Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Over 20 years since publication, Innovation and Entrepreneurship is still the landmark work on a subject that, before Drucker, had had little real analysis.
At the beginning, the author is clear that his book is not about the psychology or character of entrepreneurs. It is not the mysterious ‘flash of genius’ so often ascribed to the wealth creator that interests him, but actions and behavior - how innovation and entrepreneurship can be boiled down to a system that can be learned and applied by anyone. Drucker was unusual among business gurus for working with people in all types of organizations including unions, girl scout bodies, science labs, churches, universities and relief agencies. His message was: wherever you work, there is huge scope for changing how you do things that can make a massive difference.
The author began teaching innovation and entrepreneurship in the mid-1950s, and this book represents three decades of testing of his ideas. Many of the examples come from his own experience as a consultant, or from the experience of people he taught. Though some have now dated, overall this is a timeless work that should be read by any aspiring entrepreneur or organization-starter.
It’s management, stupid
Innovation and Entrepreneurship starts with Drucker’s drawing attention to a mystery: why, in the American economy from 1965 to 1985, despite inflation and oil shocks, recessions and major job losses in certain industries and government, there had been huge jobs growth. The jobs – 40 million of them - had not been created by large corporations or government, but mostly in small and medium sized businesses. Most people explained the growth in one word: ‘hi tech’.
In fact, only 5 or 6 million of the new positions came from the technology field. The key ‘technology’ driving jobs growth, according to Drucker, was not widgets and gadgets, but entrepreneurial management. The force of the entrepreneur,...