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.

Ask the Design Thinking Doc - Not so heavy books to read

on 2022-11-30

What are some books one could read to learn Design Thinking? The answer can be contradictory. Since, Design Thinking is a skill, is best learnt from on-field experience. However, without knowing what Design Thinking can do, the on-field experience may not be so rewarding after all.

So, what books must one read and not read to attain expertise in Design Thinking?

This post will answer that.

Design Thinking, as a skill, can be learnt by practicing the methodology on real world problems. I run an online course on Design Thinking on a Govt. of India platform called SWAYAM where close to 40,000 learners have learnt Design Thinking already.

What I have got in return (apart from lots of love 😍) is the variety of questions that have been asked by so many curious learners. This Ask the DT Doc series can be helpful to anyone – a beginner, intermediate or advanced learner of Design Thinking. (Also checkout https://dt.balaramadurai.net for the book on Design Thinking)

This post will cover the question “Please suggest some awesome and not that heavy books to read?”

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Podcast Enterprise: S1E05: The Naked Time

on 2022-11-09

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:

Today our episode is a fun episode. I really had a good time watching it. What is our episode for the day?

Today we are following the Naked Time.

And in this episode, USS Enterprise, it goes around a planet called Psi 2000. This is a frozen world. That’s begun its process of disintegration. So in the beginning you see Spock and Joe Tormolen. They beam down to the planet’s surface and then they find that everybody on this planet is dead. All the scientists that went down there to investigate this planet, they’re all dead.

And they’ve been found dead in peculiar positions because the engineer is dead at his post. Somebody’s in the shower with their clothes on. So there are some weird happenings on that planet. And then for some weird reason, Tormolen, he rubs his nose after touching something on the planet’s surface and he puts his hand down, unprotected on a table surface, and then he’s infected with this peculiar infestation.

Nobody really knows what it is. And then, plot follows these characters as they go back to the Enterprise, the infection spreads. And then what this essentially does is it brings out hidden thoughts and emotions to the surface, which makes the characters behave very erratically and almost drunk.

One person, a certain individual he takes over the Enterprise. He tries to do some really, really strange things. And then the captain has to take control back. He switches off the engines and then Kirk has to switch the engines back on, but then they have to do it in a controlled implosion. Finally, the infection is contained and everything is back to normal.

However, there’s a twist at the end. So that’s my brief summary.

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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Podcast Enterprise: S1E06: The Enemy Within

on 2022-10-23

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 The Enemy Within, the USS Enterprise sends a couple of crew members down to study a planet called alpha 1 77. And while there geological technician Fisher, he falls down some rocks or something, and he has an injury and Kirk sends him back to the Enterprise.

But then when he gets back to the Enterprise, Scotty notices that there’s a strange magnetic substance, yellow substance, like a powder, sticking to his clothes and he advises him to go and get himself decontaminated. Shortly after that, Kirk beams up to the Enterprise.

And then the transportation room is empty. However, you do see that the transporter works again and a shadow Kirk materializes. Something like an evil twin apparently, because he seems to have all of Kirk’s violent personality traits, magnified hundred fold. This episode follows both Kirk and this negative Kirk, those two halves that, form the whole, as they navigate their way through the Enterprise. Negative Kirk creates all sorts of problems for the positive Kirk, including attempting to assault Yeoman Janice Rand. As we’ve seen certain other Star Trek episodes also, somebody tries to take over the Enterprise.

In this case, it is the negative Kirk. Somehow or the other, the two have to be brought together. And then 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!

Continue reading

Podcast Enterprise: S1E04: Where No Man Has Gone Before

on 2022-10-19

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:

Today we are going to be discussing Where No Man Has Gone Before.

This is essentially the second pilot of Star Trek that was submitted to NBC. And in this episode, we find the Enterprise heading towards the edges of the galaxy, where they pick up a very strange distress signal from a ship that they thought had disappeared in this ship had disappeared 200 years ago.

As they begin to investigate the distress signals from the ship they managed to take into the Enterprise, the disaster recorder of that ship, which is called the SS Valiant . When they go through the recordings, they find that that ship was in turmoil. They were going through some very weird occurrences. They were at the edge of the galaxy. They had crossed the edge of the galaxy and they were looking into some events involving ESP extra sensory perception. While the Enterprise is looking through these recordings, the Enterprise itself goes through the edge of the galaxy.

They face a magnetic storm, they hit a peculiar barrier and then two crew members are affected by a strange energy field. And because of that, the two crew members, they start acting very peculiar. One of the crew members starts having God like powers, and then he becomes a threat to the entire human race.

This is the summary of the episode.

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