February 2010

Dear Reader,

Have you ever wondered why do we think the way we think? Have you felt frustrated when someone just cannot see the obvious? Well, that is because every individual processes the same information differently.

In our column, Thinking Aloud, Prasad tells us about different thinking preferences through the Whole Brain Thinking® Model. He explains that we can think ourselves out of any situation by choosing how to react.

The feature on Divyanshu Ganatra, a clinical psychologist, is a real life example where he chose to re-invent his life after losing his eyesight to glaucoma at the age of 20.

The book of the month again revolves around thinking. Our consultants recommend ‘Making Breakthrough Innovation Happen’ by Porus Munshi.

With all the serious writing in Empowering Times, Vikram Nandwani takes a spoof on Whole Brain Thinking®. Vikram is a Lean and Six Sigma consultant, gifted with the rare talent of cartooning. He is right now on a mission to capture the vivid sights of rustic India through his caricature series called ‘Verry India!

Hope you enjoy reading our ‘Thinking’ issue!


Geetanjali Sharma



Don’t Worry…Think! - Prasad Deshpande

Path Breaking World of Divyanshu Ganatra

Book: Making Breakthrough Innovation Happen - Porus Munshi



“This is significant because the way we think, influences the way we behave and change. In tough times, that is possibly the only thing in our control.”

Don’t Worry…Think! - Prasad Deshpande

"We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are." - Anais Nin

Our world has changed...

…we are all living in difficult times and despite headlines, which are trying to convince us that the worst is over, deep down inside, we worry.

We worry that the recovery is transient.

... All around, doomsday prophets shake their collective heads sadly, imploring us not to be taken in by ‘green shoots’ that have appeared - the real big crisis is around the corner. This uncertainty makes us feel uneasy, especially when we make decisions.

In the midst of all this, have we paused and taken a ‘mental step’ backwards and thought, what do we think about the way we think and react?

This is significant because the way we think, influences the way we behave and change. In tough times, that is possibly the only thing in our control.

Understanding how we think - Whole Brain Model

Referring to the Whole Brain Thinking® model in the figure (see side panel), each quadrant signifies one of the 4 quadrants in our brain. Each quadrant is different and of equal importance. We all have our own unique preferences for thinking - the lens through which we ‘see’ the world.

Let us consider each of these quadrants as four different managers and then imagine how each might approach today’s changing business environment.

Manager A would approach the situation quite rationally and logically, while Manager B would be ready and organized, expecting a clear plan and process but with a deep desire for security. Manager C would often talk to his close network and seek to understand what other people ‘feel’ about the recession; guilty, under stress, of drawing quick conclusions based on feelings. Manager D is perhaps, the only person who still appears upbeat and willing to talk about the opportunities that are available and take more risks.

You will probably confront all four of these mindsets at any given time, in yourself, in your team and in the people close to you.

Fortunately, research by Herrmann International, which developed this model, has shown that 93% of the population around the world prefers 2 or more of these mindsets and we all have access to all the four quadrants. Thus, we are in fact “hard wired to be whole”, with each of us having some degree of the four characters above available to us.

You can measure your thinking preference through Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI)*. You can even map your team using the HBDI and get insights to how you and your team think normally as well as under pressure.

Don’t Worry, Think Growth…

By accepting that the way you think need not be the only way to think. There are four different ways of thinking that you can access to become ‘whole brained’ in your approach.

By being flexible enough to explore all four quadrants of thinking and therefore not be trapped into ways of thinking and doing that come most naturally.

By taking the help of others who think differently than you, who are different than you, to help you change your mindset, when required.

We can’t change the environment or control what is happening but we can certainly change our response to the environment.

It would be wise to pay heed to what Epictetus, a Greek Stoic philosopher, observed centuries ago: Men are disturbed not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things’.

To know about your brain dominance through the HBDI (Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument), please write to us at info@empoweredindia.com.

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“By the age of 20, he had to learn a completely different way of sensing the world around him.”


"Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens." - Carl Jung

If you look deep inside your heart, you know what really makes you happy and what do you always dream of doing in life. Divyanshu Ganatra, a clinical psychologist from Pune, just followed his heart.

After completing his Master’s in Psychology from the University of Pune, he worked with a leading ITES company in the Employee Relations team. Along with doing all the event-based activities (including running a very successful trekking club), he got into counseling employees. However, organizational systems had limitations, and he could not reach out as much as he wanted to. Ultimately, he decided to pursue his dream and set up his firm, Yellow Brick Road (from the movie Wizard of Oz, signifying the path, which leads to knowing oneself by looking within).

He set out to educate people about the principles of human behavior and apply them to have happier minds around us. His mission is to help people lead lives that are more authentic.

He is actively involved in conducting sensitivity training. He also offers programs for Corporates in Industrial and Social Psychology to increase employee engagement. He regularly conducts workshops on Rational Emotive Response Behavioral Therapy, which is very powerful in identifying the link between your own thinking patterns and stress.

The most challenging field he is involved with is counseling ‘injecting drug users’ (taking drugs like heroin, cocaine, brown sugar through intravenous injections). He advocates harm reduction, which starts with counseling drug users about safe injecting, and then to no injecting (oral substitutes). This method has shown higher positive results in people wanting to live a drugfree life. Some of the experiences Divyanshu shared with Empowering Times could send a chill down the spine of anyone. How does he keep himself from not getting affected by it? His simple answer is - there is still hope!

With this kind of positive approach in life, it is no wonder that Divyanshu re-invented himself, despite losing his sight due to glaucoma* early in his life. By the age of 20, he had to learn a completely different way of sensing the world around him. When God closes a door, he opens a window. What if one is not born with a disability and suddenly a door is shut? Does God still open a window? YES, then the human spirit rises to take on the world of possibilities.

In your routine complaints of living a stressful life, you forget that you are very, very gifted. Sometimes, you just lose touch with your own self. Look inside your heart and discover your dreams, and when you take your first step forward to realize them, you become an empowered individual.

To know Divyanshu more closely, please visit www.yellowbrickroad.co.in.

*Glaucoma is a disease in which the optic nerve is damaged, leading to progressive, irreversible loss of vision. It is often, but not always, associated with increased pressure of the fluid in the eye.

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BOOK: "Making Breakthrough Innovation Happen" - Porus Munshi

This book is amongst the few books written on innovation in Indian companies. Porus Munshi, an innovation consultant, writes about innovation originating from ‘orbit shifting challenges’ that leads to shifting the dynamics of an industry. The book covers eleven case studies, chosen from different industry & social sectors.

The case studies prove that orbit shifters do not ask for more resources to make a difference. They take what they have and find radically different ways of using existing resources to make a planet sized impact.

The Dainik Bhaskar success is one of David challenging the Goliath and coming up trumps. Aravind Eye Hospital is an outstanding example of applying principles of assembly line manufacturing to the health care space - thus hugely delivering affordability and accessibility.

A passion, bordering on madness, drives the need to challenge the 'established way' of doing things and gain superior consumer insights from the same information universe. This is exemplified in the breakthrough strategy choices made by CavinKare, ITC-BD and Bosch India.

What prevents the emergence of an 'out of box strategy' is our 'preference to look for insights in the same places we have always looked for them’ (ala...Mulla Nasruddin). How one of the Group's businesses was on the verge of closure, and then emerges as one of the most powerful growth engines in ITC, teaches us that the difference between success and failure is determined by the limitation of our 'mental models'. 'Enrolling' team members, to go beyond business as usual is the cornerstone of the success stories around Trichy Police, Chola Vehicle Finance and Titan Edge.

Challenges around ‘dilution’ of character and combating the same, are the keys to the breakthroughs achieved by Shantha Biotech, the transformation of the Surat Municipal Corporation and at Su-Kam.

This book reminds us to be 'simple' rather than 'simplistic' and how, once the imagination of the human being is unleashed, nothing is impossible thereafter.

Go on, read the biographies to know the real life success stories of the eleven companies/institutions that have pulled off the impossible.

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