I'm Neelu Jain

An Honest Day’s Work?

When executive leadership at the most reputable companies in the world are under fire for poor business practice and lying, I shake my head in disbelief. It’s no longer new news, but I continue to be astonished–primarily because I bought into the lie for so long. How can we as a society have let this continue? Is it simply the way the world works?

With money such a part of our survival experience in modern society, how can we change the control it has on our behavior –so people make decisions that are optimal for humanity as a whole? Continue reading “An Honest Day’s Work?” »

TEDWomen Conference Contest

TEDWomen and its sponsors (AOL and Blackberry) are running a contest where they will select 4 people to attend the conference based on submissions of their BIG IDEAS in 500 characters or less.

Here is my submission:

Approach business with unconditional love. Many business decisions are acts of selfishness. Conducting business that looks past the self happens when one heals personal trauma and feels positive vibration in the body; life choices become bigger than one’s pocketbook and how decisions affect the greater world is critical. Imagine financial reform guided by love or a criteria to lead national initiatives a combination of motherhood and financial savvy. I am a strategy consultant and yoga teacher.

Musings on Social Capital, SoCap 2010 and Panahpur

I recently read The Razor’s Edge by M. Somerset Maugham. I loved it. This book was written in the 1940s and touches on many themes that we deal with today in the 2010s — the life journey we embark on, the search for what we feel will fulfill us, our most pressing need — for some the answer is social status, others financial security, others self-destruction and for others simply happiness through finding peace.

We work within the human condition. Our basic instincts and desires while living in society do not change that much from generation to generation — how we express them certainly does and the tools and technologies we have available advance.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the social capital markets conference, SoCap 2010, in San Francisco, CA. Pretty exciting meeting — a lot of people really committed to putting their efforts behind projects/companies/organizations focused on helping humanity. Continue reading “Musings on Social Capital, SoCap 2010 and Panahpur” »

Six Tenets of Innovation

Six Tenets of Innovation:

  • One conversation at a time
  • Go for quality
  • Be visual
  • Build on the ideas of others
  • Stay focused on topic
  • Defer judgment

These statements are found written across white board walls in the Clark Center’s Brainstorming Room at Stanford University.Talking about an innovative bio-design course, this article further describes the room:

“All four walls double as floor-to-ceiling white boards where team members can jot down notes and diagram ideas gleaned from their research. A cabinet contains low-tech items that can be used to make rough product mock-ups, unexpected things including sparkly purple pipe cleaners, Play Dough, and even life-sized plastic replicas of a human spinal cord and a leg. For more advanced prototypes they can move next door to the Prototyping Studio to work with glass beakers, drills, cutting forceps, a furnace, and microscopes.”

I love the description of this room; encouraging collaboration, the use of bodies and hands to play with materials, and helping thoughts evolve into visceral experience. Let’s all think with our hands and bodies! Let’s find the opportunity in the un-said, but in the felt; in the electricity of interaction and engagement.

Work as Art

Is art work? Or, is work art?

At times, I think it’s one and at other times, the other.

I came across SEED Media Group’s logo and the description of its creation:

Screen Shot 2013-06-06 at 10.03.23 PM

Designed by Stefan Sagmeister, our logo reflects society through the lens of science. The logo takes its inspiration from nature’s phyllotaxis structure, a Fibonacci-derived algorithm present in a multitude of settings, from the face of a sunflower to the alternating leaves on a plant to the architecture of highways. Depending on its context, the logo adapts and changes color to reflect its cultural surroundings. Our logo brings “Science is Culture” to life.

This logo, and the inspiration behind it, represent to me several things (1) art in the form of logo design (2) a corporate identity that is infused with meaning (3) the consideration of work as art by intertwining corporate purpose with artful expression.

May we all consider our work, whether in a business, philanthropic, or political context, as art.

O Shiva

From the heart of all matter

Comes the anguished cry

Wake, wake, great Siva,

Our body grows weary

Of its law-fixed path,

Give us new form.

Sing our destruction,

That we gain new life

Rabindranath Tagore, Indian Poet

Kirtan Camp with Jai Uttal

In July, I had the pleasure of singing joyful kirtan for a week with Jai Uttal and Daniel Paul in San Anselmo, CA. All I wanted to do was sing my heart out, and I did just that. Towards the end of camp, we had a 10-hour kirtan, where all of the participants were invited to lead. I had a BLAST!!! With minimal musical training, I got to rock it by singing the names of Hindu Gods. So much fun, so joyful and healing. Jaya Ram! Continue reading “Kirtan Camp with Jai Uttal” »

Learning Humility in the Himalayas

Lewis Pugh shares his experience of swimming Lake Imja at 5,300 meters in the Himalayas, under the watchful gaze of Mt. Everest.

Lewis has a radical mind shift, realizing that to complete this swim, he must change his mind-set. At that altitude, his aggressive approach of swimming as fast as he can across the water does not work. Instead, he must swim with great humility.

A mature man can “shift his mind-set.” I find older men, through life experience, have learned that aggression can cause pain and loss. Approaching with compassion, respect, humility — can create positive outcome, success, loving relationships and engender commitment. Consider the Dalai Lama’s approach.

Try approaching any task moderated with respect and humility — in business, life and love!

Can technology solve the world’s problems?

The backers of Singularity University, some of the most influential technologists on the planet seem to think that yes, technology is a logical answer to solving the world’s problems.

Check out this recent exposition from the New York Times.

I argue that advances in technology + moral fortitude are the appropriate combination.

Ultimately, we are humans behind any technology. And, as humans we are the beneficiaries, or not, of any technology. Continue reading “Can technology solve the world’s problems?” »

The Entrepreneurial Rollercoaster

Anyone who’s started a business (or even thought about it) goes through a wave of emotions throughout the process. With little sense of stability until solid cash flow from ongoing sales or secured funding, there are times when you can really feel like a surfer with a broken board at Waimea.

Here’s a great post by Cameron Herold via Tim Ferris discussing the entrepreneurial roller coaster from Cameron’s Backpocket COO Series. He suggests certain actions to take given the emotional state of the CEO and the organization’s position within the business cycle.

Continue reading “The Entrepreneurial Rollercoaster” »

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