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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Devdutt Patank at IIM Ahmedabad-notes from guest lecture

Having read his books/articles and listened to his Youtube videos, there was no chance that I was going to miss out listening to him when he visited IIM-A on Sep22,2011(the long hiatus between then and this blog post is that I found my notes not during some spring cleaning!). I thanked my stars for coming 10min early, because 5min later, there was just standing space left! That is not common at IIM-A, and shows the stature of the person, to attract such an audience without any compulsion. For those who have read his stuff/listened to him before, it was not that new but I post the takeways/my impressions from that session of 75min.
  • He seemed honoured to be at IIM-A-whether it is that just politeness or not I won 't know but it did seem to come from the heart. Familiarity breeds contempt-for us at IIM-A, such an invite would not hold the same sentimental value..
  • He was earlier a consultant with E&Y before he chose to work with Future Group
  • Nature is the ultimate meritocracy-you survive if you run fast enough! 
  • Advertising is modern myth making
  • Vision Statement is the modern equivalent of the Promised Land, so leaders use narratives well..
  • Animals have no imagination(this is questioned but take it true for now!)  so they live in the moment, but since we humans have imagination, we need coping skills to deal with it!
  • He pithily said that we transact with 3 types of currencies
    • Saraswati(head)
    • Durga(heart)
    • Door opening(credentials/schools..like using his title Dr gets him places!)
  • Speaking about motivation, he said that nature never gives you validation, it is social structure that does so!
  • On a more serious note, he said that the world loves India, but not Indians(pushy, taking their jobs, dirty etc etc!!). Even I forgot the context in which he said this. 
  • On a lighter note, he concluded with a Sanskit phrase, stating that people take you more seriously when you use Sanskrit phrases!  
I left the session feeling warmer from inside than at the start, maybe it was its own reward. About the parallels with myth making and triple currency method, those are interesting points to reflect and apply. 

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