What Would Peter Drucker Say About Google?


Rick Wartzman writes that Google is a Druckerian Ideal

More than any enterprise I know of, Google has built a working environment that can only be described as Druckerian-early Druckerian, to be precise.

Beginning with some of his first major writings in the 1940s, Peter Drucker wanted "work to reflect social values like opportunity, community, solidarity, and individual fulfillment, not just business values like cost and efficiency," explained the late management philosopher's biographer, Jack Beatty.

He is right that Google seems that way for now, but the question is where they will be when their growth slows. It's easy to build a good corporate culture when money is flowing and everybody is happy. It's much harder to stick to your guns in the face of criticism and underperformance. Google may be a few years from that, but it will happen. Will the free cafeteria stay? Will employees still spend 20% of their time on pet projects? Watch what happens when the company starts taking a financial hit or two, and then you will know how deeply their beliefs about corporate culture are actually held.

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  • I think it’s not so much the financial pinch as a loss of focus by management. When the founders and champions of the culture start retiring or going elsewhere, that’s when the real danger begins.