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Peter Drucker’s ideas about People Management

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Frank Vande Voorde
  • 2 Min leestijd
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In this view, we would like to remind you of some of the well-known management gurus and their ideas.

Today we'll start with Peter Drucker, because he is sometimes called the guru of the gurus.

Peter Drucker is one of the most influential management authors of the 20th century. He wrote over 30 books and sold millions of them.

He is considered as one of the founders of marketing thinking. He said: ‘It is not the top of the corporation that is important, but the customer’ (in 1940!). A corporation has to deliver value to survive. Organisations must contribute to society and managers must be contributors to the organisation.

P Drucker states: to grow, you have to decentralise and give power at other levels than the top. He is also a strong believer in the development of leadership through training and job rotation. He states that knowledge is important but is not enough; you need to learn to learn! He also claims that organisations should make profit, not as a goal but rather as a side-effect, as the corporation needs first of all to fulfill a social need.

Management has an essential role in the organisation. Peter Drucker introduces two important principles: Management by objectives and self-control: people have to find ways to achieve their goals. For him, management must concentrate on determining the goals of the company, steer the efficiency of people and manage the social responsibility of the corporation.

To be able to manage people, said Peter Drucker, you have to be able to manage yourself. In his book ‘The Effective Executive’ he describes the habits that every manager should have:

  •   - Use your time effectively
  •   - Use your strongpoints, and those of others
  •   - Handle the important things first
  •   - Focus on important and effective decisions

Peter Drucker’s ideas about the future are interesting as well.

He predicted that demographic development would become a very important change factor of our society. He  talked at length about the aging population and its consequences. He pointed out the importance of knowledge and information. Later in the book, he underlined the importance of outsourcing - it is more effecient and you cannot know everything.

He also describes the future employee rather as a knowledge worker who could be hired from outside. Finally, he wrote that information technology would gain in importance.

In our opinion, Peter Drucker had an accurate vision about the future and some of his ideas are still very up-to-date.

We should bear in mind the following:

  • - Dare to delegate
  • - Make sure people have clear objectives
  • - Ask yourself what the organisation is doing and how you can contribute

Peter Drucker was ahead of his time and spread the word quickly by giving lessons. He also thought that everyone should teach, especially managers.

He has been and is still an inspiration for many managers.

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