Mr Shiva Subramaniam, former consultant in creative learning and innovation for Tata Consultancy Services and Ms. Mrunalini on “Thinking About Creativity”

Mr. Shiva Subramanian, in a passionate lecture professed to the students of Great Lakes, the need for refining the thinking process. He ideated the thinking process in class, holding a bottle of Bisleri in his hand. And, he exclaimed “Is there anyone in this world who cannot be creative?”

Ms. Mrunalini with her placating voice and charming air delicately steered the lecture onto the right course. Drawing parallels between her industry experience and the classroom ‘knowledge sharing’, she and Mr. Subramanian epitomized the wealth of creative conflagration that they believed (and made us believe by the end of the lecture) was hidden in everyone of us.

Mr. Subramanian, speaking about his visit to Sri Lanka on a project with the Indian Cricket team under Rahul Dravid’s leadership, observed that the “six hats” apparatus of thinking is infallible. But he cautioned that being wary of the tool-six hats, might not be fruitful all the time. For, he explained that human beings are not impulsive or instinctive, but learn through experience. Human beings follow the routines that have been put to rigorous tests through the generations and apply them, the whole civilization runs on the application of these tested models. Instinctive behaviour is too slippery to create platforms for great civilizations such as us.

In a different context, Mr. Subramanian, through the example of Xerox, showed to the class that inventive minds, the creative minds should not be bogged down by the impediments of societal constructs, but have to swim against them. Relentless persistence after eight years resulted in one of the greatest and smartest works of copying paper-xerox. He advised us to bear in mind, the fact that necessity need not always precede invention. In fact, more often than not, it is the invention that precedes the necessity. Xerox is one such example, Edison’s phonograph is another example, and Einstein’s general theory of Relativity is a classic example.

The speaker implored the Great Lakers to be creative, use the “six hats” technique to streamline the thinking process, and lastly use the “lateral thinking” device to coax oneself out of the box.

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