Learning, highlights and experiences from GLOBAL PETER DRUCKER FORUM 2014 in Vienna, Austria

Learning, highlights and experiences from GLOBAL PETER DRUCKER FORUM 2014 in Vienna, Austria

I have been a follower of Peter Drucker’s teachings, practices and theories in modern management even before I got my degree in management. So it was obvious that the moment I read the words “Peter Drucker Global Challenge 2014”, I immediately started penning down my work and my companies case studies in the field of marketing management in a narrative format to get an opportunity to be a part of this amazing global Drucker challenge.

Peter Drucker Global Challenge 2014

Peter Drucker Global Challenge 2014

Global Peter Drucker Forum 2014 The great transformation managing our way to prosperity

Global Peter Drucker Forum 2014

It was wonderful when I was informed that I had won the First place among Managers / Entrepreneurs category in this year’s Peter Drucker Global Challenge among 140 submissions from across 36 countries.

What was even more exciting was that the Drucker Forum had invited me for a complete all expenses paid trip to Vienna, Austria to receive the award and also to be a part of this GLOBAL event – Peter Drucker Global Forum 2014 that was to host some of the world’s most elite panels to discuss on this year’s theme of the event – “The Great Transformation-Managing our way to prosperity.”

I reached Vienna, Austria on 12th November 2014 for the wonderful meeting that they had arranged for winners around the globe to get to know each other better before the start of this global forum the next day.

We (Drucker Challenge 2014 Winners) met at the House of Industry (Industriellenvereinigung), Vienna, Austria at 4:30 pm for the Speaker’s cocktail reception.

House of Industry (Industriellenvereinigung) vienna austria Global Peter Drucker Forum 2014

House of Industry (Industriellenvereinigung)

We had a wonderful time interacting with each other as we met professionals and students from across the globe coming with a single focus and idea in mind – to be a part of this global event experience and learn in the process.

After a wonderful meet-up, all of us headed to the Speaker’s cocktail reception where Mr.Richard Straub took charge of the evening by making a wonderful introductory speech and thanking all the participants and the speakers for the coming days at Global Peter Drucker Forum 2014 (GPDF14).

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My most memorable part of this evening was meeting Mr.Richard Straub, Ms.Cecily Drucker and Ms.Deepa Prahalad.

Of course, meeting and engaging into conversations with every other speaker for a minute or two in the room was inspiring on its own too. This was truly an evening to remember and it had given us a glimpse of the amazing learning that we had ahead of us in the coming two days.

Day 2 – November 13, 2014


We all met at the spectacular venue in the Jesuit Hall at ‘Aula der Wissenschaften’ which was glorious on its own.

That coupled with the life –size poster of the iconic Mr.Peter Drucker himself at the entrance was a symbolism of the greatness and influence the Father of Modern Management had across millions of lives around the globe.

The session started at 9:00 am with the Welcome Address by President Richard Straub, Lawrence Crosby, Cecily Drucker and Adi Ignatius.

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This session was followed by the next Plenary which was about “Have we reached a Turning point?” Keynotes on the Capitalist’s dilemmas by Clayton Christensen, Hacking Management by Gary Hamel and on the Talent and the Future of Democratic Capitalism by Roger L Martin.

We then had a coffee break which was a marvelous time to actually meet the speakers and exchange our queries, views with them based on the panel discussions.

The most humbling part was, these amazing industry leaders actually asking us, our view points and sharing their feedback and responses by even appreciating our queries on their field of expertise. For eg. I was standing and speaking to Ms.Gita Piramal and we were having a conversation about the event and our experiences. I could stand next to the iconic Steve Dennings, Gary Hamel, Adi Ignatius, Vineet Nayar, Dov Siedman, Martin Wolf, Peter Day, Gita Piramal, Deepa Prahalad, Andrew Keen, John Hagel III, Rick Goings, Cecily Drukcer and so many moreand yes, of course President Richard Straub and have a conversation and listen to their views about the industry, management, digital technology and economy…. I was speechless!

 This taught me an remarkable aspect about leaders and management, that the bigger you grow in any field, the humbler you need to be and most important was that to truly understand that learning comes from listening to everyone and that the learning curve never ends.

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We then attended the sessions from Laurent Choain, Rick Goings, Nancy Tennant and Vineet Nayar. Listening to each of their wisdom, viewpoints and experiences was like reading a book on management that was filled with decades of wisdom all at once. Mr.Vineet’s philanthropy work on SAMPARK FOUNDATION was truly inspiring and moving. What was amazing was that, he himself came and spoke to me and let me tell you, I was touched by his simplicity. I also shared with him about meeting him almost a decade ago but as fate would have it, it was in Vienna where I could listen to him speak and actually engage into a conversation face to face which although was just for a few minutes, but left me with ideas and thoughts for a lifetime.

This was followed by the Networking Lunch time that hosted a spectacular buffet filled with not only delicious food choices but also gave all of us a chance to take photographs and share our views with each of our iconic leaders who were more than glad to oblige to our curious minds and never ending queries.

