What Would Peter Drucker Say about Transition and the Knowledge Society?
A Frequently Asked Question from Ask Bob, The Effectiveness Coach®
“I think we are in the midst of a very major transition in which the new—not new structures, new organizations, but fundamentally new concepts, new ways of seeing the world, new ways of relating as individuals, as organizations and as countries will have to be developed.” (Page 140 ff.). What is bothering people today has very little to do with economic statistics; it has to do with the feeling that things we measure are not meaningful anymore. Drucker adds that this is a very dangerous, a very upsetting, and a very exciting period.
There is a price of success in the knowledge society. “The fear of failure has already permeated the knowledge society.” The upward mobility of the knowledge society comes at a very high price; the psychological pressures and emotional traumas of the rat race. There can be winners only if there are losers.
Knowledge is the one decisive resource of a business. Both results and resources exist outside of the business. It is always somebody outside of the business who decides whether the efforts of the business become economic results or whether the results of the business become so much waste or scrap. What makes a business distinct is its ability to use knowledge of all kinds—from scientific and technical knowledge to social, economic and managerial knowledge. A business can be defined as a process that converts an outside resource, namely knowledge, into outside results, namely economic values.
That said, here is Drucker’s advice, “You have to take responsibility for knowing yourself, so you can find the right jobs as you develop and as your family becomes a factor in your values and choices.”
Consider the following five questions:
- How are you continuing to develop and apply your strengths in areas that you find motivating?
- How are you staying abreast of new developments in your field through a systematic program of continuous learning?
- How are you taking control of your career while developing your own human capital?
- How are you simplifying your expertise so that knowledge workers in another area can understand it?
- Are you asking your colleagues on whom you depend for information to do the same for you?
Want to be able to more effectively manage yourself? Request the free special report based on Drucker’s HBR article, “Managing Oneself.” Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Manage Yourself” in the subject line.
“What Would Peter Drucker Say” is adapted from the book, A Year with Peter Drucker: 52 Weeks of Coaching for Leadership Effectiveness by Joseph Maciariello, who distills the essence of Peter Drucker’s personal mentorship program.
Bob Moore, CMC®,
The Effectiveness Coach®