Week 3 of 52. Welcome to Drucker Mondays, a 52-week journey through the new book, A Year with Peter Drucker: 52 Weeks of Coaching for Leadership Effectiveness, by Joseph A. Maciariello. Each Monday, we'll feature a Drucker fan and his or her favorite snippet from the week's topic. Click here to subscribe. Dale Torry is our guest writer this week.
Week 3: Three Fundamental Questions for a Functioning Society of Organizations
THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: Week 3 begins the section titled, “Management Is a Human Activity.” Central to Drucker’s belief in management is that every organization serious about being effective must answer three questions. Here are the big three:
1. What is your business?
2. Who is your customer?
3. What does the customer value?
When these three question focus on satisfying human need, organizations create an alternative to tyranny and a protection against it. And if you think you just answered the three questions in the amount of time it took to read this—you haven’t!
DALE TORRY’S FAVORITE DRUCKER INSIGHTS from Week 3, pages 17-24:
• Management's primary role is to focus on the big three questions.
• Drucker: “I teach them management.”
• “Effective leadership and management of society's organizations is therefore the alternative to tyranny and the remedy for preserving freedom and equality of opportunity.”
• “By definition the customer buys the satisfaction of a want.”
DALE TORRY’S COLOR COMMENTARY:
I suggest Joseph A. Maciariello’s next book should be “A Year with Peter Drucker’s Three Questions.” The three questions are simple, I’ve memorized them before, but this time they are enlightened with Drucker’s writings in a fresh and new way. The importance of these questions was magnified when set against the backdrop of Drucker’s conclusions: effective leadership and management is today’s defense against tyranny and the key to the furtherance of freedom.
(Editor’s Note: What a great insight as we honor the work and memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. today.)
THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY DALE TORRY:
Dale Torry, vice president of senior living, CRISTA Ministries, Seattle, Wash., has served in leadership roles over the past 20 years in ministry and non-profit organizations. The majority of this time has been in senior living and long-term health care oriented ministries. Dale is nationally known for random Post-it® Notes left in books circulated by John Pearson in group settings. If you’re fortunate, you’ve read one.
• If you know what your business is and who your customers are, then head out immediately and start asking your customers if they are satisfied.
• If you can’t answer the first two questions, block out time on your calendar, e-vite your team and start answering them.
• After you have calendared the sessions, go out and ask your customers if they are satisfied.
• If you want to find me on Monday, I’ll be walking the campus and asking residents at Crista Senior Living if they are satisfied—and what we can do to satisfy them more. This is a team exercise best modeled by the leader.
Watch for the color commentary on the importance of lifelong learning by guest writer, David Schmidt, consulting guru at J. David Schmidt & Associates, Wheaton, Ill.