ZOFF, a maker of cheap, chic glasses in Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku district, is hardly a place you would expect to find dedicated followers of management theory. But one day its boss, 38-year-old Takeshi Ueno, came into a staff meeting waving a book about baseball with the picture of a gamine schoolgirl on the cover. It had the clunky title: “What if the Female Manager of a High-School Baseball Team read Drucker’s ‘Management’”. Mr Ueno told his staff to read it. Satoko Osanai, his sales manager, did.

佐芙(ZOFF),一家平价的时尚眼镜连锁店,座落于东京的原宿区(Harajuku),这个你几乎想象不到会有管理学爱好者出没的地方。有一天它的老板,38岁的上野武(Takeshi Ueno),举着一本关于棒球的书来参加员工会议,书的封面上还画着大眼睛的高中女生。它还有一个冗长的标题:“如果高中棒球队的女助理读了德鲁克的《管理》”。上野先生推荐他的员工要阅读此书。而他的销售经理小佐智子(Satoko Osanai),已经读过了。

Like many young businesswomen across Japan this year, Ms Osanai became an instant fan—not of baseball, but of the late management guru, Peter Drucker. After reading the book, she says, she started treating colleagues and customers differently. As news of the novel travelled from office to café to home, its sales topped 1m. According to the publisher, the cutesy manga cover was aimed more at attracting salarymen than women. Yet almost half of the buyers have been female. What’s more, sales for Drucker’s original works, such as “Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices”, published in 1973, have soared. Some 300,000 copies of the book have sold in the past six months, compared with 100,000 copies in the previous 26 years.

小佐跟日本许多年轻的职业女性一样,都热衷于此,不是对棒球,而是对已故的管理大师彼得·德鲁克。她说,读完这本书,她对待同事和客户时开始有所改变。这本流传与大街小巷的小说,销量已超过100万册。据出版商透露,娇媚的漫画封面本来是为了吸引更多的职业男性而不是女性。然而,几乎有一半的买家是女性。而且,德鲁克的原著,如1973年出版的《管理:任务,责任,实践》,销量也飙升。在过去6个月售出约30万册,而之前的26年总共才卖出了10万册。

The unlikely catalyst for this cultish enthusiasm is a fictional teenager called Minami. Like many high-school girls in Japan, she becomes the gofer for the baseball team’s male coach. Unlike many of her compatriots, she is the kind of girl, as the book says, who leaps before she looks. Horrified by the team’s lack of ambition, she sets it the goal of reaching the high-school championships. She stumbles upon Drucker’s 1973 book, and it helps her turn the rabble into a team.

更不可思议的是,这股狂热的催化剂竟然是一个小说中的少女,她叫南(Minami)。像许多高中的日本女生一样,她是棒球队教练的女助理。如书中描述,南和其她助理不同,她是那种有远见的女孩。球队的涣散使她大为震惊,为此她定下了争夺高中冠军的目标。她偶然发现了德鲁克的1973年的著作,这本书帮助她带领球队脱胎换骨。

Drucker’s advice to focus on clear and measurable goals has resonated deeply in a country where the most common management injunction is gambare, which loosely (and unhelpfully) means “push yourself”. Drucker, who loved Japan as much as he was confounded by it, would have been thrilled. A year before his death in 2005, he gave prophetic warning that Japanese firms might soon be overtaken by rivals from South Korea, China and India. He urged them to brace for competition by working out what they were good at, what they should not do and what their values were.更多信息请访问:http://www.24en.com/

德鲁克建议,要执着于明确并可量化的目标,在这个国家产生了深深的共鸣,管理学中最常犯的错误就是一直(徒劳的)干巴雷(gambare,给自己喊加油)。看到这些,既喜欢日本又搞不明白日本的德鲁克,可能会激出一身冷汗。在2005年去世的前一年,他曾预警说,日本公司可能很快会被来自韩国,中国和印度的对手超越。他敦促日本人要为竞争做好准备,你们擅长什么,你们要回避什么,还有你们的价值观是什么。

Not much of his advice has been heeded. Though some young outfits such as Zoff are razor-sharp, others remain corporate octopuses squeezing the life out of Japanese business. Women remain an underused asset: only 61% of them work, their average income is less than half that of men and they occupy barely 1% of boardroom seats. If Drucker, with the help of a headstrong teenager, can posthumously change that, it would be his greatest gift to Japan.

他的意见没有得到很大的重视。虽然有一些像佐芙一样敏锐的年轻一代,其他人仍然如章鱼般穿梭在商业企业当中。妇女仍然是未被充分利用的资产:只有61%拥有工作,她们的平均收入低于男性的一半,领导阶层的人数,她们在还占不到1%。如果德鲁克,能够在一名任性小女孩的帮助下,用生前的遗作改变现状,那将是他给予给日本的最大礼物。