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Drew Neisser, Renegade Marketing

Dean Schroeder
Schroeder: "Good management is more than art and science. It brings together everything we know."

One book: Webster?s Dictionary. There?s a lot of power in the right words.

One newspaper: The Wall Street Journal. It keeps me up on things that other papers often miss.

One Web site: Google. It puts the world on my desktop.

One gadget: My PDA. It holds a lot of essential information.

One plane ticket: London. The world somehow seems to intersect there.

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(CNN) -- Global Office talks to the co-authors of "Ideas of Free." For Alan Robinson, click here.

Global Office: What are you reading?

Dean Schroeder: "Seeing What's Next: Using the Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change" by Clayton M. Christensen, et al. Innovation is a primary force of change in the world. Christensen, author of "The Innovator's Dilemma", is a refreshingly insightful observer of the technology drivers of market shifts.

GO: Who's been your biggest influence?

DS: Three people come to mind. My father, Melvin Schroeder, was my primary influence. He always showed faith in me and taught me the values that continue to guide me. Dr. Albert Wickesberg, one of my doctoral professors at the University of Minnesota, introduced me to the great management thinkers and taught me the timelessness of true management wisdom. And Peter Drucker, who, of all the management gurus, offers consistently sound insight and advice that never fades with the current fad.

GO: What's your biggest mistake?

DS: One that haunts me goes back to my days as a 27-year-old plant manager in northern Minnesota. Young and eager, the workers were intent on earning the trust and respect I showed them. Yet a few months after I started, some of our tools began to disappear. While I had a good idea who was taking them, I didn't have proof. I also didn't want to send the wrong message to the rest of the crew by locking up the tools. One day, however, we lost over a half hour of production time because some important tools were gone. I chewed out the entire team about the missing tools, with each member feeling like I was accusing him. It took several months to repair the damage and get back the positive spirit.

GO: Is management an art or a science?

DS: Good management is more than art and science. It brings together everything we know. It's our instinct and our experience. It's our values and our creativity. It's how we get things done. And when it comes together correctly, it's magical!

GO: What do you reach for on your desk when the fire alarm goes off?

DS: The gifts from my eldest daughter, Lexie, who's a talented artist. While I could replace most everything else, I could never replace the wonderful artwork that she's given me.

Curriculum Vitae

  • Author, academic, consultant, and speaker
  • Co-author of "Ideas Are Free: How the Idea Revolution Is Liberating People and Transforming Organizations" with Alan Robinson
  • B.S. in Engineering from the University of Minnesota, MBA from the University of Montana, and Ph.D. in Strategic Management from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota
  • Consultant to companies on five continents in the areas of strategic management, organizational transformation, and managing technology and ideas

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