The 2023 Global Peter Drucker Forum

8 DECEMBER 2023

To say attending this year’s Global Peter Drucker Forum in Vienna (the 15th so far) was a 2023 highlight for me is an understatement.

Besides getting to serve as Chair of a session looking at personal and company resilience that’s shaped by your ecosystems, getting to spend time with Amy Edmondson, Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, Dan Pink, Rita McGrath and many other influential business thinkers were genuine highlights.

It reminded me that time away from the administrivia of the day job to learn, reflect, meet other like-minded people and look at the world from 10,000 meters is something I don’t get to do often enough.

And left me with a few conclusions:

  • Having Peter Drucker as my MBA professor at Claremont Graduate School was a truly significant experience that I didn’t fully appreciate at the time. Writing a paper for his class in 1984 about what is today called “corporate social responsibility” but didn’t have a name then was a sign of his consistent foresight and genius;
  • Being around 800 other business leaders from around the world helps you see things differently and understand your own mental models a lot more. The informal conversations over the breaks, like the ones that take place on the leadership programs I run for clients, are where you discover the best surprises about others and yourself.
  • That meeting and working with others from around the world is great fun. By doing so, you allow your views and life experience to be challenged which means you learn other ways of doing things, other cultural norms and that there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

So I’m now looking forward to returning to snowy Vienna next November and discovering what the theme of that conference will be, hopefully with the same big business brains that joined us this year.  If it weren’t for having Peter Drucker in my life, I’d never really know how much he gave me besides the innovative thinking he allowed me to experience… and I’m so glad his body of work is celebrated now every year.

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