My Innovation Postbox – 1

“What is an Innovation Postbox?” “I made that up Prasna**. I read years ago about a famous advertising man. He had a shoebox in his office. Whenever he came across something interesting, he would just put that in the shoe box. Whenever he had to write a new advertisement, he would rummage through the material, […]

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A thousand ways to be innovative

“Why do you exaggerate, just to make a point?” – Prasna** seemed a bit annoyed with me. “Why do say that Prasna? Where am I exaggerating?” “Look at the title for this post. Is that not an exaggeration?” “Certainly not. I am indeed sharing ‘a thousand ways to generate ideas’.That is the first important step […]

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How to convert a ‘No’ to a ‘Yes’ – R. Umashankar

(This is our first guest post and the person who has been kind to write this is Mr. R. Umashankar.  Mr. Umashankar is the Executive Director of ASSET India Foundation ( He won the prestigious Purpose Prize in 2008: The Purpose Prize is  for people over 60 who are committed to change their communities […]

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Ogilvy India suffers from ‘Divine Discontent’

Brand Equity (The Economic Times, August 3, 2011) carries a cover story that caught my eye. There is an NCD (National Creative Directors) Report Card and a quick summary of five advertising agencies and their ratings. I started reading it with a mild disinterest when I noticed something intriguing. In each case the Creative Directors […]

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How to deal with a dumb idea

As part of our Creative Block Busting Workshop, we spend time talking about how to look at new ideas. We emphasise that there are only plus points and practical implementation concerns to an idea. There is nothing called a dumb idea. Of course, no one was willing to accept this. In fact, managers felt that […]

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What is ‘Out-Of-The-Box Thinking’?

“Well, well. This is your cliche series, is it?” asked Prasna** “Oh! You are referring to my title for the post. I am trying to explain some commonly used terms, in my own way. I believe this is important. Participants in my workshops appreciate the definitions and the clarity that emerges.” “Where did you get […]

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How to challenge status quo

“Is not Status Quo a worn out cliche, an overused management jargon? Why are you using it?” Prasna**  seemed irritated with my choice of expression. “I agree. Sometimes I find it is easy to get across what I have in mind, when I use a cliche. When people see the video, they may not worry […]

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“Curiosity is not allergic to failure” – Seth Godin

“Who is Seth Godin?” Prasna** fired his question before I could finish typing the line. “Why are you so impatient Prasna? You did not even let me finish typing the line.“ “Well, I am just curious!” and we had a good laugh. In the unlikely event that you have not heard of Seth Godin, here […]

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David Ogilvy’s first love – alive and well

“Are you not getting a bit sensational?” asked Prasna** as I typed the headline. “Why do you think so?” “The world is talking about David Ogilvy’s centenary year, and you are talking about his first love.” ” David once said that ‘Direct Response is my first love and secret weapon’. He staunchly believed that all […]

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How to retain talented employees

“I don’t understand this.” “What don’t you understand Prasna**?” “Yesterday you wrote about marketing. That seemed fine because you were in that business. But what do you know about HR? And retaining people? Are you an expert in everything?” “Certainly not. My expertise is facilitation. I help people come out of their habitual ways of […]

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