Contact me at bala@balaramadurai.net.

My Books

I have written a few books on various topics.

My Podcasts

I have recorded a few podcasts on topics that I am very happy to talk about.

Design Thinking

The learners get under the skin of the user/customer and solve problems for them. The approach is based on an age old theory (more than 2000 years old) postulated by Lord Buddha. The learners learn thinking tools from the design world, the TRIZ/ARIZ world, Indian arts, metaphors and the patent database. Finally, they utilize some tools from six thinking hats and Mr. David Snowden. They learn the course interactively through silence, videos, stories, inane jokes and interesting assignments.

Creativity and Innovation

This workshop module uses the ARIZ/TRIZ thinking methodology (You could say that this course is an offspring of the design thinking course). The learners bring in problems that they have been working on and I guide them to use ARIZ/TRIZ in detail. The learner brings in problems that they have already understood and are fairly certain about the problem to solve using the concepts in the course.

Technology Forecasting

If design thinking is for the NOW, technology forecasting is design thinking for the future. The learner uses a methodology called FORMAT - http://handbook.format-project.eu, a result of a European Union funded (~$3 million) project. The learner hones their skill to think of a future timeframe of more than 10 years. They will consider the potential of the current technology, but also the alternatives and how strong or weak is their technology of interest in comparison to the alternatives. Imagination, intuition, analytics and data crunching go hand in hand in this course. The predictions from the forecasting exercise are not as important as the questions of forecast posed (first stage of the FORMAT methodology).

Executive Coaching

“How does one execute a large innovation project within my company? Do I get personally involved or delegate? Am I listening or telling? I am doing my best, what more can I do?” If these are questions that keep coming to your head (and you happen to be the head of a company or department), you have reached the right place. One on one coaching can work wonders in clearing out the fog around some of the issues you may be facing in your workplace.

Intrapreneurship - A workout

Intrapreneurship is a conundrum of sorts, since it is making an entrepreneur out of an employee taking the risks of an entrepreneur with the friendly resources of a company. How did Mindtree achieve this in 2008-9? I introduce the participants to the company profile. I excite them with the remarkable history of a very different kind of company. How and why did they launch 550? Why is 550 a very different sort of program? How did the program bring out innovation and the creative entrepreneurial spirit of the company? The learners assume the role of innovation managers of companies of their choice to design and present an intrapreneurship program.

Client Speak

I have worked with many clients and I always like to hear that they come out from the collaboration happy and satisfied. Have a look at what the clients said about my work.

Updates (News and Blog)

I write occasionally about a few things that are dear to me - writing about life, teaching tools and techniques, and learning about technology. I plan to write more about health and writing in general as well. Stay tuned. Please do subscribe to my blog if you like what you read.

Podcast Enterprise: S1E10: Dagger in the mind

on 2023-01-25

Space, the final frontier. These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise. Its only mission: to explore story structures, to analyze our favorite characters and plotlines, to boldly talk what everyone has seen before

We will analyze all episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series or TOS for short using the following guiding structure:

  1. Synopsis or summary of the episode
  2. Story structure
  3. Character analysis
  4. Our likes and dislikes

The synopsis:

When this episode opens you find that the USS Enterprise is doing a cargo drop to the Tantalus - penal colony on the planet, Tantalus - V.

So they beam down certain supplies to them. And while they’re doing so, a certain fugitive comes aboard the Enterprise. And this fugitive, from at first glance you get the impression that he’s a little crazy or a little insane. He’s not quite there. He seems very violent. And he’s also very cunning.

While this fugitive is aboard the Enterprise, you come to know that the Tantalus penal colony is run by this rather legendary doctor Tristan Adams. He takes these inmates in and he manages to reform them with spectacular results. And everybody is in awe of him. Even Captain Kirk is in awe of him. He’s quite legendary. He’s got this huge set of accomplishments.

And while people are talking about him and this colony, however, they capture this fugitive and they find that his name is Simon van Gelder. And apparently he is an assistant to Dr. Tristan Adams. And it appears that something is not quite right because Simon van Gelder wants to say something. He’s not able to say something. Sometimes, he’s coherent. Sometimes, he isn’t and Dr. McCoy feels that there is something to his insanity and he has to be kept sedated.

And as time goes by Captain Kirk and a certain psychiatrist from the Enterprise with whom he has some sort of history, Dr. Helen Noel. They beam down to Tantalus five and there they find that Tristan Adams has developed something called a Neural Neutralizer and the inmates or the inhabitants of this world, they’re strangely lifeless and almost zombie-like.

And eventually it comes to pass that the neural neutralizer is being used to erase their memories, erase their thought processes and then implant new ideas into their head.

