Last week I wrote about initial impressions of my time in Claremont built around Drucker Day 2013, especially about the book signing that day for Create Your Future the Peter Drucker Way, and my informal book discussion at Hagelbarger’s the day before. This year’s Drucker Day had a slightly different format from last year. In the afternoon after lunch, rather than have breakout sessions in various classrooms at the Drucker School, there was one main panel discussion, from 2:15-4:00. Both the morning keynote and afternoon panel were held in the large Garrison Theater on the Scripps College campus, across the street from the Drucker School. The day ended with a cocktail reception, under a large tent near the theater, from 4:00-6:00 (when I did my signing).

Photo by William Vasta, White House Photo Inc.

Photo by William Vasta, White House Photo Inc.

John Howkins, keynote speaker, Drucker Day, 2013; Photo by William Vasta, White House Photo Inc.

The theme of this year’s event was “The Creative Economy: Where Managers and Creatives Collaborate to Foster Innovation and Economic Value.” The keynote was delivered by John Howkins, chairman of BOP Consulting and author of a number of books, including The Creative Economy: How People Make Money From Ideas. One of the big takeaways from Drucker Day was that creativity will increasingly become the backbone for all sorts of industries, not just the media, music, films, TV or other areas that we traditionally associate with creativity. Howkins set the creative economy in historical context, and also emphasized the importance of copyright and trademarks in how this economy operates. His own work underscores its global nature, as he is based in both London and Shanghai, and frequently works around the world.
In the afternoon, Bernie Jaworski, who holds the Peter F. Drucker Chair in Management and the Liberal Arts at the Drucker School, led the panel discussion, “Leadership and Talent Development in Creative Economy Firms,” with Alan Kaye, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Mattel, Inc; Kathy Mandato, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, NBC Entertainment; and Roland Deiser, who was founding Dean of DaimlerChrysler’s Corporate University, and is now a Drucker Senior Fellow at the Drucker School. This particularly addressed the role of new professionals, especially those coming out of MBA programs and other grad school settings, in the creative economy.

Drucker Day 2013 afternoon panel; Photo by William Vasta, White House Photo Inc.

Drucker Day 2013 afternoon panel; Photo by William Vasta, White House Photo Inc.

Drucker Day 2013 afternoon panel; Photo by William Vasta, White House Photo Inc.


My sense from listening to the panelists was that the creative economy is a work in progress. It can be open to those who are flexible about learning, trying new things and connecting with a wide variety of people and institutions. Business people need creative skills to thrive in the new economy, and creative people need business skills. Why is constant creativity needed? Kaye noted that Mattel has approximately 8,000-10,000 toy SKUs (stock keeping units) per year; and 90% of them are new each year. And the challenge posed by Kathy Mandato resonated strongly with me: “You have to lead from the future.”