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What are the Top Five Most Important Lessons Learned in Business School?

The title of this post is a question on Quora.

The answers are interesting and provocative.  I encourage you to take a look.

Posted on Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 08:47AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

That warm, comfortable feeling is...

...the temperature at the center of the herd.

You're not far enough in front to make a difference.

Source unknown.

Posted on Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 05:25PM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

More Notes for the Freshman

In Thinking about Vocations I mention a note I have prepared for students in my freshan leadership course to encourage them to think about their future.

Additional notes include Writing Papers in Jim Drogan’s LEAD Course, a paper that discusses how to approach the development if quality papers, and Relationships, a paper that discussed the development of reelationships.

Posted on Sunday, July 20, 2014 at 01:40PM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Thinking about Vocations

I generally teach a leadership course to incoming freshman each fall and this fall is no different.  Thinking about Vocations is a brief note I've written that will, hopefully, prompt them to focus on the matter.

Posted on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 08:32AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Starts, Links, and Ends

This morning I was browsing Tyler Cowen's Marginal Revolution wherein he provided the following link.

6. Excellent profile of Ken Regan and his campaign against cheating in chess, by using computer programs to detect play which is too good.  But this is not merely a chess piece, think of it as a tour de force on the future of law enforcement, the role of Black Swans in life, the importance of social networks, and the different ways that humans organize information.

I followed the link for, I suspect, I found Cowen's use of chess in Average is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation very compelling.  I don't pretend to understand all that was in the linked article, but I was fascinated by the concluding paragraph.

In 2012, Regan lost an exhibition match to a Lego-built robot running the Houdini engine, equipped with an arm that moved the pieces on a real board and a camera that could interpret the position. The experience made an awesome impression on him. “Is technology going to be so ubiquitous that we’ll not be able to police it anymore?” [emphasis added] he asks while he, his wife, and I eat dinner at a local Thai restaurant. Regan slumps over his food, looking depressed about the need to even ask the question. “Houdini won using only six seconds per move,” he says. The exhibition reminds Regan that his calling has carved valuable time from his research and family. “He’s obsessed,” says his wife, who sits across the table. Then she adds, “But you’ve got to be obsessed to be good.” Regan ignores the flattery, his attention held by an emerging thought. Finally he springs forward in his chair, smiling. “By the way,” he says. “This project was run by a person whose mother and my mother share a best friend back in New Jersey.” 

I'm reminded of Omnius in Dune: The Butlerian Jihad.

Posted on Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 07:04AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

The Internet of Things Squared

In 2002 Dave Weinberger wrote Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web.  The conversation subsequently became one of "the internet of things."

Now comes Nanosatellites: Nanosats are Go! (2014, June 7). The Economist: "Small satellites: Taking advantage of smartphones and other consumer technologies, tiny satellites are changing the space business."

This may another one of those things that changes everything.

Posted on Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 06:15AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

Global Business

For some time I have been interested in the forces that shape the context in which global business must operate.  See The Context of Interest for early thinking.

During 2009-2011, in order to better understand these forces, I took a MA in Diplomacy from Norwich University.  Emerging out of that experience was a precursor to this image.

In a recent systems design and control class we took up the issue of the impact of geopolitics on a supply chain of China imposing duties on American-made cars and SUVs sold in China in late 2011.

This morning's New York Times brings an additional reminder of the strong influence of geopolitics on the global business context (Wong, E. (2014, June 1). American Businesses in China Feel Heat of a Cyberdispute. The New York Times).

The take-away from this is that success in global business increasingly requires a sophisticated sense of the externalities that shape the context.

I'm inclined to be sure my students adequately consider this matter when they resolve the issues I present to them.

Posted on Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 12:52PM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Team Assessment

The three of you expressed frustration and dissatisfaction with your team assessment.  I owe you a response.

For a long period of time I thought the capabilities of a person were best represented by their knowledge, skills, and experiences.  At least two years ago, and perhaps earlier, I began to appreciate the attitudes and behavior as important characteristics that round out a person’s capabilities.  I’ve known, and now know, plenty of people with great knowledge, skills, and experiences, but attitudes and behavior that render them detrimental to resolving an issue.  And I’ve known and know people with wonderful attitudes and behavior, but lacked and are lacking the knowledge, skills, and experiences required for success in a particular endeavor.

Team assessment measures the sum total of one’s capabilities in a particular situation.

Let me remind you what I had to say about assessment.

Special Note: It is tempting, inasmuch as this may possibly be your last activity in this course, to treat it lightly. Resist the temptation.

One of the most important responsibilities you will have during your career is the assessment of the performance of others. This assessment not only reflects upon the person assessed, but also on you, the assessor.

Suppose, for example, you assessed a person as extremely capable, but made the assessment in a rather casual, off-handed, quick fashion. The person is then, based largely on your assessment, hired and subsequently found not to live up to expectations. Your assessment has put the person in a difficult position, he has performed poorly, his subsequent career is affected. You are also affected because your judgment is called into question.

Take the time to think about your teammates' participation. Produce a fair assessment. Treat them as you would like to be treated.

It seems to me that whatever the nature of the assessment – favorable or unfavorable – one ought to think about why the assessment is the way it is.  Human beings tend to react more to negative rather than positive assessments.  I think we ought to look upon them similarly.  Kipling, in his great poem If talks about, “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster/And treat those two impostors just the same.”  My observation is that people often say nice things about you because they lack the courage and ability to tell you what they really think.  And, of course, in their pettiness,  desire for vengeance and inability to confront their own weaknesses, people often speak ill of others. 

The seminal question, therefore, is not so much the what, but the why.  Only you, as the assessed or otherwise interested party, can ask the question.  Only the assessor can answer.

Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 01:45PM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Summer Reading

Brynjolfsson, E. (2014). The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies (First Edition.). New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Cowen, T. (2013). Average is Over: Powering America Beyond the Age of the Great Stagnation. New York, New York: Dutton.

These books are about the world in which all of us may well exist.

Posted on Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 06:27AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Off the Grid Becomes Increasingly Difficult

From the MIT Technology Review comes Now Your Phone’s Tilt Sensor Can Identify You.

Tiny hardware imperfections in smartphone and tablet accelerometers lead to unique “fingerprints” within the data they produce, researchers find.

The sensor that lets your phone know which way the screen is oriented also—thanks to minute manufacturing variations—emits a unique data “fingerprint” that could allow your phone to be tracked, even if all other privacy settings are locked down, researchers say.

Posted on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 06:21AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment
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