Peter Drucker, the father of modern day management, inspired a generation of leaders with his quote, “One cannot manage change. One can only be ahead of it.”
This needs to be reconsidered. Because there’s the fantasy of staying ahead of change and then there’s the modern reality. Early in this century technological progress exceeded the system’s ability to keep up. So staying ahead of change is no longer possible. You can create change (as Drucker adds in the reference below). You can nimbly respond to change. You can move in synch with change. But our systems and structures were not designed to manage change at this scale.
Drucker lead in a world of local and linear. But this isn’t General Motors 1965. These are exponential, non-linear times. What worked then won’t work now.
If you liked this post you might like our Leadership Archives. Photo by Matt Ridley on Unsplash. Drucker quote is from Management Challenges of the 21st Century.