Peter Drucker Management Advice: Re-examining Corporate Performance

June 28, 2018 Leah Hoffmann

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On June 21, Business Talent Group co-hosted a behind-the-scenes look at the Drucker Institute’s annual Management Top 250 list with Executive Director, Zach First. The list—based on Peter Drucker management principles and hailed as the first holistic corporate ranking—examines corporate performance through 37 indicators that fall under five areas of performance: customer satisfaction, employee engagement, innovation, social responsibility, and financial strength.

In the webinar, we took a closer look at the metrics behind the rankings, why they are important, and what companies can do to improve their score. Here are the top takeaways:

  • It pays to rank high on the list. When the Institute connected non-financial metrics to a company’s financial performance, they found that improving these intangibles generates a modest boost in financial performance within two years. In fact, the Institute is now working on an investment product that would enable them to further test and refine that hypothesis.
  • Happy customers = higher scores. Of the top 10 companies on the Drucker 250 list, 7 were tech companies. Yet it wasn’t their innovation scores that pushed them to the top of the list, but their customer satisfaction metrics. The average tech industry score for customer satisfaction was 56, compared to 50 for other industries.What does that mean for your company? Here’s what Zach First had to say: “As you begin to look at your own firm and say, how should we be benchmarking ourselves, what is it we should be managing toward, one lesson you can immediately take from this is maybe you want to spend some time not talking about all the great innovation work tech firms are doing that you want to catch up with, and start talking about all the great customer satisfaction work that you’d like to catch up with.”
  • Community is important, too. So how can you improve your customer satisfaction score? By boosting your social responsibility score, which turned out to drive 66% of customer satisfaction scores across industries. “When companies know what a company stands for and why they’re doing business, that improves their sense of satisfaction,” said First.In other words, tech firms are most effective not mainly because they’re innovative, but because they effectively combine social responsibility, employee engagement, and innovation to drive exceptional customer satisfaction and above-average financial strength.
  • There’s room for improvement. Only 58% of the webinar attendees, which included senior executives in financial service, life science, and consumer goods, said their companies included social responsibility initiatives in their strategic priorities. That suggests there’s a lot of untapped potential for improving enterprise performance.

Missed the webinar? Check out our on-demand recording.

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About the Author

Leah Hoffmann

Leah Hoffmann is a former journalist who has worked for and The Economist. She is passionate about clear thinking, sharp writing, and strong points of view.

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