During the doctoral seminar “Learning from a classic: Peter Drucker’s approach to management” on Thursday, February 1, 2018, doctoral students from HHL and the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt met with interested executives from a wide range of companies and organizations. Almost 40 people followed this special invitation. Among others, representatives of EY, LVV, MDR, Xing, and VNG were present. The evening was a joint project of the Dr. Arend Oetker Chair of Business Psychology and Leadership and the professional association “Die Führungskräfte”, whose chairman of the executive committee of the regional group Saxony-Thuringia, Mr. Werner Döbritz, moderated the evening together with Prof. Timo Meynhardt.
The aim of this special theme evening at VNG’s Schlobachhaus in Leipzig Böhlitz Ehrenberg was to create space for a discussion between academia and practice in which the findings of the management thinker Peter Drucker (1909-2005) were intensively discussed. Drucker is regarded the founding father of modern management and his ideas obviously keep inspiring generations of managers.
The evening, therefore, did not consist of a lecture on Peter Drucker’s teaching, but of an exchange between the participants. After a short introduction to the topic, individual topics such as self-management, the importance, and acquisition of empirical knowledge, which Peter Drucker called “practical wisdom”, or the question of what drives managers, were discussed in small groups and then presented. Timo Meynhardt made the case that Peter Drucker’s thoughts are also deeply reflected in the Leipzig Leadership Model, “which in a way also contributes to the transfer and further development of Peter Drucker’s timeless wisdom”. Michael Bätz, branch manager of Ernst & Young in Saxony-Thuringia, says: “The teachings of Peter Drucker are still most relevant for all of us to see the bigger picture of business in society”. The HHL doctoral student Tim Mosig adds “Drucker goes beyond theory. He differentiated himself from other theorists of his time by making his points in a manner relevant and indeed understandable for practice. For us as doctoral students, it was highly valuable to discuss together with the executives and astonishing to see how timely Drucker’s approaches still are. The executives openly talked about challenges they are facing in their daily business, and we discussed how Drucker’s ideas might help them to overcome these challenges sustainably.” For Werner Döbritz it was important that “Drucker’s ideas remind us of the human dimension at work, which is more important than ever.”
*HHL is a member of the Peter Drucker Society Europe and conferred an Honorary Doctorate to his successor Prof. Dr. Joseph A. Maciariello in 2016