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Driving tech innovation through diverse minds thinking together

By Nagu Rao, Senior Manager, Accenture, Bengaluru, India

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Coming from a family where women were encouraged to study science and math, I had plenty of role models. My mother was one of the first women engineers in India, so it was an easy choice for me to pursue engineering and technology.

However, it felt a bit strange that I was the only woman in my class at a premier school–the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi. From then on, thankfully, the ratio of women improved significantly, as I moved into management and business.

I now work at Accenture, where there are women in top management positions.

Times are indeed good for the diversity agenda. The focus on diversity, much more than in the past, is great! It brings rich and multifaceted experiences together.

More women are now in board positions, making important decisions in technology and driving change. Companies are gaining, and everyone gains.

After graduation, I worked in the United Kingdom for many years and then returned to Accenture in India. India was booming, as it still is, and the opportunities have been exciting. To be able to lead changes here has been particularly interesting for me.

Being in technology now is fascinating. Technology changes so fast, and there are new challenges to surmount every day. It takes all my creativity and imagination to keep pace.

Sometimes, when I’m alone, I think about how our minds, with millions of neurons, chemicals and atoms, are capable of creating such fantastic thoughts and actions.

"Technology is a true manifestation of imagination turning into reality."

Just 100 years ago, few imagined humans reaching the moon. Each century of life brings with it so much more than just the passage of time, with humans transforming their ideas and imagination into reality. And technology is a true manifestation of imagination turning into reality.

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle said: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” And I truly believe that we, as people, are much more than the sum of our parts.

"We can achieve a lot more than we think we are capable of when we consciously tap into our potential."

It is said that humans use only 1 percent of their intelligence. We can achieve a lot more than we think we are capable of when we consciously tap into our potential. This idea is true, whether we apply it at work or to our life in general.

Harnessing creative juices

My blog––takes my imagination even further, into the greater space of creation. The sheer joy, excitement, and intrigue of returning to India after many years fuels my blog. The blog is about India, written by the ambling Indian, the main character.

The ambling Indian–a common woman–looks at everyday life in a quirky way. The blog is a fun one about Indian innovation, humor, life and more, meant for all.

After the success of my blog and an offshoot Ambling Indian book, I am looking forward to harnessing the creative juices even further.

I extend the same thread of creative thought to my work. Within my team, I drive the creation of an ideation tool, to urge team members to think creatively and come up with novel ideas. It has led to a forum to take the ideas forward. We are not just letting ideas stay in people’s heads!

Nagu Rao

From there, we pick ideas to move them to implementation. I am happy to say that the creative juices have flown. My team has come up with more than 22 ideas in a quarter, of which more than half are at various stages of implementation.

Driving game-changing ideas across the organization has itself become the new game. And for the team, thinking and working together has become much greater than the sum of its parts!

Each one of us is a marvel of creation–so much greater than the sum of just parts. Let us harness this thought into greater creativity and make the world a better place!