Teaching

Attaining Innovation Nirvana through Karmic Design Thinking

Indian thinking, western philosophy - This is how a colleague of mine, Prof. Mukul Joshi, from FORE management school, New Delhi, described my treatment of design thinking (https://dt.balaramadurai.net). He invited me to give a talk to the students of FORE management school located in New Delhi about this topic. I was not sure if I would use the same phrase to describe Design Thinking. This is a philosophy, yes. This is a way of thinking, yes. But, can we attribute a certain geography to these? I wasn’t sure.

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Technology Forecasting for Strategic Decision Making - MOOC on NPTEL

Prof. Dmitry Kucharavy and I are happy to announce the launch of a new MOOC on NPTEL on Technology Forecasting for Strategic Decision Making. How to strengthen strategic decision-making with reliable technological forecasts? Numerous quantitative methods are available for predicting future demands and short-term changes. These methods, however, have limited application for such a question. The need is to combine the advantages of qualitative methods and explorative qualitative methods for long-range technological forecasting.

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43,252,003,274,489,856,000

No, I didn’t always wanted to do that. Title the post with a complicated number. Go ahead and copy this in to your favorite search engine and find out what it is and come back here and read the rest of the article. After that, you will have to figure out how this number is related to Kinderspark, the recently concluded innovation fest for school children conducted by Mahindra & Mahindra. Here is one more thing of intrigue - how is a Marvel superhero related to the whole thing?

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Design Thinking Faculty Development Program organized by MNIT, Jaipur

How do I conduct a workshop for over 100 professors from all over India? Added to the complication is the fact that this was an online workshop. I will not be able to meet them face to face. From the audience standpoint, how are they going to remain engaged to a person so far away, physically, in a subject, they probably barely heard about? Well, all my fears about keeping them engaged dissipated from my first question to the audience itself. Where are you logging in from? This one question kick started our conversation. Thanks largely to the enthusiasm and energy of the 100+ professors, by the time the session ended, we were virtually in tears. I learnt so much from them when we ended our 4th session together the next day. Thanks to Prof. Harlal Singh Mali and his team from Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur for his tireless efforts in arranging this workshop.

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I believe I can fly - Lighten the load to get a new idea

I recently read this article on lightening the load to fly (article link given below). I couldn’t help but sing along “I believe I can fly” by R. Kelly, one of my all-time favorite songs.

When we think of product/service ideas, we always think of adding features, adding this, adding that. But, a more powerful approach, is to remove or lighten.

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Micro-progress on Habits and Tasks - Solpa Adjust Maadi

Rome wasn’t built in a day is one of the adages you might have heard. Many projects and tasks that I have had in the past and those that are in my inbox are deadline driven. So, the deadlines bring in the drive to complete them. However, there are some tasks which are nice to do, and they do not have any deadlines. They get postponed all the time, particularly because there is no deadline attached. How does one tackle this situation? Micro-progress. Mark the task on your calendar, do a little (barely minimum) work and write that down in the description. Now, postpone the task to some other date. That’s it! The next time, the task shows up, do the exact same thing.

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GE Global invited talk on Design Thinking: The Zen Way

Dr. Srinivas Chirravuri and Gautam Goenka, are seasoned facilitators from GE Crotonville, the learning bastion of GE. In these times of online meetings and webinars, Dr. Srinivas, or Ch as he prefers to be addressed, and Gautam have thought of a series of enlightening topics. One of the topics they had chosen for such a session was Design Thinking. Ch reached out to me and from the outset, we wanted the talk to be a bit different from other webinars that I had given in the past.

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Ajeenkya D Y Patil University talk on Design Thinking

On 13th Aug, 2020, I interacted with students from the Ajeenkya D Y Patil University, Pune. The talk is part of a Start to Scale talk series to help students scale up their business idea. In my opinion, design thinking will go a long way in helping early stage startups in understanding their customers.

Let me tell you two startup stories: Quick Fire, Slow Burn and Quick Try, Sure Improve.

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DONE Telling stories - a lengthy, but effective way of communication

Recently, I came across a TED talk on storytelling1 and I forwarded the link to my friend. His response to that was in the form of a question, “Bala, why do you like stories?” This post is a reply to his question describing the reason I like stories. I won’t disappoint you, I do have a story in there…

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Learn TRIZ through Movies - 2

The art of framing a problem in the form of a contradiction (or a conflict of interest) is the core of the methodology of ARIZ (from the toolkit of TRIZ). Often times, the people whom I work with (be it students or employees) have a problem with understanding the concept. This series of posts is meant to clarify this for them. I have decided to use specific movie scenes for the purpose. I draw this idea heavily from a friend of mine (https://trizindia.org/2009/09/triz-in-films-ideas-for-fooling-filmi-ghost/). Today, we are going to use a scene from the movie “Dangal”.

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