Executive Tribute

Peter Drucker Tribute

with PowerPoint speaker support

by Richard Bellikoff

POWERPOINT VISUALS AUDIO
Slide with video clip: Nan Stone, Senior Research Fellow, Harvard Business School/Founding Director, Peter Drucker Archive and Institute STONE: “If I had to use a word to try to capture Peter, which is a very difficult task, I think the word would be groundbreaking. It’s someone who, once you’ve read them, you will never look at the world the same way again.”
Slide with video clip: Frances Hesselbein, Chairman, Board of Governors, Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Non-Profit Management HESSELBEIN: “Peter Drucker is an icon. He is the great inspiration and the great thought leader for those who see the organization as a human enterprise. And there is no one like him. Everything he says should be on a plaque.”
Slide with video clip: Doug West, Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. WEST: “The essence of Peter Drucker’s contribution is that he gave us a definition of management that had never been defined before, and recognized as a discipline.”
Slide with video clip: Martin Davidson, President, Southern Pipe and Supply Company, Meridian, Mississippi DAVIDSON: “It’s likely that every CEO in the world has read something written by Peter Drucker. So Peter has single- handedly, through his writings, improved business throughout the world, exponentially. And that’s his great legacy.”
Slide with video clip: Dolores Cross, President, Morris Brown College CROSS: “The essence of Peter’s legacy will be that warmth, strength, value, instincts, and human qualities matter.  People matter. Business will be more successful if business becomes more human.”
Speaker at podium
SPEAKER: He’s been called one of the 20th century’s great minds . . . the wisest of business philosophers . . . a moralist of our business civilization . . . the most perceptive observer of American society since Alexis de Tocqueville . .  . the pre-eminent authority in the fields of management theory and practice . . . He’s Peter Drucker, and it’s our honor and 

our privilege to pay tribute to him for his lifetime of achievement and his great contributions to society.

Slide: Image of small stone dropping into pond with ripples radiating from point of impact (Note: This recurring visual metaphor will appear periodically throughout the presentation.) For over half a century, Peter Drucker has immersed himself in the management challenges of our time.  His concepts have served as blueprints for leaders around the world — not only in business, but in fields as diverse as health care, non-profit institutions, and education. His insights have become so much a part of mainstream managerial thinking that it’s difficult to appreciate how truly innovative they were when he first published them.
Slide with video clip: Martin Davidson
DAVIDSON: “What I talked to Peter about 25 years ago is still relevant today. The first time I met with Peter Drucker I spent about three days with him. He wrote a 30 page report about the issues and the challenges, and what we should be doing about those challenges. He sent me that report. And that’s the report that I’m still using today to run my business. That shows what a visionary Peter Drucker is.”
Slide with image of stone in rippling pond 

Text: “A manager’s task is to make the strengths of people effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.”

- Peter F. Drucker, Managing for the Future

SPEAKER: In Managing for the Future, Drucker wrote,  “A manager’s task is to make the strengths of people effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.”
Peter Drucker has often been called “the father of management.” But Drucker himself would be the first to admit that he didn’t invent management. What he did was to elevate it into a legitimate field of study that could be learned, taught and practiced. He regards management as a wide-ranging discipline encompassing both social and scientific pursuits. In fact, he considers himself not a management consultant at all, but in his own words, a “social ecologist”.
Slide with video clip: Peter Drucker (“Business Matters” video)
DRUCKER: “What attracts me to management is precisely that, like a good novel, it is not about mathematical models, it is not about goods, it’s about people at work together.”
Slide with video clip: Martin Davidson
DAVIDSON: “Peter’s taught me to judge employees based on their performance, on their strengths rather than their weaknesses. He used the example a lot of Ulysses S. Grant, and the fact that he was a great general but also an alcoholic. And if President Lincoln had just focused on Grant’s weaknesses, he never would have made him a general. So Peter believes in focusing on people’s strengths and not their weaknesses.”
Slide with video clip: Doug West
WEST: “I think it’s his humanity and the way he focuses on that to help us understand that the first order of any organization is to recognize the role of its own people — to recognize that the essence of the organization is the people in it.”
Slide with video clip: Dolores Cross
CROSS: “So understanding the connection that you have with other people, their motives, their strengths and their abilities makes all the difference in the world.”
Slide with image of stone in rippling pond 

Text: “The only profit center is a customer’s check that hasn’t bounced.”

