Reflections on The Drucker Lectures
September 17th, 2010
This is the first of an occasional series I’ll be writing on the Peter Drucker book The Drucker Lectures: Essential Lessons on Management, Society and Economy,published earlier this year. Many of the ideas and concepts will be familiar to his longtime readers. But these talks, from 1943 to 2003, two years before his death at 95, have not been published before. Each of the seven parts represents a decade, from the 1940s to the 2000s. In 1989, there are five knowledge lectures. Five years later, he returns for “The Knowledge Worker and the Knowledge Society.” In 2003, there is the four-part “The Future of the Corporation.”
The collection was edited and has an introduction by Rick Wartzman, the Executive Director of The Drucker Institute, who writes a column, The Drucker Difference, for Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Rick also answered questions for a 2 ½ page Q&A in my book, Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life. Although many of the lectures were given at The Claremont Graduate University, Drucker’s home base for the last 34 years of his life, the settings for some of the others are impressively varied. For instance, “What We Already Know About American Education Tomorrow,” was given as the William T. Beadles Lecture for the American College of Life Underwriters, in 1971. “Management in the Big Organizations” is from a 1967 lecture at a workshop for YMCA managers, in Estes Park, Colorado. “On Health Care” comes from a 1996 speech at the Harvard Medical School. Drucker’s voice rings true, and that’s good news, no matter what subject he tackles, or where the words were spoken.