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.

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: S1E2: The Man Trap

on 2022-08-10

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, the USS enterprise arrives at a planet called M 1 1 3, and the captain and the doctor beams down there. The planet is in ruins.

It’s a shadow of an ancient civilization that is long vanished and the only two inhabitants there, are a doctor called Dr. Robert Crater, who’s an archeologist and his wife, Nancy Crater. Dr. McCoy has actually been in a relationship with Nancy Crater, so there’s a lot of confusing emotions there for him.

The episode deals with the alien race that was there among the ruins. This alien race had built a civilization and then they disappeared for some strange reason. And there’s nobody left. They think apparently there’s an imposter among them.

And this creature is able to shape, shift and take on various roles. It’s able to take on the role of Nancy. It’s able to take on the role of various crew men and it survives essentially on salt. The doctor, Dr. Robert Crater, he knows this and he is attempting to get people out of there by, being very bad tempered to them, I guess, but it doesn’t work.

That’s the rundown of the episode. And eventually it ends in a bit of a tragedy because this creature is the last of its kind and it has to be destroyed because it is quite uncontrollable.

It is driven by a very powerful hunger. And it doesn’t think beyond the hunger, which makes it very dangerous.

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: S1E1: The Cage

on 2022-06-19

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:

In The Cage, the first pilot episode of Star Trek TOS and this was aired, I believe in 1965. It follows instead of Captain Kirk, we have Captain Pike in command of the Enterprise and, he receives a strange distress signal from the SS Columbia in very very peculiar planet called Talos IV. The episode actually follows their interactions with a very diabolic and eerie race of aliens on Talos IV who specialized in telepathy. You would find that the crew members of the Enterprise in this episode is very different from the rest of Star Trek.

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

Episode 0: These are the podcasts of the Podcast Enterprise

on 2022-04-18

Intro to our podcast series Podcast Enterprise.

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

The episode to kickstart all the other episodes of Podcast Enterprise. 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

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

Ask the Design Thinking Doc - Learn problem solving from Patema

on 2022-04-13

In February 2022, around Valentine’s day, I saw a few Japanese movies as part of a Japanese film festival - https://jff.jpf.go.jp/watch/jffonline2022/india/.

Of the 4 movies I saw, one that turned my world upside down was Patema Inverted (サカサマのパテマ, Sakasama no Patema).

What’s this got to do with Design Thinking, you ask. In the solve stage of Karmic Design Thinking, one can use “The Other Way Round” inventive principle from the ARIZ/TRIZ toolkit. This is the core of the movie Patema Inverted.

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 “Could you explain the other way round principle [to generate ideas]?”

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