August 30, 2005
News & Opinion: Ditto...i.e. Dusenberry II, Insights and Ideas
"Insights come in all shapes and sizes.
"Management guru Peter Drucker is hailed and admired as the man who invented business' largely because of seven decades worth of essays on management in more than thirty-five books. But if you pore through Druckers books hoping to find a treasure trove of specific ideas and practical advice on how to run a business, you will be sorely disappointed. Thats because Drucker doesnt traffic in ideas. Insights are his currency, and his books reveal him to be a man who is a virtual insight machine. Drucker wont tell you how to make a cold call, but he will get you thinking about the implications of cold calls, and whether your business is too dependent on them and what that says about how you treat your old customers. Drucker wont tell you how to fire an unruly employee, but he will get you thinking about the criteria for employees to keep and employees to jettison. His insights usually take the form of Socratic questions that make you look at the world through sharper lenses. When Drucker famously asked a CEO of a big multinational company to ask himself, If you didnt this business now and had a chance to buy it, would you? he was doing something far more valuable than listing reasons to keep or fold a division. He was teaching the CEO how to think, much like the ancient saying, Give the man a fish, and hell eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and hell eat for a lifetime. Drucker was helping the CEO see the world from a new perspectivewith a rigor and logic that is impossible to refute. The best insights do that."
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.