June 9, 2006

News & Opinion: Peter Who?

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 3:34 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

I have been getting on a kick lately to get people to read more classic business books. I classify these as books which are just as relevant as ever and can be read over and over.

I have been asking people lately if they have read anything by Peter Drucker and I am shocked by the number of people you have never read anything written by the Father of Modern Management. While I was getting my MBA, we were never assigned to read anything by him. I sit here shaking my head wondering how this can be.

I decided to do some more research. Last week, we asked the inBubbleWrap crowd two questions having to do with Drucker.

First, we asked if they knew who Peter Drucker was. It was hard to give you an exact answer by I would say 15% of the people did not know he is was. I don't consider that too bad considering the often reported polls showing people's lack of knowledge on current events and world geography.

The second question we asked was "Have you read any books by Drucker?". The following is a list of all the books that people listed and the number of times they were mentioned in the answers.

The Effective Executive - 52
The Essential Drucker - 45
The Daily Drucker - 28
Managing for The Future - 21
Innovation and Entrepreneurship - 18
The Practice of Management - 16
Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices - 11
Managing The Non-Profit Organization - 11
Adventures of a Bystander - 6
Managing in Turbulent Times - 5
Management in the 21st Century - 4
The End of Economic Man - 4
The Age of Discontinuity - 3
Temption To Do Good - 3
Classic Drucker - 2
Drucker On The Profession of Management - 2
Concept of the Corporation - 1
Effective Executive in Action - 1
Future of Industrial Man - 1

It was good to see one of Drucker's complete works beat the two "best-of" books. For my money, I would recommend The Effective Executive and Innovation and Entrepreneurship (both of which I am going back and reading again).

We have some plans for bringing back some of the classics. Stay tuned for 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.