We also had the “Meet the Authors and Book signing” during this time.

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The final three sessions after lunch was followed by discussions on:

“Creativity and Constraint: The Future of Corporate Management, Management and Market Failures, Inspirational Leadership in the Era of Behavior” by business and industry leaders such as Peter Day (BBC), Martin Wolf, Pankaj Ghemawat and Dov Seidman.

“Renewing Government-Mission impossible?” By Pierre Hessler, Adrian Wooldridge, Yves Doz

By far my most favorite session of this event was – “Digital Technology: An engine for Human and Economic Prosperity?” by Christian Stocker, John Hagell III, Didier Bonnet and Andrew Keen. In this session there were some really powerful insights, ideas, challenges posed by technology today across industries, economies etc and what could be foreseen in the coming years. There was a very interesting discussion about the threats from digital and its boon.

Here I am reminded of a quote from my dad (my inspiration) that he often shares with me when we discuss about the good and bad side of anything in life. He says, ‘A knife can do both, save life and take life. It depends on what we choose to do with it!’ That is so true, even with the world of digital, isn’t it?

At the end of this session, all of us then left for the evening Gala Dinner hosted at what I can only describe as a ‘palace in heaven’ that was to celebrate the award winners (including myself) for winning the Global Peter Drucker Challenge 2014.

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This was conducted at the Vienna City Hall that was sparkling with celebration and spoke of hosting monarchs and icons over the centuries.

Here, I was truly blessed and honored to have got the opportunity to be called on stage and enjoy the spotlight for those few moments as the First Place winner of Global Peter Drucker Challenge 2014 – Managers / Entrepreneurs category which this year saw 140 submissions from over 36 countries across the globe.

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This is by far the most memorable moment of my life till date, thanks to Peter Drucker Forum and Drucker Challenge.

It was all the more memorable to be receiving this award from industry icons like Mr.Rick Goings and Ms.Deepa Prahalad herself.



DAY 2 – November 14th 2014:

The welcome address was from Adi Ignatius followed by parallel sessions through the amazing Jesuit halls.

This day was yet another incredible and truly memorable day for me because I got an opportunity of a lifetime to stand on the same platform as Ms.Deepa Prahalad (I still can’t believe it) and even be a part of the panel discussion at the Pillared Hall area on – “Discoveries in a Digital Wonderland – Input from Drucker Challenge Winners.”


There were questions from Ms.Deepa Prahalad which myself and few of the other Drucker Challenge winners answered by sharing our experiences based on our professional experiences over the years.

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The panel session revolved around the impact of Digital technology in our lives and what we foresee in the coming years in terms of the impact it might have on us as individuals and society as a whole. We had some very interesting questions from the audiences after our first panel round wherein we shared our answers and views about the same.

I felt truly moved when, after this panel discussion round, I had quite a few audience members come up to me and share encouraging words about my views on technology and digital. The most unforgettable part of this evening without a doubt was when few of the members in the audience came up to me and said some very inspiring words about my work, my submission on the challenge and the views that I had shared about the TRANSFORMATION – Digital Technology and its impact on our lives as professionals and as a society. I came to know only a little bit later that, among these audiences who came and spoke to me after the panel, there were two individuals who were senior officials and government authorities from the City of Vienna. I was so moved when I saw and heard the humility with which they spoke to me. For professionals like us, who are merely at the beginning stage of our dreams, meeting such seniors and business leaders is an award in itself filled with learning’s for life.

I am again, thankful to Drucker Forum for showing a side of life that gave me a learning for lifetime.

After this session, I was invited to be a part of yet another experience which I could only believe when I really saw it happen. I know, it just keeps getting better and better doesn’t it?

I entered an interview room at Jesuit Hall area and in front of me was the Veteran Peter Day himself from BBC welcoming me with his signature smile. He interviewed me and few other challenge winners and asked us ‘the youth of today’ as he liked to call us, our opinions about what we see in the coming years in terms of economy, entrepreneurship, impact of technology into our lives, discussions about the global impact across industries and what we think would or should we do to make the change really happen.


The best part about this interview session with an icon like Peter Day was that we got to hear what each of those 5 participants in that room had to share and each one of us had a single vision, to make the change happen but the amazing part here was, each of us had a very different strategy and goal to make it happen.

I loved the energy and ideas shared by few of the participants and all in all it was an exciting interview with an amazing learning experience.

Peter Day then showed us what it meant to be a truly humble icon by kindly agreeing to make this furthermore memorable for all of us who were already in awe at that moment for sharing that stage with him. He let us take a Group-selfie with him. We just loved it.

Thanks PETER DAY for this wonderful experience and opportunity.

This was then followed by a video interview round of few of the Drucker Challenge winners.


We then headed to the brilliantly inspiring sessions by other eminent speakers at GPDF14 –

The complete list of all the sessions and speakers list here (Click here)

The evening ended with closing session and a complete recap of the two days.

Finally, President Richard Straub shared a THANK YOU note to everyone who attended GPDF14 and shared a glimpse of what we could expect from the GLOBAL PETER DRUCKER FORUM 2015.

