The continuing inspiration of visionary leaders
Article reprinted from Drake Business Review (Vol. #1, No.2), a semi-annual publication that helps high performing managers and executives meet the human capital challenges in their businesses now. Click here to subscribe.
Innovators of Change
Within this climate of discontinuous change, I was reminded of Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw’s observation that “A reasonable man adapts himself to suit his environment, and therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” Author Charles Handy, a British specialist in organizational management, took the title for his book Age of Unreason from Shaw’s observation. Age of Unreason was named one of the ten best business books in 1990. Handy predicted that the 21st century would be an era when changes in business and society would be ‘discontinuous’ or ‘patternless.’ He suggested that our thinking must become discontinuous or ‘unreasonable’ to use such changes to our advantage. I was sufficiently impressed with Handy’s visionary thinking that, when the book was published, I ordered thousands to share with our clients. I wasn’t the only one who was impressed with Handy’s insights.
“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.” - Peter Drucker
“That book, Age of Unreason, did it for me,” said Tom Peters, whose first book, In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies, written with Robert Waterman, created the popular management book genre. “The fundamental model of what an organization was going to become, what a career would be, made a single statement in a single place. I thought it was a real landmark.”
Today, there are many business intellectuals, or management gurus as they are also called. I continue to learn and be intrigued and challenged by many of these thought leaders, who provide the latest, and best, in business thinking.
One such business intellectual is Professor W. Chan Kim, co-author of Blue Ocean Strategy. Drake International was honoured when Professor Kim, ranked among the top ten most influential business thinkers in the world, accepted our invitation to come to Australia to present his “Blue Ocean” thinking at a special Drake seminar in September. Business leaders from all industry sectors enjoyed the unique opportunity to meet Professor Kim and learn from his presentation: “Infinite new possibilities for your business in today’s turbulent times.” We’ll have more to share on Professor Kim’s thought-provoking presentation in the next issue of the Drake Business Review.
“The companies that survive the longest are the ones that work out what they uniquely can give to the world, not just growth or money, but their excellence, and their respect for others.” - Charles Handy
Handy’s name comes up again in Dr. Nick Bontis’s article, “Linking human capital investment with organizational performance,” starting on page 8. Dr. Bontis, Associate Professor of Strategy at McMaster University in Canada and Director of the Institute for Intellectual Capital Research, provides a stimulating and thought-provoking analysis of the relationship between a company’s market value and its replacement value. Bontis says that an organization’s intellectual assets drive performance and competitive advantage. If you are a business leader striving to understand and manage your corporate knowledge, don’t miss this article.
Through all the economic uncertainty, this continues to be a busy and exciting year for Drake International’s offices around the world. I am delighted that Drake Australia is partnering with Deloitte, one of the world’s largest accounting and auditing companies, on the Deloitte Leadership Academy. There has been an explosive growth and demand for online learning, and Deloitte’s Leadership Academy is focused on developing the management and leadership skills of senior executives, even in the air! You can read more in the Drake Initiatives section about the Academy and how Deloitte and Drake are working together to help senior executives keep pace and keep ahead.
Throughout my business life, I have always believed that organizational and executive challenges are there for a reason and solutions are meant to be found. This is the foundation of excellence upon which Drake International was built and the mandate we continue to follow going forward. Within our company, we receive a great deal of satisfaction when we work with our clients on designing and implementing staffing and HR consulting solutions that positively affect corporate productivity and performance. We take pride in the relationships we build with our partners so that we may work together, using our combined wisdom and insight, to establish new directions and initiatives that benefit so many.
Through all the work we have accomplished, the experience we have earned, and the successes we have realized, Drake International is as committed as ever to sharing our knowledge, expertise and visionary thinking to help you and your company outperform.
R. W. Pollock, Chairman
Article reprinted from Drake Business Review (Vol. #1, No.2), a semi-annual publication that helps high performing managers and executives meet the human capital challenges in their businesses now.