most important ideas is a wonderful complement to his own writing. It's certainly not a conventional biography but more like a musical discography that explores, riffs on, and and just plain enjoys his most interesting compositions.

"Each of us is a CEO."

Ignore the inappropriate title. The "definitive Drucker" passed away on November 11, 2005, and his best work is to be found within his 40 books and hundreds of articles. (The Essential Drucker, for example, whose contents were personally selected by Peter Drucker.) There are two reasons for my rating of this book: Elizabeth Haas Edersheim was able to meet or talk with Drucker frequently during the last 16-18 months of his life and thus we indeed have in this volume what its subtitle claims to be his "final advice"; also, she conducted dozens of interviews (including several of CEOs such as Procter & Gamble's A.G. Lafley who wrote the Foreword) who shared their perspectives on Drucker and his impact on them. Others interviewed include Jim Collins, Warren Bennis, and C.K. Prahalad. To her credit, Edersheim creates a context for Drucker's insights and presents them, then gets out of the way. Although these insights are carefully organized within seven chapters, I appreciate the fact that she permits a rambling, informal, but lively narrative that seems most appropriate to Drucker's own style of communication. Throughout the book, she captures and sustains a conversational tone for his remarks. Although Drucker is widely renowned - and properly so - as a visionary thinker, insights of greatest interest to me are those which suggest his pragmatism. For example, here is one of my personal favorites that first appears in an article (in 1963) in the Harvard Business Review: "There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all." True, Drucker served as an adviser to most of the world's largest corporations and, upon request, personally counseled their CEOs, other C-level executives, and board members. However, in my opinion, the impact and value of his knowledge leadership extends far beyond the corporate world as, in his later years, he devoted so much of his attention to helping improve the effectiveness of non-profits, and, the personal as well as professional development of those preparing for or only recently embarked upon a business career. This was perhaps best expressed when he observed "Each of us is a CEO." Whatever their size or nature may be, effective organizations are human communities comprised of personally accountable individuals who work well together. Their success will reflect Peter Drucker's enduring influence in months and years to come.

The Accessible Drucker

Edersheim brings Drucker's timeless observations and ideas into the present with additional insights about today's business world and many examples of how some of today's most innovative companies are applying Drucker's wisdom to succeed in today's dynamic world. The Definitive Drucker makes Peter Drucker's insights and advice to some of the world's most successful business leaders accessible and embraceable. A must read for anyone who has read Drucker in the past and wants a refreshing new look at his ideas and for anyone looking for a modern day primer on Drucker's insights

Definitively Valuable

This book is must reading for anyone who leads or hopes to lead an organization. It distills the essence of Drucker's work into seven readable and enlightening chapters. Edersheim captures the clarity of Drucker's insights and frames his approach in a manner that will be beneficial no matter how the business world changes. This is not a book to be read and discarded. It is a guide to be kept accessible and revisited regularly.
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