Special: Global Peter Drucker Forum 2018 // Day 1

Special: Global Peter Drucker Forum 2018 – Day 1

By Puk Falkenberg, 29. November 2018

In the nice atmosphere and surroundings of the Imperial Palace in Vienna, Richard Straub opens up the Global Peter Drucker Forum 2018. Richard Straub presents this years topic: the human dimension to management. Shortly thereafter we are ready to hear the speakers, hoping to take a lot of simple and concrete learnings with us.

It’s the 10th time this forum is being held, and with many participants, the ballrooms of the palace are buzzing. People are already networking, looking in the books on display and starting to talk about what to get out of the event. As Line said, when asked what she wanted to get out of it: “I know we’ll be getting a lot of inspiration these two days, so I hope I’m able to boil it down to a few important key learnings.”

This blog post is our way of giving you a lot of learnings and take-homes in a short amount of time. Last year we did the same (revisit the blog posts from 2017 here), and hope that you’ll get as much out of it as we have.

The picture is from the official picture gallery.

This years topic: “Management . the human dimension”

With our hopes high, the conference began and we listened, took notes, tweeted and instagrammed the whole day. Here are take-homes, learnings and wondering questions.

Put people first – and show it!

Maybe you have heard us talking about people first before, but it’s always nice to be confirmed by others in what we believe in. This was also the case talking about putting people first and looking at how we can re-engage with our human side.

  • It’s not the days of the CEO anymore. It’s the days of the employees
  • An organization is a collection of humans, not a collection of resources.
  • Awareness of the employee-centered workplace is there, but the execution is not good
  • The leader’s job is to identify and multiply employees strengths and nurturing long-term potential
  • It’s not only time to re-engage humanity. It’s a necessity.

Innovation is about shaping context

One of the sessions were about the very human pursuit of innovation. In this we learned that innovation can become quite theatrical, almost like a comedy, when not done right. Also, we learned that it takes 250 ideas to get to 1 success. Maybe we should make smaller speedboats and experiments to reach the 250?

  • We need more cooks in the kitchen
  • Corporate innovation is a better/stronger force than venture capitals
  • The legacy corporations are in a better situation than start-ups to innovate
  • Scale fast by collaborating with other companies.

Questions are the answer

We got some new inspiration on asking more questions in the session: “human questions, machine answers: the blended future of work”, where Hal Gregersen told us that asking the right questions is how humanity wins over AI. This put together with the bullet below made us wonder: How do we ensure and remember to constantly keep asking questions?

  • Leaders must go off script and break rules
  • Learn to listen and ask yourself: “For how long can I shut up?”
  • The best words a leader should learn is: “I don’t know”
  • Learn to feel your employees feelings
  • Actively seek out passive data
  • Computers can’t ask questions. This gives us an advantage as humans
  • Hire for, train and reward inclusive behaviours rather than trying to identify unconscious bias.

Purpose is a co-creation process

Purpose is the reason you exist beyond making money. As we expected, purpose was mentioned throughout the day. But one thing we didn’t expect was Fred Kofman from Google stating, that one question has ruined his life (said with a smile): “What is your job?” Without going into details, your job is not what you think it is – because it’s all about being aligned with the purpose of your organization.

  • Do well and do good
  • Don’t get employees to join forces with you. Get them to pursuit a shared purpose
  • Everyone needs their own path to cultivate
  • Strategy is stopped by incentives – how do we create space to find direction?
  • From business process management to business practice redesign

Don’t let culture just happen

It’s important to define a creative culture. Look at these six elements: 1) Purpose, 2) looking out, 3) experimentation, 4) collaboration, 5) empowerment, and 6) refinement. Furthermore, these key statements must be remembered:

  • If you want to understand culture, you need to map it
  • Never underestimate the immune system in an organization
  • If you are to busy, it’s because you’re on somebody else’s schedule.

To summarize the first day of Global Peter Drucker Forum 2018:

One of the funnier (and still very true) inspirations we got from today is: You need to sit down and have a meaningful conversation about your business with a kid. Kids close down if they don’t get it, but open up and asks curious questions when they do get it (or parts of it). This means, that if you can have that meaningful conversation, your communication are right.

What is Global Peter Drucker Forum?

Drucker Forum is an annual leadership conference in Vienna. This year it’s the 10th Global Drucker Forum with a focus on management – the human dimension. Click on the following links, if you want to know more or follow the Drucker Society European Blog.

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