If you look at the name of this firm- you see Peter Drucker stamped all over it. I first read his quote “a business has only two functions in society: marketing and innovation” in a Tom Peters book and it hit me like a two by four to the forehead.
When I named this firm, it wasn’t supposed to be an “ad agency” which really confuses a lot of people, it was supposed to be a resource for companies that understood that quote- and were looking to be ahead of the curve.
The problem that Drucker couldn’t tackle, was that most leaders in business don’t fully understand either- with maybe the exception of Steve Jobs at Apple computer. When Drucker came up with this statement, he thought a company could survive on one or the other. Times have changed.
Marketing isn’t something done in a department, and innovation isn’t done in a lab, it has to be in the DNA of the company, full court press marketing and innovation. With the pace of business quickening and product lifecycles shortening, and supply chains becoming an on-demand world, Drucker’s maxim is even more important today.
I got to sit in on one of Drucker’s lectures at Claremont University a few years back, he even autographed one of his books for me. It’s always nice when you get to meet the people who’s mind you admire.
Unfortunately, today, little emphasis in the corporations that Drucker studied is on either marketing or innovation- it’s on playing with the financial numbers for maximum short term return for the grossly over paid CEO’s. The company that gave Drucker his start: General Motors, has forgotten about both marketing and innovation and lost over half its market share in the last 20 years.
One thing that I still laugh at, is that Drucker, who had a school of management named after him- couldn’t have gotten tenure at my University because he lacked a PhD. Sometimes I think the world is totally upside down.
Drucker died Nov. 11, 2005- but, what he gave us will live on for a long time. At least part of it will live on here, at The Next Wave, Marketing • Innovation.
For what Tom Peters had to say about Drucker see this link: http://search.freefind.com/find.html?id=53137468&pageid=r&mode=ALL&n=0&query=Peter+Drucker