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.

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.

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).

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: S2E10 Journey to Babel

on 2024-04-03

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 have the USS Enterprise orbiting the planet Vulcan. This is where Spock also grew up. they’re waiting for a Vulcan ambassador Sarek to board the Enterprise. There are already 114 delegates on board and this is to take them to a third planet.Where they want the United Federation of Planets to gather and decide whether they want to admit a planet called Coridan into the Federation.

Coridan is a planet with a lot of dilithium crystals, vital for space travel, and they have a lot of it giving them Federation membership will allow them to have protection, Keeping these di lithiums crystal safe.However, it also throws a wrench into the plans of smugglers.

Sarek the Vulcan boards the Enterprise. He has a human wife called Amanda, and it is revealed that he is actually Spock’s estranged father. His mother, Amanda is a sweet woman . However, she is having a bit of trouble dealing with Vulcan logic and emotionless behavior. Spock apparently joined Starfleet, which his father did not want him to do. His father wanted him to continue the tradition of remaining on Vulcan and focusing on Vulcan science instead Spock chose otherwise, and that is partly what has caused this estrangement.

And as the delegates are now all on the ship, they find that there is some sort of attack coming in from outside from a ship moving at warp 10, which means it is much too fast for the Enterprise to pursue or fire at it moves too quickly and none of the phases hit this particular ship. So as that is happening, You also have all the delegates come to the common room of the Enterprise and they’re having food and you find a lot of alien races there. One particular alien race, the Tellarites, two of them, the Tellarite ambassador approach the Vulcan Sarek and try to get into an altercation with him.Regarding the planet Coridan, it doesn’t work out that well. And you are also introduced to a rather martial and savage alien race called the Andorans. They are blue with antennas on their heads. They are also not particularly friendly. Now, as all of this is happening, you find that something is going wrong within the Enterprise, because it seems that there are signals coming from within the Enterprise that are communicating with that fast moving ship outside.And then, you have the tension between the delegates. And while all this is happening, Kirk finds that he’s stabbed by the Andoran.

There are two of them, the ambassador and his associate. The associate attacks Kirk and he’s injured. And then it also turns out that the Vulcan Sarek has something wrong with him.Basically there is something wrong with his cardiovascular system and he gets equivalents of heart attacks continuously. Now the only way to save him is for Spock to give blood to him. Captain Kirk has also been injured. There is some intrigue about the ship. They are being attacked by this outsider ship and Spock has to assume command.

He refuses to give a blood transfusion, which his father so desperately means because duty comes first. And he holds on to that belief, he holds on to that belief so strongly that he becomes unreasonable, holding Vulcan logic over everything else, and his mother is infuriated with him.And what happens is, now, if the Vulcan ambassador dies, it will be a problem. Also on a personal level for Spock, in spite of him pretending that it has no effect on him. Kirk decides to get up, go to the brig, and pretend that he’s okay so Spock relinquishes command and gives his father the blood transfusion he needs.The enemy ship pursuing them starts to attack, they have to play dead and try to disable the ship.

They find out that one of the Andorans, the one that had attacked Kirk, is actually not an Andoran.He’s some sort of an interloper or some sort of an impersonator. And the ship has been communicating with him the whole time. One of his antennas is fake. Maybe both of his antennas are fake.And there is a receiver in one of those antennas. They bring him to the brig for Kirk to deal with him. They find that he is part of a smuggling ring. Now the issue is how to stop that alien ship and bring some sort of peace so that Corridan can be admitted into the Federation peacefully.Kirk decides to have the Enterprise play dead so that the smuggler ship slows down, which it does, and then they fire at it and disable it.

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!

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Books n Stuff Podcast: S2 Episode 07 - Wheel of Time with Parvathi Ramkumar

on 2024-03-27

Welcome to the Books n Stuff Podcast.

Deep Dive into The Eye of The World: A Books and Stuff Podcast Episode

In this episode of the Books and Stuff podcast series, Bala Ramadurai converses with Parvathi Ramkumar, a book enthusiast and author, about the famous book series ‘Wheel of Time’. The first book of the 15-part series, ‘The Eye of the World’, is discussed in detail, covering elements from the plot, characters, and themes of the book. Parvathi Ramkumar gives a well-detailed explanation of ‘The Eye of The World’, discussing elements such as characters like Rand al’Thor, the semblance of the book with The Lord of The Rings and Dune series, and changes made in its Amazon series adaptation. The podcast concludes with inviting suggestions for future book discussions from the listeners.

Enjoy the Books and Stuff Podcast!

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Podcast Enterprise: S2E09 Metamorphosis

on 2024-03-20

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 begins, Kirk, Spock and McCoy, they’re taking Federation Commissioner Nancy Headford back to the Enterprise. She is sick with Sakuro’s disease. A very rare and Potentially fatal disease that she’s got and she must be treated for it. So Kirk is taking a back to the USS Enterprise.

However, on the way, Galileo gets accosted and they encounter a phenomenon that looks like a cloud of ionized hydrogen.

And it’s, there’s something seriously wrong with that encounter. And the Galileo is yanked to this planet into the Gamma Canaris region.And there they come to a planet they meet a young man who calls himself Cochrane.

He’s lonely seems to be the only individual on that planet, which is a bit of a problem because there’s no other life form apparently in that place. And then there’s an issue with Nancy Hedford because she’s sick.

She needs treatment and she also begins acting very erratically and McCoy has to sedate her, I believe, because she needs to be kept under control so that the sickness does not worsen. Now the issue is, there is something else on this planet with Cochrane, some sort of sparkly mist.It can be pretty hostile. It does go out of its way to attack Kirk, Spock and McCoy, if it deems them to be a threat to Cochrane.

And this is not an ideal situation. They’re trapped here. They can’t get out of there. Cochrane doesn’t tell them much about this entity there’s a communication barrier. And eventually, what happens is they find out that this Cochrane, even though he looks young, He’s several centuries old, and he is the creator of the warp drive that all the ships use for their interplanetary travel.

And this mist like entity, is what is keeping him alive.And it seems to care for him in some strange way. One thing leads to another, and Kirk decides to use a translator to try and figure out how to communicate with this entity, they find that this thing is female.

It has feelings and through the Universal Translator, it manages to communicate with them and tell them that she feels for Cochran, she wants him to stay there, she doesn’t want him to leave, but he, on the other hand, is going mad with loneliness, so there has to be a compromise.

And basically that compromise comes in the form of Nancy Hedford, who still has the disease. She has to be cured. And this entity decides to possess Nancy Hedford. And then she stays there as a companion to Cochrane and that’s how this episode ends.

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!

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Books n Stuff Podcast: S2 Episode 06 - Dune Part One with Parvathi Ramkumar

on 2024-03-07

Welcome to the Books n Stuff Podcast.

Diving into the Dunes: A Spirited Book-to-Movie Discussion with Bala and Parvathi

In this episode of the ‘Books and Stuff’ podcast, hosts Bala Ramadurai and Parvathi Ramkumar dive deep into the vast universe of ‘Dune’. From comparing notes on the film and the iconic book series, to unravelling the complex world of interstellar politics and economics, no stone is left unturned. They offer intriguing insights into the key characters, dissect pivotal scenes, and dive into the labyrinthine plot intricacies. The detailed discussion serves up a unique blend of humor, passion, and animated debates. Tune in as Bala and Parvathi embark on this exciting journey across the mystifying dunes, all set to continue in a follow-up episode. Got book recommendations or Dune theories of your own? They want to hear them all, so don’t forget to share!

Enjoy the Books and Stuff Podcast!

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