The world today can be best described by one word: turbulence. As change swirls all around, how can we cope with it, and even take advantage of unexpected circumstances? Challenging traditional notions of strategy, Baba Prasad draws on his research at some of the world’s best business schools to show how intelligence can help individuals navigate this maelstrom and become leaders in everyday life. In resource-strapped and resource-rich environments alike, Prasad’s model is potentially game-changing for leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship.
The basic thesis of the talk is based on Prasad’s recently published book, Nimble, which Narayana Murthy says is “a must-read” and Don Tapscott calls “a mindset-changing book.” In today’s fast moving, uncertain environments, being fast is not enough; one needs to be fast and wise. Prasad posits that in turbulent contexts, intelligence offers an excellent framework to create lithe and resilient leaders.
The intelligences framework goes beyond the commonly understood concept of ‘agility.’ It presents an immensely practical approach to identify and develop five kinds of intelligence and apply them in different settings for individual and collective benefit in both the short- and the long-term. Our five intelligences, when energized and employed contextually, make us indomitable and enterprising, and at the same time, reflective and unselfish leaders. The same intelligences framework allows us to design and build institutions that are dynamic, enduring, and visionary under rapidly changing circumstances.
Baba Prasad, president and CEO of Vivékin Group, is a leading thinker in the area of management strategy and innovation. Prasad studied computer science, and artificial intelligence and robotics at universities in India and the USA. He holds a PhD in operations and information management from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. After his Ph.D., Prasad taught in the business schools at Purdue University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Students in his MBA courses noted him as insightful and inspiring and he was rated MBA faculty of distinction at Purdue. Prasad is a Sloan Fellow at the Wharton School and a visiting professor at the Center for Exact Humanities at the International Institute of Information-Technology (IIIT-H) in Hyderabad, India, and at the Woxsen School of Business, Hyderabad. He has also been a technology strategy consultant on Wall Street. Prasad’s recent book Nimble: How Intelligences Can Create Agile Companies and Wise Leaders (Random House India, May 2015) has won wide praise from CEOs and leading thinkers across the world. Narayana Murthy calls it a ”must-read” while Adi Godrej says it “promises to change the thinking on strategy and leadership.”
Prasad and his wife, Professor Leela Prasad of Duke University, work during the summers in economically underprivileged elementary schools in Hyderabad. They helped to set up Aksharavani, a school for children of migrant construction workers, in the city. They are currently making a documentary film titled Moved by Gandhi. Prasad lives across two continents, has two daughters and two dogs and is a fitness enthusiast.