Monday, August 9, 2010

Novelizing Drucker in Japan

The Economist has a cute story on page 61 of the July 3rd issue: "Drucker in the dug-out."

A Japanese publisher, Diamond Publishing, has released a novel titled, What if the Female Manager of a High-School Baseball Team read Drucker's 'Management.' According to The Economist, the book features a fictional teenager called Minami who becomes the gofer for the baseball team’s male coach. "Unlike many of her compatriots, she is the kind of girl, as the book says, who leaps before she looks. Horrified by the team’s lack of ambition, she sets it the goal of reaching the high-school championships." She finds Peter Drucker’s 1973 Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices "and it helps her turn the rabble into a team."

Not only has the novel become successful, it's apparently stimulated sales of Drucker's original. Reportedly some 300,000 copies sold in Japan in the first six months of this year compared with 100,000 copies in the previous 26 years.

Drucker who loved Japan would have been pleased. A year before his death in 2005 he warned that "Japanese firms might soon be overtaken by rivals from South Korea, China and India. He urged them to brace for competition by working out what they were good at, what they should do and what their values were." While there are exceptions, the magazine notes, most large Japanese enterprises "remain corporate octopuses squeezing the life out of Japanese business."

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