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. Conflict Keeps Teams at the Top of Their Game: Is your team full of different opinions and fighting about them? Don’t worry. Mark de Rond writes at the Harvard Business Review that conflict is actually good for teams. It opens up points of view, airs dissent and reveals what matters to the different stakeholders. That it might feel unpleasant isn’t a problem, as long as it delivers effective results. So encourage the squabbles, and remember de Rond’s warning: “In workplaces where people self-censor for fear of being perceived as negative or incompetent or ‘not a team player,’ collaboration will not come as naturally.”

2. Building Effective Business Relationships in China: Advantageous connections, or guanxi, are central to business and life in China. Westerners do a lot to court Chinese businessmen with gifts, dinner and entertainment. But, writes Roy Y. J. Chua in the MIT Sloan Management Review, what’s far more important—and tricky—is to establish confidence and trust. Trust is what allows the inevitable misunderstandings and differences to be resolved without divorce. So be patient and seek understanding if you want a sustainable relationship with a Chinese business partner: “It is about bringing to bear a cultural awareness that makes a person feel understood — not stereotyped or simply plied with gifts and displays of etiquette.”

3. Airbus’s New Push: Made in the U.S.A.: Think of Alabama and what comes to mind is—European aerospace companies, right? Well, it should come to mind, since Airbus has had an engineering center in Mobile since 2005. Now the company plans to spend $600 million to build jetliners in the Heart of Dixie. It’s a sign of our ever-globalizing economies. But, notes The Wall Street Journal, not everyone is happy about it: “Boeing officials said that European governments’ financial support for Airbus, which is dominated by politically connected French and German shareholders including the French government, has allowed the plane maker to undercut Boeing and thereby hurt American jobs.”

4. The Dx Comment of the Week: In response to our post asking how social networking tools such as Yammer have been affecting the workplaces of our readers, commenter Sergio had positive feedback to share:

“I’ve seen this tool positively disrupt the traditional corporate hierarchy, and the typical silos and communication patterns associated to it. In particular, many conversations emerging from this initial phase were uncharacteristically cross-functional/cross-departmental in nature, and the tool began enabling the right kind of self-organizing cross-functional teams who may not have had the opportunity to form otherwise.”