Peter Ducker on Business Management

Undercover boss, a CBS show have instances where CEO’S of big corporation are ripped to tears realizing that their corporation do not stand up for who they are. Or siblings who inherit business leadership being tore by truth from employees’ that they don’t stand for what their old man stood for. It is a test of a human spirit which surpasses the motivation for profit.

A discussion on Ford Motor case study of 1978 on Ford Pinto malfunctioning gas tank which caused exploration and resulted to burns and death left an ethical group discussion bursting emotionally to some agreeing that if the company was aware of the problem and continued rolling out production they would have resigned from the company.  Ford had waited eight 8 years to make changes on gas tank because the cost benefit analysis of placing value on human life showed it was not profitable to make an immediate change.

Peter Ducker, management consultant was always asking the question “What do you want to be remembered for? “ A question he asked to corporate clients, university students and to himself.  He wrote “It is a question that induces you to renew yourself” he went on and said “because it pushes you to see yourself as a different person-the person you can become”.

Although Peter Ducker asked the question on personal level, it can mirror the values of business leaders in an organization. It is the personal reflection which drives CEO featured on undercover boss to tears or it is an emotional bust that happens on Ford Motor case study discussion. It reminds a business leader to account for practices or methods used in driving the organization.

A business leader cannot opaque away from accountability to employees, customers and the society. The accountability is part of a business leader opportunity to align company policies to a true reflection of renewed person and rejuvenated business with changes reflecting the legacy the business leader want to leave behind. It is a moral responsibility enlightened from within to fulfill a higher call than maximizing profit.

The business under the eyes of Law is created as an individual entity which has legal separation from the owners and officers of the company. A business is shell created by human and controlled by human beings through policies in place and therefore a business moral sentinel is driven by the business leaders.

The theory for profit maximization propagated by finance professionals is likely to elude the business accountability to the society. Peter Ducker thought, “Financial people believe businesses make money.” In reality, businesses make products for customers. Money is a result earned by products delivering value that customers are willing to purchase.”  Peter Ducker also thought that all organizations must consider their priorities by insisting” What results are we expecting? What are we trying to accomplish? Why are we here?  This occasions business leaders to create a purpose which elicit the dedication of people. It is a way to drive organization to fulfill mission statements and values set for long term goals rather than focusing on short term goals driven by the need to maximize profit.

If a business leader follows Peter Ducker definition of business then he/she has the opportunity for eliciting the accountability to the society, to the employees and to the customers. A question of what is a business? , a usual answer that the purpose of organizations is to create profit – Peter Ducker thought “is not only force, but it is totally irrelevant”. Business purpose should be found outside the organization itself and should be found in a society since business is created with the main goal of fulfilling needs of the society. “There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer.” A more traditional financial emphasis according to Peter Ducker “a business adds value and creates wealth” Using Peter Duckers Insight then a business leader should not be enslaved to the theory of profit maximization, but ought to look outside the company to formulate objectives which meet the business sole resolve to serve the society and create wealth in the long run.

“Business is a vocation, and a noble vocation, provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life; this will enable them truly to serve the common good by striving to in­crease the goods of this world and to make them more accessible to all.” …..Pope Francis on the proclamation of the gospel in today’s world. These words can be extended to the management philosophy of walking beyond profit maximization in expenses of the society.


Obama has challenged the business leaders across the board to increase the minimum wage as part of the moral responsibility to support families who work for them. In the essence of finding what do you want to be remembered for, it appears that Peter Ducker a management guru emphasized on business responsibility to the society, an echo echoed by a spiritual leader and political leader. It is then possible to see that an organization can attain its goals by meeting the main purpose which according to Peter Ducker “There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer.” In addition business is a noble vocation to serve the society.

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