Finally Written And Submitted My Peter Drucker Competition Essay

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Today, I dedicated time to writing the over 1,500 words essay for the Peter Drucker Challenge. It is a very management strategy focused essay competition. You can find out more about it at 

This year's theme was on human prosperity in a changing world. I ended up giving my essay that very title. Below is the topic context one is expected to draw insight from:

Prosperity is not just a financial notion — inclusive prosperity encompasses the opportunity for lives in dignity, with purpose and roles to contribute to common endeavors in the communities one is part of. It is definitely more than material well-being. A holistic view of prosperity includes all — the material and economic aspects as well the social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual side.

The biggest natural resource on the planet is human potential — human energy, engagement and creativity. Only a fraction of this potential is brought to bear today. However, if better leveraged, this latent potential would be the key driver for economic and human growth.

And the actual questions the essay should address are:

What holds people back in today's organizations and institutions to realize their potential? What are the obstacles that you see in your environment?

What is the role of management to free up human potential? Give examples of management actions that have made a difference in your life.

Can digital technology (in particular automation and Al) spawn prosperity as opposed to eliminate jobs? Give concrete examples

What is your perspective on how technology can enable people to co-create solutions that are good for their communities, the economy and the world?

I wrote about how the new norm is to keep learning and adjusting to changes. I gave personal stories about how my first two jobs, in big multi-nationals, gave me very rigid job roles and wouldn't allow me do anything outside of my assigned narrow job role. Then I got an interesting offer in a smaller company but with much more flexible job role. I was allowed to negotiate my actual job tasks and further allowed take on new responsibilities every few months. And that such flexibility is the new norm. Not just because there are people like me who want and would demand such but because the rate of change in the corporate world makes it impossible for one to survive with just one main job skill.

Technology is changing everything and faster than it used to be. Before now, people could get away with doing one narrow job role throughout their career but it is getting very difficult to stick too long with one main skill competence as the risk of being obsolete is much higher. People and organizations should learn to adapt fast to changes, especially the ones driven by technology. 

I gave a lot of historical illustrations and explained that I don't think that technology destroys more jobs than it creates. That for every horse rider the invention of car displaced, it created a mechanic, a vulcanizer, a car driver and an annoying LASTMA official. That technology only retools and not eliminate the very needs each job type satisfies. The typewriter operator became a computer operator. Her tool changed but the very need to have well typed documents didn't evaporate. And though technology enables us get more from fewer people so we now require fewer computer operator for creating the same amount of printed documents, yet the added job roles like printer guy, network guy, software guy and power guy more than offsets the decreased number of typists.

Anyway, so as not to get penalized, I have to stop telling you what I wrote in the essay. I only hope I make it to the selected top 10. If you are interested and can make time today to write, there is still a full day before submission deadline.


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