My lifelong passion has been to “ignite the genius within” Individuals, organizations and myself. Here is a summary of roles I play to engage my passion.
My Journey: Even though my graduate work and academic jobs have been in the area of physics, my passion led me to Apple in 1980s where I had a chance to work in international marketing, Apple University before I ventured on my own in 1990.
Since then, I have played different roles – consultant in the area of organization development, advisor and coach to CXOs and entrepreneurs, teaching in executive education programs for different academic institutions like USC, Indian School of Business, Dartmouth University, INSEAD, London Business School and Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore).
I also have been engaged in working with CEOs and senior executives in advisory and coaching capacity since 1990. My work evolved from research and teaching in the area of physics at the University of Utah, international marketing at Apple Computer and research and reflection in the areas how people think, learn, create/innovate, relate, communicate and lead. During my time as a research fellow/manager at the Apple University, I had a chance to interact with many brilliant people like Nobel Laureates, accomplished athletes, writers, researchers, practitioners and spiritual teachers of four different religions. That process of exploring how human beings can think breakthrough thoughts and create tools that augment human intelligence ignited my own connection with my roots. I began to investigate intelligence, innovation and learning not only from brain, cognitive sciences perspective, I started connective the dots from spiritual practices like mindfulness, yoga and meditation that I learned while growing up in India. I had the good fortune to learn Sanskrit language and had deep exposure to Hindu spiritual literature like Vedas and Upanishads during my formative years and those gave me another set of lenses to look at topics I was investigating.
Turning points in my journey: There were at least three major turning points in my life – moving from physics to computers, from technology to nature of learning and from learning focus to igniting the genius within.
In early 1987, I was still working in physics discipline but it was no longer meaningful area for me, as I was spending more time with personal computers (Apple Macintosh). I was using technology in novel and interesting ways to solve problems and I thought it is the technology that interested me and joined Apple in September 1987. Very quickly, I realized that it is working with people that sustained my passion and technology was just a vehicle to connect with others. That insight led me to move to Apple University from International Marketing but I had not have the soft skills or emotional intelligence required to be an a change agent for others and I had to change myself first. It was a very different world than I had been exposed to, and I had to learn, change and adapt very quickly. My colleagues like Phil Dixon, Ian Browde, Lucille Ueltzen and Stefan Winsnes helped me to see the world from a different set of lenses.
Along the way, I connected with Bill Atkinson, one of the creative geniuses behind Macintosh graphics and creator of MacPaint and HyperCard. Working with him to conceptualize the “learning processor,” I could clearly understand the process of creation and innovation and their connection to passion, meaning and purpose. All the interviews we did with extra ordinary people around the world while thinking about the “learning processor” had a profound effect on me and I was beginning to see that learning is what you breathe in and creativity/leadership are what you breathe out. In other words, “igniting the genius within” occurs in the gap between learning and performing and it was no longer just my passion, but my mission in life.
Since I quit Apple in 1990, I have had the opportunity to work with large number of senior executives and companies in USA, UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, France, India, and Singapore.
Somewhere along the line, I was encouraged to start an entrepreneurial venture and with a little more than a million dollars investor money, I started SelfCorp. It was developing web-based tools to align individual aspirations and corporate goals but when the dot com bust happened, my company went down with it.
In addition, I ended up working with large number of entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley and co-founded an entrepreneur institute for TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) in 2002.
In 2003, I started working with Indian School of Business in Hyderabad as a visiting professor in the executive education division. As my programs on leadership, mindset change and innovation became quite popular, I was asked to envision and build a center for leadership, innovation and change (CLIC) and worked with it in Indian School of Business for five years. During that time, I focused on themes like wise leadership, affordable or frugal innovation, cross cultural models of leadership, change and innovation and recently co-wrote a book called “From Smart to Wise” with Navi Radjou (www.FromSmartToWise.com).
How might I engage with you:
You can ask me to be a “sage on the stage” (speaker in a meeting or conference or teach an executive education program) on a variety of leadership, change management, creativity and innovation topics. You can also ask me to coach or mentor – as a guide on the side. Finally, I can be an advisor or consultant to work with you on specific projects as a “player on the field.” You can contact me through email Prasad at kaipagroup dot com. or phone +1 408 786 5247. You can read articles and books on any of the topics mentioned above by going to kaipa group.com or www.mithya.com or www.selfcorp.com and www.FromSmartToWise.com. I can be followed on twitter@pkaipa.
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Working with Prasad changed the way I think. The personal development Pyramid provided me with a new way of ordering ideas. It allowed me to gain a much better understanding of my own goals and how I might achieve them.
Terrence Black, Managing Director,