Thinking different is all about doing things differently: R Sridhar

R Sridhar, former Director, Ogilvy India, shared experiences and expertise with a group of marketers & industry seniors at a session held by The Indian Society of Advertisers

e4m by Naziya Alvi Rahman
Published: Nov 28, 2019 9:04 AM  | 3 min read


R Sridhar

Marketing is not a child’s play. But R Sridhar, former Director, Ogilvy India, can make it look like one with his easy and simplified approach. Perhaps on Wednesday, as one walked into his session on 'How to think differently?' organised by The Indian Society of Advertisers, it literally looked like a play zone with every table being equipped with colourful boxes of play dough, the smiley yellow balls and bubble making bottles.

As the session started, Sridhar, who is a Consultant and Facilitator for over 18 years as Partner, IDEAS-RS, used each one of these to push audiences to think of ‘out of the box’ solutions for each of their problems.

He started his session with three questions that clients have often asked him - What is an idea? What is creativity? And what is innovation?

“Most of us do not have the clarity of what each stands for and how they differ from each other. However, I shall try to answer them through my journey and with various tools that I have used to find solutions,” he said.

In his close to two hour-long session, Sridhar used various techniques to stimulate the thinking process of the attendees. He made them create things from play dough within 30 seconds, draw pictures from letters and wander their imagination beyond geographical boundaries.

Sridhar emphasized how each one of us is creative but we don’t let our creativity come out. “We all have various expressions of creativity and various ways to reach there…we are all creative. It’s just that we don’t get enough opportunity to practice our creativity...either because the opportunity doesn’t exist or due to our own inhibitions,” he added.

The author of one of the best sellers – ‘Unlock the Real Power of Ideation’- and several other books, Sridhar explained the need for each one of us to move beyond the “first right answer syndrome”.

“We have an opportunity to do something different. Thinking different is all about doing the standard things differently,” he added.

Sridhar, who is also a TEDx speaker, recommended that we must motivate ourselves by imagining the outcome of the success every time we make a pitch that looks very ambitious. “One of the key things that can help you motivate is to imagine life after success. Imagining the success will be so motivating that we would actually drive harder. Most of the times we don’t imagine this.”

Sridhar also spoke about the need to brainstorm ‘barriers and not just ideas’ alone. “It is very important to identify the barriers. Once you have done that make it a challenge and ensure that we resolve them all,” he added.

The event was attended by senior industry people, including Subhadip Dutta Choudhury, Vice Chairman of the Board & CEO Hawkins Cookers Limited; Y Harakrishnan, Secretary-General of ISA, Ambi M G Parameswaran, founder of; Brahm Vasudeva, Chairman Hawkins; Industry veteran and coach Narendra Ambwani, and Paulomi Dhawan, Media and Brands Expert.

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