Drucker Institute on EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT and the five key dimensions of CORPORATE PERFORMANCE

Posted by Allan Steinmetz on 25 July 2018

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I have always been a big fan of Peter Drucker, with his writings, theories and principles. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this management sage, he authored over 39 management books and was on the speed dial of many leading CEOs around the globe.  According to Wikipedia, Drucker taught that management is "a liberal art," and he infused his management advice with interdisciplinary lessons from history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, culture and religion.

Drucker was interested in the growing effect of people who worked with their minds rather than their hands. He was intrigued by employees who knew more about certain subjects than their bosses or colleagues, and yet had to cooperate with others in a large organization. Rather than simply glorify the phenomenon as the epitome of human progress, Drucker analyzed it, and explained how it challenged the common thinking about how organization should be run.

Over 70 years, Drucker's writings would be marked by a focus on relationships among human beings, as opposed to the crunching of numbers. His books were filled with lessons on how organizations can bring out the best in people, and how workers can find a sense of community and dignity in a modern society organized around large institutions.  As a business consultant, Drucker disliked the term "guru," though it was often applied to him; "I have been saying for many years," Drucker once remarked, "that we are using the word 'guru' only because 'charlatan' is too long to fit into a headline”.

In my opinion, Peter Drucker was the first innovator and disruptor of traditional business processes and methodology. He also recognized the simplicity of customer satisfaction and the importance of customer needs.

Since his passing in 2006, many followers and advocates gathered on the campus of Claremont Graduate University to help answer one question: What is Peter Drucker’s legacy? This was the beginning of what has become the Drucker Institute. https://www.drucker.institute/

The Drucker Institute has brought together five dimensions of corporate performance after reviewing his writings and thinking regarding Customer Satisfaction, Employee Engagement and Development, Innovation, Social Responsibility and Financial Strength—to create a holistic perspective based on Peter Drucker’s core principles.

I’d like to focus on the principles of EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT for this post. It is not a difficult concept. The Drucker Institute promotes four simple ideas listed below.


  • “The enterprise must be able to give [its employees] a vision and a sense of mission. It must be able to satisfy their desire for a meaningful contribution to their community and society.”
  • “There…is the task of building and leading organizations in which every person sees herself as a ‘manager’ and accepts the full burden of what is basically managerial responsibility: responsibility for her own job and work group [and] for her contribution to the performance and results of the entire organization.”
  • “Whenever excellence appears, it must be recognized.… Rewards must be based on performance.”
  • “Developing talent is business’ most important task.”

When companies take these four elements into account and incorporate them into their leaf systems, behavior systems and decision-making true employee engagement can occur. Simple lip service will not suffice.

In collaboration with the Wall Street Journal the Drucker Institute recently listed the top 15 companies that excel in employee engagement and development based on their research. As a singular dimension, these 15 companies “Get It”.  They understand that employee engagement and development is a driver for peak performance and are actively pursuing programs and strategies to measure and improve employee engagement over time.

WSJ List

At Inward we have been promoting the same concepts for over 20 years. If you would like to learn more about how a company can improve performance by engaging their employees and with more meaningful and behavioral ways, give us a call.

Allan Steinmetz CEO - Inward Strategic Consulting 617-558-9770