もしドラ: P.F. Drucker's "Management"

The other day I was talking to Masamuneさん about management - not necessarily management of a business, but of oneself. How do you manage your time and goals? How productive are you? It was a particularly relevant discussion because I had just erected another plan for my Japanese Study, my Diet, and my Exercise routines. For each of these I had numerous plans-of-action drawn up, all of which were viciously and savagely beat about the face and other sensitive areas by a tag team of Procrastination and Lassitude. I am a 計画倒れ - someone who makes plans but doesn't follow through with them. Half the time I never even start due to 先延ばし (procrastination).

Masamuneさん brought up the topic of management because he's recently been reading a book called 『マネジメント』. "Management" is written by P.F. Drucker - the "creator and inventor of modern management"  - who worked with the likes of both major companies such as Coca-Cola, and (when he got sick of seeing executives rake in the bucks while they laid-off their workers) non-profits such as The American Red Cross. If you'd like to know a bit more about his life and impact on management, check out this article at Bloomberg Businessweek, which was published shortly after his death. For more about his life, try this biography.

Drucker created a presence far outside the United States, of which the Vienna-born management consultant was a naturalized citizen; he became quite popular in Japan, receiving honors from the government, working with Japanese companies, and even co-authoring a book on Japanese art. Many of his books on management, business, 'social ecology', etc were translated into Japanese . 『マネジメント』 was published in Japanese back in 1974, and periodically republished since then, but the big Drucker Boom hit just recently. Why, do you ask?

Why, because it was referenced in a 2009 novel by a former super-popular-girl-group AKB48 assistant producer, Natsumi Iwasaki, which subsequently became a NHK anime series in March, and then a movie in June, of course!

Titled 「もし高校野球の女子マネージャーがドラッカーの『マネジメント』を読んだら」 ("What if a high school baseball club's girl manager read 'Management' by Drucker?") or もしドラ, for short, the anime featured the voice-talent of AKB48 members: Youko Hikasa, who voices protagonist Minami Kawashima and Sayaka Nakaya, voice actress for the character Ayano Houjou (younger friend of protagonist). The movie also has AKB48 members, Atsuko Maeda as Minami, and Minami Minegishi, as Ayano.

Now, maybe it's just me, but when I see a movie with girl/boy band members in it, I with my personal bias automatically think "this movie is fan service for teenage girls (and possibly some older dudes, not judging or anything) so I'm probably not interested." You can't really say that just because popular singers are in it, it won't be something high-quality or enjoyable or well-acted, though, and I don't know much about AKB48 outside of 会いたかった so I'll give it a chance when I get around to watching the movie.

Related to the quality of the story and returning to the management bit: on IT Media I found an interesting article in Japanese about the book by 増岡直二郎 (Masaoka Naojirou), published last year before the anime and movie came out. Here's an excerpt in its natural Japanese:
  1. 主人公「川島みなみ」が、ドラッカーの説く「マネージャーの資質は一つだけ、才能ではない、真摯さだ」いう部分を読んで、最後の最後まで「真摯さとは何か」を考え続ける。世に、そこまで考え抜くことをする経営者はどれほどいるだろうか
  2. みなみは迷うと、『マネジメント』に帰るという信念を持つに到る。そこまで忠実に原点に帰って、己を反省し、解決策を探ろうとする経営者は、これまたどれほどいるか
  3. そして、実はドラッカーの著書『マネジメント』は、内容を充分解釈して実行することを念頭に置くと、理解することは必ずしもやさしくはない
そして、マネジメントの役割として3点を挙げている。1つは組織に特有の目的とミッションを果たすこと、2つに仕事を生産的にし、成果を挙げさせ ること、3つに社会的責任を全うすることである。さらに企業の目的を顧客の創造だとし、その目的を達成するための機能として、マーケティングとイノベー ションを挙げる。マーケティングとは顧客からスタートすること、イノベーションとは新しい満足を生み出すことである、とする。


I'll put up a translation and add a bit more about what I learned from Masamuneさん about Drucker tomorrow.

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