Contact me at bala@balaramadurai.net.

My Books

I have written a few books on various topics.

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.

Charles and his pigeons

on 2021-04-07

It was the year 1837. Charles woke up with the sound of ding-ding. He knew what that was, the pigeons had arrived, at least one of them. He slipped into his robe and slippers and almost jumped the stairs leading him to the yard. He scanned the pigeon holes. About 40 of them in all. Each pigeon hole was meticulously labelled and cleaned overnight to welcome the visitors. Only two of the holes seem to be occupied.

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COEXIST - Actionable Stories for Sustainable Change - E - Eventful start

on 2021-04-02

In the COEXIST method of storywriting, you have chosen your hero, issue (in the step C) and you wrote a one-liner of your story (in the step O). Now what? The story has to start somewhere and sometime. But this somewhere, sometime has to be pivotal that it changes the normal course of life for our hero. This is the essence of what we try to accomplish in E (Eventful start). Let’s take the heroes from some popular movies.

Marlin, Nemo’s dad, gets out his anemone, to look for his son. (Finding Nemo)

Neo, gets out of The Matrix to find the truth about his real world. (The Matrix)

Rose, gets out of her protected life, to experience life in the third class. (Titanic)

Ben, gets out of his human life, to become one of the many aliens. (Ben 10 and the ultimate alien)

“Gets out” is the big event here. So, how do you write the E step for your story? Take any favourite movie. Make the hero step out (or “get out”) of their comfort zone.

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I can't find a suitable book, so let me write it for you - SVEC Tirupathi

on 2021-03-24

In September 2019, I got an email from Prof. Avanija from Sree Vidyanikethan Engineering College, Tirupathi. The gist of the email went something like this:

Dear Sir, can you please recommend a good book on Design Thinking that we teachers can use for teaching and may also be useful for the students to learn from?

When I read this, I was surprised, since so much of literature and books have been written on the topic of Design Thinking. So, I did a basic search for a book on the leading libraries of the world. It is not that I didn’t find any books. I didn’t find a book which could go alongside an academic course.

So, I responded.

“Dear Madam, you are right. Currently, there seem to be no books which match your requirements. However, are you willing to wait for 3-4 months?”

Avanija Madam kindly agreed to my weird request.

What I had in mind was what I learned from the writer community - “If you don’t find a book you want to read, write it.

Little did I realize that it would take 6-8 months and 7 iterations with my professional editor - Anita Nagarajan. The end result is here: https://dt.balaramadurai.net

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COEXIST - Actionable Stories for Sustainable Change - O - One-liner story

on 2021-03-17

A woman, engaged to someone, meets and falls in love with another man onboard a ship, which sinks a few hours after they meet.

A hacker, on discovering that the world that he is in is a computer program, teams up with a few rebels to overthrow the guardian programs of the system.

A father fish embarks on a long and challenging journey across the ocean to find his missing son.

A teenager, with the help of a watch that can transform him into powerful aliens, battles evil forces.

Which movies or TV shows do these one-liners describe?

This post is about the O (One-liner) step in the COEXIST methodology. This is part of a series of posts on the topic.

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