Nan Stone, the well known former editor of the Harvard Business Review, wrote a lovely article for the latest issue of the American Scholar about Peter Drucker. One observation that jumped out at me was that Drucker believed that managers should not make profitability as their primary focus. Instead, they should focus on productivity. Only by getting a group of individuals to act efficiently and in concert in pursuit of a larger goal can one achieve something more than what even the most creative individual can typically achieve on her own, Stone explains. This is not to say that Drucker advocated the idea of running a business in such a way that everyone worked like mad to be superhumanly productive. He believed managers should be humane. Stone made this point in an article that Elaine Appleton Grant compiled for Inc. back in 2002, on how Drucker had mentored her to be a family-friendly leader at HBR. Here's the link to that article.
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