Reflecting on Decision Making, Strategic Thinking and Creativity

Reflecting on Decision Making, Strategic Thinking and Creativity

Reflecting on Brain Surgery and Creativity

Creativity is an incredibly valued attribute in every single human endeavor.

In this edition, based on one of the most detailed studies till date we understand how VCs make decisions, why brain surgery may enhance spirituality, the way sleep influences creativity, why sculptors live longer than painters, and means of developing a strategic mindset.  

How Venture Capitalists Make Decisions

In one of the most comprehensive studies on how VCs make decisions, researchers from Harvard, Stanford and Chicago Booth followed 900 venture capitalists and interviewed several dozen to offer behind the scenes coverage. It all starts with generating deal flow where your personal network comes in handy, especially your vast pool of trusted advisors. From there 100:1 is the deal closing ratio, taking an average of 83 days. Of the several metrics to evaluate an idea, one is  the cash returned from the deal as a multiple of the cash invested. The founding team and the business model are paid attention to, ahead of valuation or any other parameter. (Source: HBR)

Brain Surgery Boosts Spirituality

Are there specific sections in the brain responsible for spirituality? It seems to be the case. Researchers from Italy have revealed that patients who have had tumors removed from the left inferior parietal lobe and the right angular gyrus of the brain started experiencing a greater sense of self-transcendence post surgery. These areas at the back of the brain are involved in how we perceive our bodies in spatial relation to the external world. The doctors note that some complex personality traits are more malleable than previously thought. (Source: Scientific American) 

A New Theory Links Sleep and Creativity

They say if you’re working on a difficult problem, allow yourself enough nights of sleep. Researchers from Cardiff University propose that the two main phases of sleep—REM and non-REM—work together to help us find unrecognized links between what we already know, and discover out-of-the-box solutions to vexing problems. The part of non-REM sleep, called slow-wave sleep (SWS), is where the brain replays memories and the REM sleep helps connect the data points in new patterns. Essentially, non-REM sleep extracts concepts, and REM sleep connects them. (Source: The Atlantic) 

Artists Vie for a Long Life

Does it surprise you that your longevity might depend a lot on the nature of art you practice? For instance, sculptors outlive painters by a significant margin. Phillip Greenspan, of the University of Georgia in Athens, and his colleagues looked at lifespans of 406 artists. They found that with an average life of 67.4 years, the 144 sculptors surveyed lived significantly longer than the 262 painters, who averaged 63.6 years of life. It could be attributed to exercise, as regular moderate exercise helps to fight germs, a prominent cause of death. Greenspan estimates that sculpting takes about 2.5 times as much energy as painting. (Source: Nature)

To be a Strategic Thinker

The graduation of your thinking is not a natural consequence of your career progression. Which is to say that just because you get promoted doesn't meant that your thinking also got promoted. You may still have been rooted at your previous level of thoughts. There are five attributes of developing strategic acumen: 1) big picture thinking, 2) future-back view, 3) outside-in perspective, 4) decisiveness, and 5) ownership. You don't have to be a CEO or a leader to think strategically, in fact if you start to develop strategic acumen your chances of being more significant goes up. (Source: Youtube) 

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Dr. Pavan Soni

Innovation Expert

Dr. Pavan is an Innovation Evangelist by profession and a teacher by passion. He is the founder of Inflexion Point, a strategy and innovation consulting. Apart from being an Adjunct Faculty at IIM Bangalore, Pavan has consulted with leading organizations on innovation and creativity, including 3M, Amazon, BCG, Deloitte, Flipkart, Honeywell, and Samsung, amongst others. Pavan was the only Indian to be shortlisted for the prestigious 'FT & McKinsey Bracken Bower Award for the Best Business Book of the Year 2016'. He has also been invited four times to speak at the TEDx. For his work on innovation, Pavan bagged the prestigious ‘On the Job Achiever’ Award at Lakshya in 2007 at NITIE Mumbai. Pavan works closely with CII, Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce, European Business Group, FICCI, Karnataka Knowledge Commission, NHRD, and World Trade Centre, towards shaping their innovation activities. Pavan is a mentor for NSRCEL at IIM Bangalore, Founder Institute, Institute of Product Leadership, Brainstars, Budli, HackerEarth, and UpGrad, and is on advisory board for VC firm- Utilis Capital. Pavan is also a columnist at YourStory, Entrepreneur India, Inc 42, and People Matters. He is a Gold Medalist from MBM Engineering College Jodhpur, and did his PGDIE from NITIE Mumbai. Pavan finished his Doctoral Studies from IIM Bangalore in the domain of innovation management. More on his work is available at

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