Living in More Than One World

The Blog of Bruce Rosenstein

Creating Your Future the Peter Drucker Way: A Sneak Preview

If you are attending the SLA Annual Conference in Philadelphia next week, I hope you’ll consider participating in the session I’ll be presenting on June 15th, from 10:00-11:30 AM, Creating Your Future the Peter Drucker Way. On this post, I’ll provide a sneak preview, and why I think it is important for information professionals to hear this message. I recently wrote a guest post for the Government Info Pro blog, 25 Years of Drucker, discussing Drucker’s role in helping to create my future when I was a library school student in 1986, leading to my 2009 book, Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life.  Chapter 3  is “Creating Your Future,” which begins with the following Drucker quote, from Management: Revised Edition, which I reviewed for USA TODAY in 2008: “The purpose of the work on making the future is not to decide what should be done tomorrow, but what should be done today to have a tomorrow.” He also advised to identify and take advantage of “the future that has already happened.” What are the current trends that affect your professional and personal life, and what are the implications for the future?…

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Last Lectures and Guest Lectures

The poignant and powerful example of the late Carnegie Mellon University professor Randy Pausch brought considerable attention to the concept of the last lecture. However, relatively few knowledge workers will have the opportunity to make a final, summing up address to a class or audience, let alone one that also turns into a bestselling book. But many of us can deliver a guest lecture at the college or grad school level. It is an activity that has the potential to benefit many people at the same time: the guest lecturer, the regular teacher in the class and the students. It is a great way to share knowledge, and to test-drive a possible career in teaching, either as a full-time professor or as an adjunct.

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Drucker as His Own Successor

Recently I was interviewed, via email and in English, by the Brazilian publication Administradores, for a major feature (in Portuguese only) on Peter Drucker. The Portuguese translation of my book, O Legado De Peter Drucker, was published last year in Brazil by Campus Elsevier. The premise of the article was who, if anyone, could be considered to be a successor to Peter Drucker. An idea that came to mind as I thought of my responses was “Drucker as His Own Successor.” I don’t mean that in a flippant way. In the five and a half years since his death at age 95, there has been an explosion of Drucker-related research and writing.…

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David Foster Wallace, Jorge Luis Borges and Self-Help: a Potent Mix

Jennifer Schuessler’s super-interesting New York Times post, David Foster Wallace, Self-Help Reader inspired several reading journeys based on the work, life and death of the author who committed suicide in 2008. I wrote briefly about Wallace in 2009, wondering about whether I had unknowingly walked by him at Pomona College, in Claremont, California, where he was a professor, when I was in town to research my book.
The self-help angle was what drew me into the NYT post. When I clicked on the link to Inside David Foster Wallace’s Private Self-Help Library, by Maria Bustillos, at The Awl, I expected perhaps a list of some of the self-help books he read.…

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Drucker’s Lost Art of Management: First Impressions

The publication of the new book by Joseph A. Maciariello and Karen E. Linkletter, Drucker’s Lost Art of Management: Peter Drucker’s Timeless Vision For Building Effective Organizations marks a major event in Drucker studies. Maciariello was a longtime professor/colleague and friend of Peter Drucker’s at the Drucker-Ito School. He also coauthored the last three Drucker books: Management: Revised Edition, The Effective Executive in Action and The Daily Drucker. Linkletter was the first archivist at the Drucker Institute (where Maciariello is Director of Research and Academic Director), and is a historian who teaches American Studies at California State University at Fullerton.…

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The Richard Florida/Peter Drucker/Jane Jacobs Connection

I’m always interested in finding out what makes successful people tick. The recent Fast Company feature Leadership Hall of Fame: Richard Florida, Author of “The Rise of the Creative Classmakes for fascinating reading, on a number of levels. Richard Florida has had a zooming career as an author and professor, built on his profession of urban planning. He is also a blogger with a devoted following. Mediabistro reported recently that he will add to his workload as a Senior Editor at The Atlantic, one of his blogging homes. What particularly struck me in the Fast Company interview is his revelation that two of the biggest influences on his work have been Peter Drucker and Jane Jacobs, the author of the classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, who was from my home town, Scranton, Pa.

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Paul Arden and the Art of Opposite Thinking

In these destabilizing times, we need constant help to think in different, more creative ways. The advertising world has long excelled at delivering concise, catchy information in multiple formats. Paul Arden, the longtime executive creative director of the British agency Saatchi & Saatchi, was a master of the art. I was saddened to discover recently that he died in 2008. I reviewed one of his books, It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be: The world’s best-selling book by Paul Arden, for USA TODAY in 2003. After the review ran, I received a gracious handwritten note in the mail from him, thanking me for what I had written.

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Jack Bergstrand, Peter Drucker and the Innovation of Information

In his February 24 opinion piece for, Why New Technology Demands New Business Models, Jack Bergstrand writes that CIOs (Chief Information Officers) are in a perfect spot to identify and lead significant innovation in their organizations. Yet the from-all-corners and at-all-times demands of their jobs make this a difficult proposition.

The solution, Bergstrand believes, is to apply Peter Drucker’s work on innovation to the technology issues that were barely in existence when Drucker was writing, such as social media and cloud computing. “He had brilliant insights about innovation,” Bergstrand writes, “that can help CIOs take the right risks on new technologies and avoid the failures that ultimately sank so many dotcom companies.”

Bergstrand is founder and CEO of the consulting company Brand Velocity.…

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Laura Goodrich and the Art of Seeing Red Cars

The most valuable books for personal transformation are often short, practical and to-the-point. That is an apt description of Laura Goodrich’s just-released Seeing Red Cars: Driving Yourself, Your Team, and Your Organization to a Positive Future. Laura is the co-owner of On Impact Productions; and also a consultant, radio/TV/film host and a fellow Berrett-Koehler author. You can read a free excerpt from her book and see her new promotional video at her page on the B-K website. I met Laura last June at the B-K Authors Cooperative Marketing Workshop. I wasn’t surprised that her book is full of solid, actionable advice, because in one of the exercises during the workshop, we were in the same “co-consulting” group to briefly discuss areas in our professional lives that we wanted to work on.…

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The Energetic Tony Schwartz

Many of us sense a gap between where we are now, and where we’d like to be, personally and professionally. If you’re in that category, the January 31 post from Tony Schwartz, The Exhilarating Power of Purpose, makes for inspirational reading. In a mini-biography, Schwartz details his journey from frustration to fulfillment. His earlier career was totally based on writing. Now, he still writes — The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working was a bestseller last year – and he is also the CEO of  his own company, The Energy Project. I don’t know him personally, but I still treasure my inscribed copy of his book What Really Matters: Searching for Wisdom in America.…

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