The sex scandal that brought down David Petraeus, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, this week has everything – compromising emails, a relationship with his admiring biographer, a second femme fatale and a shirtless agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Everything but substance.
With the Chinese Communist party about to anoint Xi Jinping as its new secretary general, there is plenty of speculation about the implications of its political and economic changes for the rest of the world, but little about its capacity to inspire management innovation.
China is overdue a modern management guru (Sun Tzu, born around the sixth century BC, doesn’t count).
Walter Kiechel has written an excellent potted history of “The Management Century” in the latest Harvard Business Review, starting in the late 19th and early 20th century with an “age of scientific management” (led by Frederick Winslow Taylor), moving through a more sophisticated era of growing self-confidence from the 1940s to the 1980s (dominated by the insights of Peter Drucker, whose life and work is celebrated this week at the Global Drucker Forum in Vienna) and on to the modern era of specialisation and globalisation. But, as Kiechel writes, “most of our story so far takes place in the United States”: Read more