And then Kirk discovers this. He becomes a prisoner of the crazed Dr. Tristan Adams, and then he has to fight his way out of there.

That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for listening to the Podcast Enterprise. Please do share your reviews with us and please share this podcast with any of your writing friends or trekkies. Live long and prosper!

Stay tuned in for our next episode! Enjoy!

Continue reading

How to incorporate handwritten notes into Emacs Orgmode

on 2023-01-18

This is the video I made for the Emacs conference 2022 on my own experiences with trying to include handwritten notes in to my workflow. Special thanks to the organizers of the Emacs conference for giving me the opportunity to present my experiences with a really old, but rock solid and awesome software. As they say, I wish Emacs had a text editor too! Abstract of my talk:

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Podcast Enterprise: S1E09: Miri

on 2023-01-11

Space, the final frontier. These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise. Its only mission: to explore story structures, to analyze our favorite characters and plotlines, to boldly talk what everyone has seen before

We will analyze all episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series or TOS for short using the following guiding structure:

  1. Synopsis or summary of the episode
  2. Story structure
  3. Character analysis
  4. Our likes and dislikes

The synopsis:

In this episode, we find the Enterprise responding to an earth like SOS coming in from deep space. And when they follow that signal, they find the planet that is an exact copy of the earth. At least it looks exactly like the earth. The topography is the same, same mass, same circumference.

Everything is the same. That puzzles them, and so Captain Kirk and a small crew decide to go down onto this planet and they find that it is virtually deserted. The architecture seems archaic. There are no people and they come across this strange tricycle there. And when they try to interact with it, they’re attacked by a peculiar and deformed creature that seems to be off its head. It’s mad. It’s crazy. It’s screaming and it goes into seizures and it dies. So further investigation also reveals a little girl and that girl’s name’s Miri. She leads him to a lab. She tells him about the planet. And apparently what happened here is that a pandemic has run rampant.

It has killed all the adults. And at the same time, it has kept the children alive for more than 300 years. This pandemic, because it affects the adults, it makes its way to Kirk and the crew. All of them find themselves with strange scabs and purple splotches on their skin. They have to develop a vaccine in a hurry.

And while they’re doing this, the rest of the children on this world, in this area at least decide to attack the crew, take away their communicators because these children have the memory of the adults going berserk. After that eventually, it comes down that they must have a confrontation with these children.

They must talk to them, tell them about this disease, how it spreads. They’re allowed to leave this planet with the team, looking after the children who I assume they are vaccinated so that they don’t catch the disease.

That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for listening to the Podcast Enterprise. Please do share your reviews with us and please share this podcast with any of your writing friends or trekkies. Live long and prosper!

Stay tuned in for our next episode! Enjoy!

Continue reading

Podcast Enterprise: S1E08: What are little girls made of

on 2022-12-21

Space, the final frontier. These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise. Its only mission: to explore story structures, to analyze our favorite characters and plotlines, to boldly talk what everyone has seen before

We will analyze all episodes of Star Trek: The Original Series or TOS for short using the following guiding structure:

  1. Synopsis or summary of the episode
  2. Story structure
  3. Character analysis
  4. Our likes and dislikes

The synopsis:

What are little girls made of, when the episode opens, you find that the USS Enterprise is nearing a planet called XO three, and they’re looking for a certain Dr. Roger Korby. He’s a prominent scientist who’s left large legacy of work, and he has been missing for the past five years.

He’s also the fiance of nurse Christine Chapel of the Enterprise. When the Enterprise establishes contact with this planet, they find that Roger Korby is alive and he learns that Nurse Chapel is on board the Enterprise and he wants her to go down to the planet along with Captain Kirk.

This planet is a very strange place because it’s cold, it’s icy, and there are the remnants of this ancient civilization underground. And so when Kirk and Nurse Chapel arrive there, they find themselves underground and very quickly things go wrong. They meet an old acquaintance of Korby, who is acting very strange.

They lose security guards to chasms and a strange Frankensteinian monster type creature. They also find a new character called Andrea, who’s extremely attractive. Nurse Chapel starts feeling a bit of jealousy towards her. Eventually it is revealed that these are the only inhabitants of this planet.

There are only three of them, still alive, apparently. As time goes on you find that Korby is obsessed. He’s maniacal, he’s a little bit crazy. He’s in a search for perfection and there are a lot of Androids involved.

That brings us to the end of this episode. Thank you for listening to the Podcast Enterprise. Please do share your reviews with us and please share this podcast with any of your writing friends or trekkies. Live long and prosper!

Stay tuned in for our next episode! Enjoy!

Continue reading