Oracle SmarterCX Women in Tech Series: Video Feature Part 1

4 Psychology Lessons That’ll Help You Get Ahead in Technology

Oracle SmarterCX published a two-part interview and video program about Rachana and her work during Women’s History Month, as part of a series, “Women in Tech.”

View the full article and video at the SmarterCX website.

Special thanks to Oracle for the feature about blending human psychology and technology, two of Rachana’s passions!


Featured on Catalyst’s “Men Advocating Real Change”

Catalyst’s MARC (Men Advocating Real Change) is dedicated to bringing research and actionable tools for male advocacy to corporations and individuals.

They have focused July 2017’s resources on gender partnership:  how women can support men in their advocacy efforts.  As part of this campaign, you can read my featured article, The Importance of Women Supporting Men” directly on the MARC website.


I also encourage you to download and share their latest resource, Actions Women Can Take To Support Men’s Engagement. 


Bloomberg Moderator: Intrapreneurship

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It was a real treat to recently serve as moderator for a Bloomberg panel on intrapreneurship.

Bloomberg is, in many respects, the original startup — founded by Michael Bloomberg and his three partners in 1981; together they built the first computer that would soon revolutionize the financial services industry — providing real-time financial analytics to Wall Street firms.

Intrapreneurship is all about bringing innovation and an entrepreneurial contribution to your own company or organization.  It was only fitting that, in a company like Bloomberg, where the culture is open and non-hierarchical; illuminated fish tanks on all floors embody the spirit of transparency, and everything employees do is with an agile mindset, that Bloomberg featured this topic on center stage at their 731 Lexington Avenue Headquarters.  (Check out the office here)

Some highlights shared by the panelists and “live tweeted” during the session include:

– MAPS<GO> recently featured on 60 Minutes

– How leaders set a culture of innovation to make intrapreneurs thrive

– How to handle setbacks

– What it takes to prove your idea via prototyping

– BEING in an intrapreneur — importance of collaboration, how to build influence, and “doing it on top of the day job”





Lean In Power Women NYC: An Evening of Design Thinking and Your Career

I spoke at a recent “Lean In: Power Women NYC” circle, which was an evening presentation to a group of women entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Design Thinking and Your Career:  The Presentation

I provided a tailored session to introduce Lean In Circle members to Design Thinking and practical ways to apply the five stages of design to critical points in one’s career.

I illustrated these examples using three “Journey Studies” (my term for “case studies” which reflect personal and pivotal career maneuvers).

We covered topics like how I landed in my career, transtioned to a foreign management consulting practice in Austria/Switzerland/Germany as a leader, found passion for psychology through design, and built a program around my master’s research — men and diversity — while working full-time.

A Summary of Key Takeaway Points

– In design thinking for business, Ideation often happens purposefully, in a room with team members, post-it notes and desired outcome.  In design thinking for our own careers, Ideation really happens organically — in the shower, at 2am when we awake from a dream, while commuting.  Breakthrough ideas are going to happen!

– The Empathy stage allows us the space to “make sense of the mess” when we are looking at changing a career or making another life change.  “The mess” may indeed feel messy, but it really is an opportunity to gather data about what’s happening and how it sits with us.

Prototype and Test phases allow us to “just try it out.” We don’t jump careers if we feel burnt out; rather we explore different environments to really understand where the source of our burnout might be.  Similarly, if we’re passionate about something, we try it out, test it, and see what feedback we get; it need not be perfect (e.g. the perfect manuscript, the perfect website), as long as we are getting feedback and informing our next decision.

– Metaphors are a quick way to reframe and ideate!  We use metaphors to reflect our current situation, so that we can assess it in a new, fresh way.   I had each woman think of her own metaphor to describe her career at this moment, and then network with a partner to share and get an added perspective.

My personal metaphor?  A box of Nerds. (See: footnote)

At the end of the session, each woman walked out with her own box of Nerds, as ongoing inspiration to apply design and metaphors to creatively think about her various life journeys.

Evening Reflection

Though I was the speaker, my own journey has been memorably influenced by being part of this evening.  The room — a beautiful space hosted by Oracle, on the 26th floor of Park Avenue — was buzzing with new connections, shared ideas and buoyant laughter.  I was also deeply touched to see so many of my own personal “tribe” of women join:  close girlfriends, professional colleagues, my executive coach, my fashion designer, even a LinkedIn contact who I’d never met, but runs in similar circles.

Lean In circle host, Monica, has done a wonderful job creating a place for women to really discover new perspectives, creatively brainstorm, and network — which, in no uncertain terms, truly embodies the human-centric spirit that lies at the heart of design thinking.

For more information about applying design thinking strategies to your career journey, contact Rachana.

* Footnote:  Box of Nerds metaphor — like all metaphors — is open to your own preferred interpretation.


Leadership and Change at Columbia University

Guest Lecture: An afternoon with master’s students at Columbia University teaching about leadership, change and the future of strategic human resources.  

The entire presentation was told through a journey of pop music to build engagement and personal commitment.  A truly memorable experience with the future leaders of HR!

“Thank you Rachana for such an insightful and engaging conversation with our Columbia TC grad students – you were not only speaking about HR but also gave some valuable life coaching!” – Professor Sam Liu