Here are few highlights and few of my notes from the various industry and business leaders panels that I jotted down during this amazing GPDF14 event experience, live from Vienna, Austria at the Global Peter Drucker Forum 2014:

(To get the complete videos, pictures, blog posts and official event highlights – stay tuned with the PETER DRUCKER FORUM Website link here.)

You can view the complete set of PICTURE Gallery from the official website (these pictures are taken from the official website only) – You can view the complete detailed gallery of the GPDF14 event pictures here – PETER DRUCKER FORUM Website GALLERY – Click HERE

Pre-events and speakers reception, Day 1, Gala Dinner & Day 2- GPDF14

Photos by gerry rohrmoser

MY Notes and Highlights from GPDF14 various sessions and panels through the 2 days:

The Strategic Goals: Drucker Institute:

–          DRUCKER 21: Drucker into the 21st century

–          INVENT: Creative Economy

–          Customerific: Use analytics and technology to improve customer experience

–          Backyard: Be a strong voice in the leading industries – Especially in the Supply chain and health care)

HBR: What would PETER DRUCKER Say looking at this event and the current scenario of today?  – Well, he would say, “I TOLD YOU SO!”

–          Growth comes from Innovation

o   Markets – Creating innovation

o   Efficiency innovation – Frees cashflow and reduces jobs – Idea is to create a balance between both

o   Sustaining innovation

– Finance has given us metrics through which we can measure success

– How to build an organization that can change as fast as change itself. – THE true question to the GREAT TRANSFORMATION – GPDF14

– Dynamics that change managers to true LEADERS: Embrace change, innovation and give the power back to each of your resources (the knowledge worker).

– Leaders fail to write-off the toxic mindset at times that costs them the path to a greater success. Change has to be identified and then managed well with discipline.

– Do not end up fiddling into margins. Celebrate innovation in the real sense of the term.

– The 51st percentile family is stagnating. The infrastructure is underpinning democratic capitalism.

– Capital today has become abundant and cheap. Efficiently invest in our people to become better.

– Lots of jobs today are commodity jobs.

– Concepts and theories influence people to an extent at times that we find them to follow those as rules blindly.

– Demolish the notion that takes us along misleading guidelines by blindly following paths.

– Our readers are often resellers of the idea.

– Build a platform where people can collectively work together. This is true innovation and growth.

– Never has innovation been cheaper and easier than it is now.

– Develop an internal capacity to recreate your innovative low cost products and services.

– High performance teams and individuals do amazing things to do the impossible.

– Great idea, great leader and excellent innovation are the crux of growth today

– Globalized with personalized user experiences is what showcases truly the age of transformation.

– A leader or an entrepreneur’s role is not just to create companies but job opportunities that encourage and build true growth. Everyone wants to grow and leaders today need to make it possible.

– We need to question the fact today whether are managers at the mercy of the external forces?

– There is a difference between doing the next thing right and doing the next right thing.

– Business is about FREEDOM. No wonder its called the FREEMARKETS.

– An amazing example of 11 year old who fought and proved that yes, she truly is a future work leader.

– Today we are in the new era, in an era of BEHAVIOR!

– Do something and make money rather than do something to make money.

– Value based missions – Map their aspirations with their task, talent, skill and yes, integrity.

– We are in the business of “HUMANIZING BRANDS” across digital platforms.

– Moral crisis of capitalism – For eg, Watsapp acquisition – is it really worth  $19Bn?

– Today we are in the era of:



o   REMOTE FOLLOW-UPS with Colleagues

– Eg. LIVEOPPS – No call centers – 20K people working from homes. They took their inspiration from  a wildly popular online game – WORLD OF WARCRAFT. They created a business intelligence in a real-time dashboard format. They then created online discussion forums to help colleagues and co-workers to improve their performance. They also gave instant gratification to the employees who helped workers and peers to make the change and improve.

– Today, we are in a world where we are perpetually alone together

– Digital commodifies copies – eg. MUSIC industry – Music is physical.

– Consumers WIN today with DIGITAL – Brands and or artists don’t need labels anymore.

– Knowledge is not a fixed but an ever expanding asset.

– TOYOTA frontline with their assembly line operations – Solve the problem right then and there itself. Do not waste time in making reports and pushing the problems for tomorrow. Rather, point out the issues and get it resolved right then and there.

– If the job is to follow a process and not based on creativity or where it is essential to use human emotions, they will be replaced by technology as they can do it better and more efficiently. But the idea is to keep growing our knowledge.

There were so many insights and ideas through these two days of GLOBAL PETER DRUCKER FORUM 2014 (GPDF14) that profoundly influenced my thoughts and process of working and I am THANKFUL to DRUCKER FORUM for this wonderful experience and lifetime of learning opportunity.

Global Peter Drucker Forum. The learning is limitless!

 Have an amazing day ahead.


Ananth V

Founder & CEO
Techdivine Creative Services



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6 Responses to “Learning, highlights and experiences from GLOBAL PETER DRUCKER FORUM 2014 in Vienna, Austria”

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