I’m in Bangalore speaking about design thinking, creativity and startups in India. The whole country is tuning into Prime Minister Modi talking with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg in Silicon Valley about–startups and Startup India.
I’ve been doing workshops with Spread, an amazing Indian design and innovation firm headed by Sonia Manchanda, training people to raise their creative capacities. The Spread folks are amazing and they had groups of people getting into Personas, connecting dots of behaviors and values to come up with fresh new business models. All in the space of an hour and all with great fun (each teach had to come on stage and play out how people would use their new product–my favorite was the “diggie dog” collar that enabled doggies to communicate with their owners but a close second was CHARGE, a female Uber-type car service by women–who drive Teslas–for women). The thing is, people walked in believing THEY weren’t creative and Spread showed them that they really were.
As for me, I talked about the Five Creative Competences of my book, Creative Intelligence–Mining for Meaning, Reframing, Serious Play, Making and Scaling. Getting into Personas allows them to understand what is meaningful to people. This is one big message that the Indian engineers of Startup India have to understand. Digital tech alone won’t get you a successful, profitable startup. You have to first mine for what is meaningful to people, then apply your technology to satisfy that aspiration, that dream.