“A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.”
~ Richard Bach

Well, I’m an amateur, and I don’t intend to quit! I’ve always loved reading & been fascinated by how authors can bend words to their will, and create a vivid world of meaning & insight in their readers’ minds. My best days have been ones where I’ve curled up with a great book, and by the tenth page I’ve inhabited an entirely new universe, whether it’s a thoughtscape of the author’s philosophy, a recounting of their own lived experiences, or a purely fictional world of wonder. It felt a bit like a ride in Dr. Who’s TARDIS, landing at an alternate dimension where time & space fade, while a new & wondrous adventure awaits. “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could write this powerfully too!” - I have wondered ever so often.

Well, I may be a long way away from that dream, but when we discussed the concept of Our Culture Cafe, I couldn’t have been more thrilled! I could finally have my own serious writing project! So here I am.

I have an insatiable love of learning ever since I can remember, especially about human beings & the underlying social & psychological phenomena that compel us to live the way we do. So it’s not a surprise that I ended up in the field of People Operations & Development and spent a significant chunk of that time in the Learning & Development space. I’ve done everything from learning design, content development, training delivery, workshop facilitation, coaching to leading large, complex & global training programs. Over the last few years, my work has led me to learn more about the Organisational Development space, with a specific focus on Organisational Culture & Leading Change. I currently partner with Chirag in driving 2 large scale culture based programs at ThoughtWorks India- Strengthening our Cultivation Culture & ThoughtWorker Integration.

While I’ve worked for several IT & ITES companies in the past, the time I’ve spent at ThoughtWorks remains the most fruitful & fulfilling part of my career. It's a remarkable organisation, built on high ideals and held together by incredibly inspiring people. I joined ThoughtWorks as a disillusioned, jaded professional, convinced that the corporate world was a ruthless, extractive place, devoid of all genuine connection or meaning. At a time when I should have been excited about my success, I was exhausted instead. My first few weeks at ThoughtWorks took my breath away! People spoke frankly & boldly, journalese didn’t exist, everyone genuinely wanted to help, people were constantly chatting & laughing everywhere, especially over the magically endless food supply! And yet it was clear to see the high standards everyone delivered to. I met the smartest people I’d ever known, and also the kindest. For the first time I felt like I really belonged at a company. Within a year, I transformed and grew at a speed equivalent to all my previous years of experience put together. I made more friends than I had in all my years. And after being here for nearly a decade, I continue to remain in awe of ThoughtWorks culture!

Through Our Culture Cafe, I hope to share what I have discovered about Learning, Culture & Change with you, and do what I love most as I go along, keep learning! Oh! And perhaps someday meet & chat about these ideas with some of you over a perfectly brewed cup of coffee!

Cover Image Credit: chuttersnap at Unsplash

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