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Useful Items to Pack for Your Trip

I write a lot.

From time to time I gather this writing into collections.  Examples of these include Drogan Notes: 2009.1 and Drogan Notes: Communications.

Useful Items to Pack for Your Trip (264 pages) is a set of notes covering a number of topics; ethics, critical thinking, communications, introspection, integrity, writing, vocations, relationships, and teams.  These notes are provoked by conversations with students or by ideas that come to me from time to time.  In either case the note is written first to help me think through the matter and secondly to communicate the results of this thinking to other interested people.

I am grateful to colleagues and students for provoking much of what is included here.

The notes emerge from experiences from a long career in business and higher education as well as general observations for how the world works. 

All collections are available at www.lulu.com.

Posted on Friday, April 22, 2016 at 06:06PM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

"It’s no accident that all the heavy hitters... 

...in this business [finance] are also really great writers."

"Of course, there is a lot of math behind the quant stuff, and the guys doing it are mathematical geniuses, but the best of them are also very sharp market folks, with a nose for when trades start to get crowded."

"Computers may be computers, but the people who program the computers are just human, and utterly fallible."

Jared Dillian in The 10th Man February 18, 2016

Posted on Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 09:49AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment


My courses are marked by a focus on discussions and an emphasis on teamwork to address projects.

Teams is intended to make clear to students my expectations regarding teams.

Posted on Sunday, February 14, 2016 at 11:56AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Do Star Scientists Impede New Ideas?

This from the HBR Daily Stat of February 8, 2016.

After a star scientist dies, their collaborators publish fewer articles in the star’s field; however, articles by noncollaborators increase by 8% on average, according to a study led by Pierre Azoulay at MIT Sloan School of Management. These additional contributions are disproportionately likely to be highly cited, and they are also more likely to be authored by scientists who were not previously active in the deceased star’s field. The results suggest that outsiders are reluctant to challenge leadership within a field when the star is alive. Turnover in leadership enables the injection of fresh ideas into the field — but only when those within are willing to support and accept new ideas.

I wonder whether this phenomena may apply more broadly.

Posted on Tuesday, February 9, 2016 at 07:09AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

The world no longer responds to thinking marked by...

...muliple choice, true/false, and short answers.  For higher education to expect this of its graduates is to do them a disservice.

I'm reminded here of a line attributed to the Nobel Laureate, Paul Samuelson; “There is no substitute for paying attention to the empirical facts of life, and no substitute for systematic reasoning about them.”

Posted on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at 11:14AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

The Outsize Influence of a Graph

Fron the HBR Daily Stat December 4, 2015.

When research participants were shown information about a new drug, ostensibly developed by a pharmaceutical company, those who saw a version containing both text and a corresponding chart were 23% more likely to rate the drug as effective than those who saw the text only. "One of the most striking things about our results is that the graphs were simple to understand, and added nothing beyond the information that was provided in writing," writes behavioral economist Aner Tal on HBR.org about this study and others like it. "In other words, graphs do not need to be impressively complicated, or even informative, to have a persuasive effect."

Posted on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 06:37AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

The Growing Value of Social Skills

From Irving Wladawsky-Berger:

He presents evidence that since 1980, social-skill intensive occupations have enjoyed most of the employment growth across the whole wage spectrum, and that employment and wage growth have been particularly strong in jobs that require both high cognitive and high social skills.

Read the entire blog post here.

Posted on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at 10:21AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

A Comment on Technology

Sacks had asked me whether I’d read Forster’s “The Machine Stops.” I hadn’t, but his letter prompted me to, and I see why he was so drawn to it. It’s about a world in which individuals live isolated in cells, fearful of self-reliance and direct experience, dependent on plate screens, instant messages, and the ministrations of an all-competent Machine. Yet there is also a boy who, like Sacks, saw what was missing. The boy tells his mother, “The Machine is much, but it is not everything. I see something like you in this plate, but I do not see you. I hear something like you through this telephone, but I do not hear you. That is why I want you to come. Pay me a visit, so that we can meet face to face, and talk about the hopes that are in my mind.”

Gawande, A. (2015, September 14). Postscript: Oliver Sacks. The New Yorker, 38–39.


Posted on Friday, September 11, 2015 at 04:53PM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

An Example of Big Data

First of all, read "The 7 things you need to know about how Donald Trump has hogged the presidential campaign conversation" from The Monkey Cage.

Second, think about how the capability discussed in this article could be of benefit in business.

Posted on Sunday, August 16, 2015 at 06:54AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

"The Times They Are A-Changin'" Bob Dylan

"But first, I’m going to reach out and ask for a little help. I have just signed an agreement with my publisher, Wiley, to do a new book called Investing in an Age of Transformation. I’ve been thinking about this book for many years, and it is finally time to write it. As my longtime readers know, I believe we are entering a period of increasingly profound change, much more transformative than we’ve seen in the past 50 years. And not just technologically but on numerous fronts. There are going to be substantial social implications as well. Imagine the entire 20th century fast-forwarded and packed into 20 years, and you will get some idea of the immensity of what we face.

Now think about investing in this unfolding era of change. Companies will spring up and disappear faster than ever. Corporations will move into and out of indexes at an increasingly rapid rate, making the whole experience of index investing – which constitutes the bulk of investing, not just for individuals but for pensions and large institutions – obsolete.

Just as we wouldn’t think of relying on the medical technology of the early 20th century, I’m convinced that we need a significantly new process for investing that doesn’t depend on the concept of indexing created deep in the last century. In an age of exponential change, being wrong in your investment style will no longer mean you simply underperform: you will not merely be wrong; you will be exponentially wrong.

Of course, the flipside is that if you get it right, you will be exponentially right. We will be exploring some new investing concepts in Thoughts from the Frontline as I write the book, since this letter is actually part of my thinking process. I’ve been spending a great deal of time lately exploring new ways of thinking about the markets, different ways to manage risk, and strategies to take advantage of overwhelming change.

This project will be significantly more complex than any book I’ve attempted so far. I’m looking for a few research interns or assistants to help me on various topics. Some topics are technological in nature, and some are investment-oriented. You can be young or old, retired or working in any number of fields; you just have to be passionate about thinking about the future and be able to spend time exploring a topic and going back and forth with me through shared notes and conversations. It’s a plus if you write well. If you are interested in exploring a topic or two, drop me a note at transformation@2000wave.com, along with a resume or a note about your background, plus your area of interest. Now let’s jump to the letter."  Mauldin, J. (2015, July 25). Europe: Running on Borrowed Time.

Posted on Sunday, July 26, 2015 at 01:01PM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment