Living in More Than One World,

The Blog of Bruce Rosenstein

Robert M. Pirsig: The Road Goes on Forever

The world is a much different place than in 1974, the year of publication for Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, Robert M. Pirsig’s surprise hit philosophical novel. But the outpouring and variety of articles and posts in the wake of Pirsig’s death in April, at 88, show how relevant the quirky and unusual book remains, and will remain for years to come.


Examples:

Life Advice From the Late Robert M. Pirsig, by Emily Temple, Literary Hub
Putting off the important things? It’s not for the reasons you think; by Oliver Burkeman, theguardian.com
Remembering Robert M.

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Richard Nelson Bolles: A Job Well Done

Few people can match the productive, inspiring and extremely useful life of Richard Nelson Bolles, who died March 31 at 90. He was the source of countless careers, via the wise counsel in his annual job-seeking bible, What Color is Your Parachute? What began in 1970 as a self-published text, not long after he had been an out-of-work Episcopal minister, grew into a publishing behemoth that has sold more than 10 million copies in its various editions, with a number of spinoff titles. After Bolles’ initial do-it-yourself approach, the book was picked up in 1972 by Ten Speed Press, then a tiny operation that eventually was sold to the publishers now known as Penguin Random House, in 2009.

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The Life Story of Amy Krouse Rosenthal Continues

Like millions of readers, I was in awe of author Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s extraordinarily powerful New York Times Valentine’s Day column this year, “You May Want to Marry My Husband,” and taken aback with its revelation that she had ovarian cancer and only days to live. Even though I had only read one of her many books, and had only met her once, I was deeply saddened to learn that she died at 51 on March 3.

Yet what I read, and that brief conversation, followed up by one email exchange, was enough to know that her death was a loss for humanity, beyond her family.

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The World According to Peter Drucker (And Michael Lewis)

Michael Lewis has long been one of the top-selling and most recognized nonfiction authors of our era, with such culture-defining books as Liar’s Poker, Moneyball and The Big Short. His recently published The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds tells the story of the friendship and collaboration decades ago of two Israeli psychologists, the late Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Laureate. (Kahneman, who achieved further fame with his book Thinking, Fast and Slow; writes about his life and work with Tversky in his Nobel biography.)


Lewis is clearly adept at writing about great minds.

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Peter Drucker and the 50th Anniversary Edition of The Effective Executive

Although Peter Drucker wrote a number of books that could justifiably be called classics, perhaps his most beloved is The Effective Executive, newly reissued as a commemorative 50th Anniversary Edition by HarperCollins, his longtime publisher. We are living in a much different world than the one of 1967, but Drucker’s relatively short guide to getting the right things done, and done well, still packs considerable power.

Cover image courtesy HarperCollinsPublishers

There is also significant added value with a seven-and-a-half-page foreword (“Ten Lessons I Learned from Peter Drucker”) by Good to Great author Jim Collins, who also wrote the forewords to The Daily Drucker and Management: Revised Edition; and an afterword by Zachary First, Executive Director of the Drucker Institute, which also published First’s contribution on its website.

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The Return of Peter Drucker’s Novels

A quiet piece of good news from 2016 was the reissue, after more than three decades, of the two novels written by Peter Drucker in the early ‘80s, The Last of All Possible Worlds (1982) and The Temptation to Do Good (1984). The original publisher of both books was HarperCollins (then called Harper & Row), and the new publisher, which has combined the two volumes into one book, is Philadelphia-based Paul Dry Books.


I wrote about both novels, including answers I received from Drucker about them during a 2003 interview conducted at his home in Claremont, California; in my 2009 book Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life, and a blog post from that year, “Peter Drucker: Novelist.”

The new volume has received a nice boost from an insightful and appreciative Wall Street Journal  review by Daniel Johnson, “The Lessons of His Life: It may surprise even his most fervent admirers to learn that Peter Drucker, the world’s best-known business ‘guru,’ was also a novelist.” As noted in the review, Drucker was a longtime columnist for the newspaper, among his many writing activities.

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16 Business Books of the Year Lists for 2016

One of my favorite activities of each holiday season is to round up and write about best business books of the year lists.


2016 has been a tumultuous year to say the least, but it’s been a great one for business and leadership books, as demonstrated by these lists:

Bloomberg: Best Books of 2016

CNBC: Richard Branson shares the 5 best leadership books he read in 2016

The Economist: Books of the Year

Fast Company: The 10 Best Business Books of 2016

Financial Times: The best thing I read all year — 2016

Financial Times/FT & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award
(The winner is The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan, by Sebastian Mallaby):

Forbes: Top Ten Business Books of 2016, by Shep Hyken

The Globe and Mail: Ten books to top your business reading list, by Harvey Schachter

The Huffington Post: 10 of the Best Business Books of 2016

Inc.

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November: The Unofficial Peter Drucker Month

As this tumultuous month comes to an end, it’s worth noting the significance the month of November held for Peter Drucker. He was born November 19, 1909 and died November 11, 2005.
November is also a major month of Drucker-related/inspired commemorations and activities. On November 3rd, the Peter Drucker Society Korea held its 10th Annual Conference. November 5th was Drucker Day, in Claremont, California; at the Drucker School of Management. November 17-18 marked what has become perhaps the major global management event of the year, the 8th Global Peter Drucker Forum, in Vienna, Austria; produced by the Peter Drucker Society Europe.

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BK Authors Retreat Reflections 2016

The 15th Annual BK Authors Retreat, held Oct 27-30 in Northern California, was a time of reflection and soul-searching; balancing individual with organizational/collective concerns. It prompted thoughts about career and personal aspirations, and where the writing of books and the business of promoting and selling them fits in.

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The retreat is produced by an extraordinary group of people: Berrett-Koehler Authors Inc., which is affiliated with Berrett-Koehler Publishers. BK celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2017 and is a company like no other. As stated on its website, “Berrett-Koehler is an independent publisher with the mission of connecting people and ideas to create a world that works for all.”  Several days after the retreat, it announced its new constitution.

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The 2016 $100K Drucker Prize Goes to ImproveCareNow Network

On September 30, The Drucker Institute announced the winner of the 2016 $100,000 Drucker Prize: ImproveCareNow Network. The Institute says that the winning organization has “transformed health and care by enabling patients, families, clinicians and researchers to collaboratively improve knowledge and outcomes related to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. It engages these stakeholders in a learning health network that provides real-time quality improvement, research and community-building for children with these conditions.”

 

Innovation Innovate Invention Development Design Concept
The prize, which has been given since 1991, reflects two particular areas of focus within the long career of Peter Drucker: innovation and the strength of nonprofit organizations, and what businesses can learn from them.

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