What Peter Drucker Would Be Reading

Posted on Jan 22, 2013 | 3 Comments

Recent selections from around the web that, we think, would have caught Peter Drucker’s eye:

1.     Reshoring, Really?:  We recently asked whether American business was creating a true pendulum swing from offshoring and outsourcing back toward inshoring and insourcing. An article in ParisTech Review tries to make sense of the newest trends but notes it’s too early to tell what they all mean. Still, of one thing we can be pretty sure: “The prospect of a return of industrial activities does not automatically mean massive job creation.”

2.     Small Factories Give Baxter the Robot a Cautious Once-Over: Speaking of reshoring, one human—er, humanoid—who may wind up hogging some people’s jobs is BaxterMIT Technology Review reports that Baxter, produced by Rethink Robotics, is a $22,000 robot who can be programmed to do jobs that have never been automated before. He’s still in the testing stage, but interest is very high, as are hopes: “Rethink Robotics says the robot will spark a ‘renaissance’ in American manufacturing by helping small companies compete against low-wage offshore labor.”

3.     The Boeing Debacle: Seven Lessons Every CEO Must Learn: Meanwhile, if you’re among those companies still working heavily offshore, you might want to rethink your model. Over at ForbesSteve Denning writes a severe assessment of all that’s gone wrong with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. He finds that a lot of it has to do with excessive, often reckless, offshoring, and he cautions against being tempted by the quick savings: “Offshoring is not some menial matter to be left to accountants in the backroom or high-priced consultants armed with spreadsheets, promising quick profits.”

4.     Dx Comment of the Week:  Last week, when asked whether the U.S. justice system is tougher on individuals than on big business, reader Greg Basham said yes, and elaborated as follows:

The fines that businesses are paying that are actually borne by the shareholders are now just a cost of doing business. Without criminal charges against executives in firms this stuff will just go on and on.
The reality is that investigations of wrongdoing into business crime are extremely complex and there are simply limited resources applied to this stuff. Crimes such as robbery or murder are a lot easier to solve whereas any conspiracy-type charges are very hard to convict on and getting information to lay a charge difficult.



  1. Jeffrey Smyth
    January 26, 2013

    Re: the DX comment of the week I refer you to Carl Sandburg’s poem from the Robber Baron era that I read in university more than 50 years ago:

    “Thieves? Yes. Little thieves? Yes. And they get it where the chicken gets the ax? Yes. And the big shots are something else? Yes. And you cannot convict a million dollars*? Not unless Tuesday is Saturday, neighbor.

    *the only question is should we update that to a billion or a trillion?

  2. Jeffrey Smyth
    January 26, 2013

    Re: The DX Comment of the Week:

    Please refer to a poem by Carl Sandburg that I read in university more than 50 years ago:

    “Thieves? Yes. Little thieves? Yes. And they get it where the chicken gets the ax? Yes. And the big shots are something else? Yes. And you can’t convict a million dollars?* Not unless Tuesday is Saturday, neighbor.”

    Today’s only question is whether that should be a billion or a trillion.

  3. Judie Forbes
    January 26, 2013

    The greatest cost of offshoring may not be measured in dollars. Innovation happens when someone sees a problem, fixes the problem, and the applies the fix to other situations. If the person who sees the problem is offshore, that is where the innovation happens. An if Americans, long honored for the ability to innovate, aren’t exposed to the problems, we lose that opportunity.


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