“It is fashionable today to talk of a revolt against authority and to proclaim that everybody should ‘do his own thing.’…Our society has become, within an incredibly short fifty years, a society of institutions. It has become a pluralist society in which every major social task has been entrusted to large organizations–from producing economic goods and services to health care, from social security and welfare to education, from the search for new knowledge to the protection of the natural environment.
It is understandable that the sudden realization of this change in the crystal structure of society has evoked an angry response, ‘Down the organization!’ But it is the wrong response. The alternative to autonomous institutions that function and perform is not freedom. It is totalitarian tyranny.”
This was written 41 years ago by Peter Drucker in his book Management. The timelessness of passages like these, written by Drucker, always surprises me. The Effective Executive is as useful today as it was in 1967 – and as the passage above illustrates – we’re still debating many of the same topics as a society. It really is true that the more things change, the more they stay the same.