Where do execs put on their thinking caps?


By Papri Das

In this fiercely competitive creative business, novelty is both a luxury and a necessity for survival. And there is no one better to vouch for it than the media executives who have to keep pushing the boundaries of innovation each time they ideate. What makes ideation even more challenging is that there is no set formula to it. For some, ideas come when they fall back to their routines, while for others it’s when they are out of their comfort zone.

So where do executives source their ideas from?

When Exec Lifestyle caught up with some of the top creative geniuses in the industry, they shared some unique anecdotes on how they get in touch with their creative side.

For Madison World founder and chairman Sam Balsara, a quiet evening walk by himself does the trick. “It is when I am alone taking a walk in the late evenings, traveling on flights or outstation at night that I think of new ideas and things to be done. It is important for your mind to be free for new thoughts to occur,” says Balsara. What’s more, Balsara isn't the only one who prefers the outdoors to reconnect with their creative side. 

The multi talented network creative head of Reliance Broadcast, Paritosh Painter, too draws inspiration from fresh air outings. “I mostly take long walks outside. It gives me the freedom to think. Sometimes I love to sit in a coffee shop by myself and think. Whether it is home or office, indoor is invariably full of distractions,” says Painter, who also flaunts his creative skills as an actor, film director and scriptwriter.

While thinking alone may be a popular method for most executives, some only make the most of their grey cells when they are going against the grain. Take Colors CEO Raj Nayak for example, who is inspired by his interaction with others. “People are a good source of ideas. The best ideas come to me when I am interacting with people. A good informative conversation triggers me with stimuli and leaves me thinking. Often these thoughts shape into great executiion,” says the self-confessed daydreamer. “When I am not occupied with work, my mind automatically switches to dreaming mode. Traveling is also another time when my mind keeps ticking,” Nayak further adds.

One’s personal space also plays an important role in helping them put on the thinking cap. “There are two spots where I’m most creative -- on my couch that sits in my bedroom, and in the tiny meeting room called Corleone at the office,” shares VML Qais CEO Tripti Lochan, who finds herself most creative on days when she has had a good practice of Vipassana.

In fact, Lochan’s way of getting out of a creative block is also getting physically active. “I usually go for a run, or clean a cupboard; or even cook.  Things that involve using arms and legs and not necessarily the mind so much,” she adds.

When it comes to dealing with his creative blocks, ad maker and former Ogilvy and Mather executive creative director Abhijit Avasthi believes in engaging himself with something different. “I used to experience a creative roadblock often earlier in my career but not so much these days. I think I have grown to not wrestle with ideas when its not working out and focus on other matters at hand.”

This resonates with Painter as well. “If I hit a creative roadblock on a specific subject than I let it be for a while. I don't think about it till the time I feel I am not thinking about it at all and then I start on it all over again with a fresh perspective,” he adds while signing off. 

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