As he looked for ways to grapple with the demands of an increasingly complex world, Peter Drucker found clues in an unlikely place: Japanese art.

"The Japanese paintings are dominated by empty space," Drucker observed of one collection, made up largely of 15th-century landscapes and 19th-century sketches of monks and deities. "It is not only that so much of the canvas is empty. The empty space organizes the painting."

The same, of course, holds true for ourselves and our enterprises: It's the creation of empty space—moments when we shut off all outside distractions and give ourselves the opportunity to really think—that can determine whether we're organized effectively, especially in an era when an onslaught of data and information threatens to overwhelm us all.

This November, as hundreds of executives and scholars gather in Vienna at the fifth annual Peter Drucker Global Forum to wrestle with the theme “Managing Complexity,” Drucker’s insight is sure to prove particularly powerful. But so is his multidisciplinary approach.


What can managers learn from artists and scientists,
who are continuously challenged with regard to inspiration and imagination?

How can we “free up” the creative potential within organizations?

How can we best stimulate creativity and innovation? What are the inhibitors in most organizations—and how can we best surmount them?

How can we ensure that the high level of creativity that has been observed among pre-school students get protected and preserved throughout all the years of their education, and into their careers?

How can our overwhelming flows of information (up to the level of Big Data) coexist with creative thinking?

Are machines taking over creativity?

How can we make cities the hotspots of creativity?

How do you see the balance between creativity and empirical analysis in solving complex problems?

Is management an art or science? Why?

What work of literature or fine art holds the greatest management lessons?

Winners of the Drucker Challenge Essay Award 2013

Students Category

1. Andrew Schwartz (US)
"How to Innovate Fearlessly"


2. Sarah Maria Meisenberger (AT)
"The Art of Management – a Science"


3. Radoslav Dragov (BG)
"The Art and Science of Innovation"


Places 4th to 10th

4. Jose Romano Mira (PH)"Setting the Stage for the Future: What Managers Can Learn from Theatre Directors" Download Essay
5. Darlington K. Wiredu (GH)"The Psychology of Business Innovation – Thinking like an Artists, Acting like a Scientist" Download Essay
6. Tobias Lukowitz (DE)"Jazzifying Management" Download Essay
7. Uzoma Ukah (UK)"The Fusion of Arts and Science: An Innovator`s Guide to Workplace Harmony" Download Essay
8. Linn Marie Kolbe (NL)"Systematic imagination: what organizations can learn from fiction writing about innovation" Download Essay
9. Joshua Lee Henry (US)"Leadership Lessons from the Stories of Shakespeare, Steinbeck, and Shaw: What Fiction can teach Executives about Effectiveness Download Essay
10. Mainak Sankar Maiti (IN)"The Devil and the Modern Manager Organizational lessons from the Inferno – first part of Dante’s Divine Comedy" Download Essay

Winners of the Drucker Challenge Essay Award 2013

Managers/Entrepreneurs Category

1. Tojin Eapen (IN)
"Empathy & Confrontation: Lessons for Innovators"



2. Prince Karakire Guma (UG)
"Revisiting the Phenomenon of Organizational Management: African Art, and Why it Matters"


3. Jessica Di Bella (DE)
"Artistic Freedom and the Shoal-Model of Intrapreneurship: Management Lessons in Innovation and Creativity drawn from Fine Arts"


Places 4th to 10th

4. Prem Kumar (US)“The best way to predict your future is to create it” - Lessons for Today’s Leaders from the Creative Writing Process Download Essay
5. K. Woodin Rodriguez (MX)"The Discipline of Theatre-Making: What Innovators and Entrepreneurs can learn from Actors and Theatre-Makers" Download Essay
6. Michael Smith (UK)"Art and management: beyond the brush" Download Essay
7. Yavnika Khanna (IN)"Applying Innovation Inspiration from Nature to Modern Management" Download Essay
8. Zofia Baranska (PO)„The Art and Science of Connecting the Dots“ Download Essay
9. Liviu Nedelescu (US)"Post-causality: a Quiet Global Revolution in the Making" Download Essay
10. Shrey Goyal (IN)"Manager, Meet Maslow" Download Essay

Our Judging Panel includes

Lynda Gratton (UK) (Head)
London Business School,
Founder of Hotspots Movement

Liz Edersheim (US)
Creator of ThEME,
Author "The Definite Drucker"

Deepa Prahalad (US)
Author "Predictable Magic"
and Business Strategist