What Peter Drucker Would Be Reading

Peter Drucker

Recent selections from around the web that, we think, would have caught Peter Drucker’s eye:

1. The Case for Lying to Yourself: There’s a lot to be said for being honest with yourself. There may be even more to be said for being dishonest with yourself. Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Sue Shellenbarger surveys the latest studies and finds that those who bolster their own self-confidence with untruths often persuade the world to go along with their estimation: “Evolutionary psychologists, who say different parts of the brain can harbor conflicting beliefs at the same time, say self-deception is a way of fooling others to our own advantage.”

2. You Can Prevent Layoffs: There’s probably no faster way to reduce costs than to reduce jobs. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea, writes Ron Ashkenas at Harvard Business Review. It’s best, of course, to avoid downsizing in the first place by guarding against bloat, but if it has be done make sure you’re considering more than just the financial costs of severance: “Layoffs cause firms to lose institutional knowledge about how to get things done, disrupt work relationships and patterns and increase burdens on those who remain.”

3. If You Don’t Know Your Co-Workers, Mix Up the Chairs: In an interview with the New York Times, Dennis Crowley, co-founder and chief executive of Foursquare, talks about reaching out for help, getting feedback, social innovations and, if all that isn’t already Druckerian enough, learning the difference between speech and communication: “We’ve been working in this space for a long time, and it’s taken me a while to realize that just because I understand things doesn’t mean that everyone else understands them.”

4. The Dx Comment of the Week: In response to our question to readers about how they get their organization to harness creativity, reader daniel pacheco had this to say:

Every individual needs only two core competencies: creativity and sales. (Daniel Pacheco’s viewpoint.) Every organization needs only two core competencies: innovation and marketing. (Peter Drucker’s viewpoint). I have added my viewpoint to Peter Drucker’s viewpoint and find it a useful belief to have.