“Why is it that the people who ask for bold, new ideas are the ones who kill them?”

Warning: this is not a standard FAQ page or an ‘Agony’ column.

My ambition is to make this page available for Frequently Un-Asked Questions on the subject of Corporate  Creativity, Innovation, Ideas etc.  The genuine kind we always want to ask but desist because we are not sure how it will be received. Not sure what impressions it might create about us. May be the company does not like uncomfortable questions. May be it is a case of ‘open doors, shut minds’ culture.

Whatever may be the case, post those questions here. If I do not have the answers, I will seek them from my clients, friends and associates – people who are knowledgeable, people who I respect for their expertise, honesty and guts.

My friends have warned me that ‘People will wash their company’s dirty linen here’.

Hope we prove them wrong.


Any Thoughts?

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14 Responses to “U-Ask”

  1. Vidyanand N says:

    Hello Sridhar,

    In today’s scenario especially in IT indurstry we see lot of attrition.Companies are really finding it difficult to retain the talent .What in your view could be different ways by which we can arrest attritrion(non monetary benefits)/retain talent, as nowdays money is not only the reason for employees to move on or quit the organistion?

    Vidyanand N

    • R Sridhar says:

      I am not HR expert to provide an answer to this. Whatever I have seen is that people like to be respected and feel valued.
      All things being equal people like to be working in a place where they feel valued and respected.
      Hope this helps.

  2. r.umashankar says:

    managers may ask for bold ideas to make employees feel included but then change is disruptive and scary. Implementation of the bold ideas
    May threaten the manager’s security within the company.

  3. donny says:

    I want to know how to get into an advertising agency for creative work.
    Is there a degree or special requirement needed, what’s more important, ideas or degree or formats?

    • R Sridhar says:

      Check out MICA in Ahmedabad. I am asking another friend Mr Sumit Roy who knows a lot about this to answer for you in this section.

    • Sumit Roy says:

      Hi Donny:

      The best way to get into an advertising agency for creative work depends on whether your strength is with the creative word, or the creative visual, or with both. Also, it’s a slightly different route, if you also happen to be insightful in understanding consumers. (Yes, that is a very highly desired trait, if you ever want to be a Creative Director.) And yet another route, if you happen to be good with the “moving visual” ….movies.

      Let’s assume that what you are really good at is ideas that can change how people think, feel and act. (Most people who want to join advertising do so because they believe they are clever with words and pictures. It does not strike them that as far as advertising goes, the creative idea has a specific purpose.) Assuming you haven’t made that mistake, here is what you can do.

      1. Join the 6 month Creative Crafting Course at MICA
      2. Join the 1 year Creativity in Advertising course at XIC
      3. Join the Copywriters course at Jamia University in Delhi
      4. Apprentice yourself at an advertising agency you admire. Offer to work for free for a year.

      Of the lot, I think the fourth route is the best. It’s the way I joined advertising.

      You save the money you would have spent on a “course” and you get hands on training. The trouble is most agencies would not give you the time of day, unless you had a “contact”.

      Be persistent. Insist on wanting to do something called a “copy test” at every agency you visit. Almost every major creative director in the industry has devised one. Do at least six of them from various agencies you admire and you will know if you have the natural talent for advertising.

      The whole process will be very frustrating. But if you don’t have the patience to go through it, you actually may not be cut out for advertising at all.

      An alternative way to get those “contacts” is to join one of the courses I have mentioned above. Yes, of course, you will learn something, but more important it’s your calling card when the same Creative Directors give you their own pet Copy Test. Unless there’s some evidence of brilliance that is apparent from the portfolio of hypothetical advertising that these courses will make you produce

      If you have a flair for Art, then it IS actually better to do the three or five year courses available through institutions that develop Creative Visual expression. (Just becoming an apprentice at an agency is not the best route.)

      Top of the heap in Commercial Art Schools would be NID (National Institute of Design) but they will make you so much of a designer and train you to be able to earn such a lot that most advertising agencies won’t be able to afford you.

      So you can then look at Shrishti (in Bangalore) or the Govt, Funded Art Schools present in every state. JJ School of Arts is the most respected. But Sophia College and several other institutes run very decent programs.

      Then comes the unusual possibility that you are also creative in understanding consumers. If so, I’d recommend the Northpoint 1 Year program because they are keen on holistic development.

      If you happen to be good only with the “moving visual” your course of entry into “advertising” is actually apprenticing with a producer of ad films. Genesis (Prahlad Kakkar), Equinox and some other leading brands of film makers are known for wanting to give young talent a chance. (Use the same approach. Offer to work for free.) However, if you are hell bent on joining an advertising agency and not just the advertising industry, I’d say with that special talent, it’s back to giving copy tests with advertising agencies. Unless you are good enough with your talent for movies to be able to get into FTII or NID and still ignore the money that will be thrown at you once you graduate those courses and come to advertising. (Prasoon Pandey joined advertising through the NID route.) I think it’s still possible.

      I know this has been a long post.

      I hope I have been able to answer your query satisfactorily.

      If you have more questions that you don’t want to make public, feel free to write to me at mobike@gmail.com

      The one line answer to your question is that your capability to come up with ideas that change behaviour matters the most

  4. Manju says:

    Hi Sridhar,
    Would you kindly recommend market research companies who have a solid understsanding of the mobile B2B space in India?
    Thank you very much in advance for your help,

    • R Sridhar says:

      Hi Manju

      Check out a site called http://www.paulwriter.com – it is dedicated to B2B businesses. You could also write to Jessie Paul , the founder.
      She is very knowledgeable and resourceful.

      Best wishes


      • Manju says:

        Thank you very much, Sridhar. Let me write to Jesse directly. I had checked out her website (that is how I got linked to yours), but somehow did not get the listing of B2B providers I was looking for.

        It was nice reading through all your posts, I’m trying to consciously integrate SCAMPER now. The reading on 7 principles was very captivating. Thank you for all your efforts – it is helping some readers like me who are more analytical, but wish to get some of the creative juices flowing.

        Best regards,

  5. Vinuthan says:

    I am a working professional , working in a FMCG. Was wondering are you aware of any books for Colors and Branding in Indian scenario. What different colors signify in Indian Scenario ??

    I know that in a dynamic scenario these would keep evolving / changing ? But a general idea to begin with would be good.

    Vinuthan Vasistha


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