11.22.2005

Friedman, Drucker & the arts-commerce collision

Not that he needs any more publicity or plaudits at this point, but Thomas Friedman deservedly nabbed the inaugural Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award for his book, The World is Flat. The other finalists include Freakonomics, DisneyWar, The Search, and The Travels of a T-Shirt. Some of these are classic business books, of course, but some would certainly be included on a syllabus for Creativille, if there was such a thing. Most do more than simply talk about business techniques and management strategies. Rather, they comment on and offer context for a world that is increasingly interwoven, where arts, commerce, business and culture collide.

I have been reading more about Peter Drucker, and a phrase in a nice piece about the late management guru in The Economist caught my eye. "Mr. Drucker told his clients, who included the American Red Cross and the Girl Scouts of Amercia, that they needed to think more like businesses -- albeit business that dealt in 'changed lives' rather than in maximising profits." There will be those who fight this confluence of business and culture, but, in a with-us-or-against-us sort of way, they will be the ones left behind. Reading the above books, and others, is a good way to stay on top of that wave rather than let it capsize your organization.

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