Week 13 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. (Subscribe on this page.) Elliott Snuggs is our guest writer today.
THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In this four-week segment on “Management in a Pluralistic Society of Organizations,” we learn about Drucker’s emphasis on top management. Maciariello summarizes it this way, “Without effective top management [Elliott’s emphasis] you cannot sustain a spirit of performance, and entropic processes will set in at an organization and eventually destroy it.” Thus, the first job in any organization is to make top management effective.
ELLIOTT SNUGG’S FAVORITE DRUCKER INSIGHTS from Week 13, pages 104-110:
• “...yet [emerging leader’s] growth into effective executives within the organization will be stymied unless they are given executive responsibility for decision-making and are allowed to make and learn from their own mistakes.”
• “Establishing an organization’s unique personality may be the most important task of top management… Establishing a new corporate persona calls for a change in the corporation’s values. And that may well be the most important task for top management.”
• Top management is responsible for designing the organizational structure and for making key appointments at the level right below top management.
• “The CEO in the new millennium has six specific tasks.” (Read them on page 108!)
ELLIOTT SNUGG’S COLOR COMMENTARY:
Peter Drucker understood the information society long before Google came along. And he understood just how important managing that information was to success. For him top management was the central hub. Top management’s responsibilities then include direction, strategy, values and principles. It is the core out of which a ministry, movement or enterprise can flow.
Most importantly, top management establishes the “DNA” of the organization, its unique personality and core values. Further, the organization’s performance depends on an effective top management setting the example of performance. Finally, he gives the sagely advice that top management must rest on a spiritual foundation or it has “nothing.” Jesus put it this way, “apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
If you are a CEO, reflect on Drucker’s list of the six tasks of a CEO in the new millennium. It begins with defining the “meaningful outside of the organization.” Wow! And the next five are just as meaty.
THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY ELLIOTT SNUGGS:
R. Elliott Snuggs is the Executive Vice President of Asian Access, Cerritos, Calif. He studied under Peter Drucker at Claremont Graduate University from 1997–2000 in the Executive Management program. He currently enjoys applying Drucker’s thinking to strategic planning in nonprofit organizations.
• Drucker says that the key activities of an organization must be identified (maybe thinking “core competencies” will help) and each activity should be assigned to a specific member of the top management team. Work through that with your team.
• Evaluate if your top management team fosters a spirit of performance?
• Are there any structures in your organization that are inhibiting growth and performance? Try to bring change to these toxic structures.
On April 6, 2015, Kevin East will continue this four-week segment on “Management in a Pluralistic Society of Organizations” with Week 14’s topic, “Control by Mission and Strategy: Not by Hierarchy."