- Peter F. Drucker

SPEAKER: As Peter Drucker once said, “The only profit center is a customer’s check that hasn’t bounced.”
Profit, as Drucker sees it, is a result of good management, not its goal. According to Drucker, the purpose of a business is to create value for the customer and to innovate.  Continual innovation is a recurrent theme in Peter Drucker’s work — and key to it is the concept of “Organized Abandonment.”
Slide with video clip: Martin Davidson
DAVIDSON: “Peter’s concept of organized abandonment is about doing away with items that do not contribute to the results and the performance of the business. And he asks you to look at these things in your business and ask yourself the question, `Would I, if I knew what I know now, go into this business again?’ And if the answer is no, then one should get out of it, and quickly. And in my own case, when I first came to see Peter 25 years ago, we had three different divisions in my company. We had one division that sold plumbing to mobile home manufacturers. We had one division that made plastic pipe. We had one division that sold plumbing supplies to contractors, plumbers. And he said we weren’t going to be do all three, we needed to abandon a couple of those.
“So it was a leap of faith on my part. But I did that. We got out of the mobile home business, we got out of the manufacturing of plastic pipe, and very quickly we made up for those sales. And so I enhanced the profitability of the firm just by organized abandonment. So it really does work, it’s not just one of those theories that’s written down, it really works.”
Slide with image of stone in rippling pond 

Text: “I never predict. I just look out the window and see what’s visible — but not yet seen.”
- Peter F. Drucker

SPEAKER: “I never predict,” Drucker has said. “I just look out the window and see what’s visible — but not yet seen.”
To all those who’ve known him or his work, Peter Drucker is one of those rare thinkers whose counter-intuitive ideas always make you pause and reconsider.
Slide with video clip: Nan Stone
STONE: “Peter has a habit of coming up with the thing that nobody else would have come up with in a given situation. That’s because he really looks closely at what’s going on. He looks at things as they are, not as he would like them to be or as he thinks  they ought to be. And then he says, what are the implications of things as they are? And that’s why he comes out so often with either counter-conventional or highly innovative insights.”
Slide with video clip: Doug West
WEST: “The things that Peter has given us were not obvious.  They may seem obvious in retrospect, but that is a function of the clarity that he brings to understanding, and he makes these things seem as though we knew them all along.  In fact, we didn’t.”
Slide with video clip: Martin Davidson
DAVIDSON: “I think Peter’s great skill is in asking the right questions and forcing one to really think through the answers to the questions.  And sometimes when you think about the answers to those questions, it’s kind of a blinding flash of the obvious and you say, well, why didn’t I think of that before?  But you didn’t, and that’s his great skill.”
Slide with video clip: Nan Stone

STONE: “Peter is the antithesis of an ivory tower intellectual.  His writing is both accessible and sophisticated at the same time.  It’s sophisticated in the sense that he helps us understand what it is that we ought to be thinking about. It’s accessible because what he wants to do is touch people’s lives, to help them be more effective in whatever it is that they’re doing.”
Slide with video clip: Martin Davidson
DAVIDSON: “Peter is very specific about not only recommending things, but requiring action on those things. He wants to know what are you going to do when you get back to Meridian, Mississippi, Monday morning?”
Slide with video clip: Doug West
WEST: “He does not soar at 40,000 feet.  He demands that you tell him how what you propose to do is going to make any difference Monday morning.”
Slide with video clip: Dolores Cross
CROSS: “And so what Peter does is to get people to focus on what needs to be done. And that’s essential in both business and education — to work together and to use their human, personal qualities to make it happen.”
Slide, image of stone in rippling pond 

Text: “You can’t be a successful entrepreneur unless you manage, and if you try to manage without some entrepreneurship, you are in danger of becoming a bureaucrat.”
- Peter F. Drucker,
Interview in Inc. Magazine

SPEAKER: In an Inc. Magazine interview, Drucker said, “You can’t be a successful entrepreneur unless you manage, and if you try to manage without some entrepreneurship, you are in danger of becoming a bureaucrat.”
In the public’s mind, Peter’s Drucker’s name is probably most closely associated with Fortune 500 corporations.  But the Drucker vision has proven just as valuable — if not more so — to smaller, entrepreneurial companies.
Slide with video clip: Martin Davidson
DAVIDSON: “I believe that Peter’s teachings are much more powerful and much more important to a medium sized company like ours than a large corporation. The reason is, we don’t have, and we can’t afford, committees, red tape, bureaucracy, and layers of management. We have to act and we have to act quickly. And that’s different from a large company. So Monday morning I can go back and do something using Peter Drucker’s ideas, instead of just talking about them. And that’s the big difference.”
Slide, image of stone in rippling pond 

Text: “Management is the distinctive organ of all organizations.  All of them require management, whether they use the term or not.”
- Peter Drucker,
The Age of Social Transformation

SPEAKER: In The Age of Social Transformation, Drucker described management as “the distinctive organ of all organizations. All of them require management, whether they use the term or not.”
When most people hear the word “management,” they assume it refers strictly to business. But as Peter Drucker has pointed out, the largest growth sector in our society in the 21st century isn’t likely to be business. It probably won’t be government either. It will be a third sector, the “nonprofit sector” — those volunteer organizations that collectively constitute America’s largest employer and increasingly take care of the social challenges of our society. And business, according to Drucker, has a great deal to learn from non-profit organizations.
Slide with video clip: Frances Hesselbein
HESSELBEIN: “We have always heard about what non-profits can learn from business. Peter turns that on its head and adds to it what business can learn from non-profits. One of those things is a focus on mission, a passionate focus on mission, the star we steer by.”
Slide with video clip: Peter Drucker (“Business Matters” video)
DRUCKER: “Whenever you talk to non-profit organization volunteers, you always get the same answer: `In this volunteer job, I know what I’m doing, I know what I contribute. That job in the bank pays very well and it’s good company and fun, but I have no idea what I’m really doing.’”
Slide with video clip: Frances Hesselbein
HESSELBEIN: “Peter would say, first of all, your mission should fit on a T-shirt. That’s what people remember. Short, powerful, compelling. But it is solely why we do what we do, our purpose, our reason for being. The mission is the star that guides you.”
Speaker at podium
SPEAKER:  Long before anyone else, Peter Drucker foresaw the coming of an economic order where knowledge — not capital, labor, or raw materials — would be the key resource. When it comes to the management of knowledge workers, Drucker believes that non-profit organizations are setting the pace for the private sector.
Slide with video clip: Frances Hesselbein
HESSELBEIN: “I think business leaders were shocked when Peter Drucker said the business organization of the future will have to learn to manage knowledge workers the way non-profit organizations manage volunteers. And that was shocking. But he said they’re not tied to an assembly line. They carry their tool kits in their heads, so they can go wherever they want to go. And I have talked to a number of business leaders who said they thought that was one of the most profound but shocking things.”
Slide, image of stone in rippling pond 

Text: “I’m not comfortable with the word manager anymore, because it implies subordinates.  I find myself using executive more, because it implies responsibility for an area, not necessarily dominion over people.”
Peter F. Drucker,
On the Profession of Management

SPEAKER: In his book On the Profession of Management, Drucker explained, “I’m not comfortable with the word manager anymore, because it implies subordinates. I find myself using executive more, because it implies responsibility for an area, not necessarily dominion over people.”
He went on to say that today’s knowledge workers can’t be managed as subordinates, but only as associates. The very definition of a knowledge worker is one who knows more about his or her job than anybody else in the organization.
Slide with video clip: Peter Drucker (“Business Matters” video)
DRUCKER: “The organization of 2000 will have very few levels of management, fewer executives, and many more professionals who work in a specialty without ever expecting to become managers. That may be the biggest central management challenge of the next ten years.”
Slide, image of stone in rippling pond 

Text: “It is in the nature of knowledge that it changes fast and today’s certainties always become tomorrow’s absurdities.”
- Peter F. Drucker

SPEAKER: As Drucker points out, “It is in the nature of knowledge that it changes fast and today’s certainties always become tomorrow’s absurdities.”
Slide: Group shot of Drucker’s book covers
Throughout his extraordinary life, Peter Drucker has always exhibited a tenacious will to learn and grow, relentlessly moving forward, never resting on his laurels — not even today, in the twilight of his career.
Slide with video clip: Martin Davidson
DAVIDSON: “He has a tremendous amount of energy, even at 90 years old. He seems to be speeding up instead of slowing down.”
Speaker at podium
SPEAKER: The Drucker legacy is certain to be an enduring one.  In the era of globalization, his ideas, his philosophy and his vision remain more relevant than ever.
Slide with video clip: Frances Hesselbein
HESSELBEIN: Peter Drucker has given us the concept of leadership and management for a new century. And he has given us an inspiration that moves us from where we are to where we need to be if we are going to be viable and relevant in the future. And that is one of Peter Drucker’s greatest gifts.”
Slide with video clip: Dolores Cross
CROSS: “I really think that Peter’s impact will continue, especially as we become a much more diverse society. And we’re going to have to understand that diversity and somehow work with it in a way that’s productive — to understand people in terms of their motives, their strengths, and their capabilities.”
Slide with video clip: Nan Stone
STONE: “I think Peter’s essence is that he understands how deeply management matters. The world is a more productive place because of the kinds of observations that Peter made that were then built on by other people.”
Slide with video clip: Doug West
WEST: “I think that Peter Drucker’s impact, as great as it has been, has by no means been fully realized yet. I honestly believe that in the next couple of decades, we will finally begin to understand and apply the things that Peter’s been teaching us for all these years. Peter Drucker has always been ahead of his time.  He’s ahead of his time today.”
Slide with video clip: Martin Davidson
DAVIDSON: “I believe Peter Drucker’s advice is timeless and that’s his legacy for future generations. In the next millennium, whether it’s 100 years from now or 200 years from now, future generations can read books written by Peter Drucker and they will always be guides to outstanding business performance.”
Speaker at podium
SPEAKER: In short, he is a gift to humanity and a national treasure.  His living legacy is priceless.  And so, for all that he has contributed to our lives, we celebrate and salute Peter Drucker.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Peter Drucker!