Leading With Joy

This is a resource page for a program that Ramya offers at IIM Bangalore. On this page you will find a brief description of the program and links to snippets from past offerings of the program.

Course Title

Leading with Joy: Leveraging the Mind to Achieve Greater Impact


Today’s executives are increasingly looking for ways in which they can be more engaged in their work and be energized by what they do. Given that people are spending more time at work, a feeling of disconnect with the job can easily erode one’s overall sense of well being. At the other end of the spectrum, when work becomes a calling or like a sport, then one’s job itself can become the high-point of one’s existence. Work can be a vehicle through which one can find deep satisfaction and purpose in life. A key challenge these days, is not merely working for the sake of livelihood, but engaging with work so it energizes and provides a context that adds meaning to one’s own identity. With the growing popularity of positive psychology tools being applied to the organizational context, managing emotions (of oneself and others) is becoming a critical tool for leaders. Emotional Intelligence is increasingly becoming a ‘necessary’ rather than ‘good to have’ skill. As scientists are learning more about the wiring of the brain and the role played in the functioning of the brain by emotions of onself and others (the latter accentuated by the discovery of mirror neurons), organizational scholars are racing to put these findings to use in the corporate world. In this program we will cover a few critical workplace applications of some of the latest findings in positive psychology and neuroscience and discuss ways to use this knowledge to make our own and other’s work experiences more joyful and productive. The basic tenet underlying this course is that happiness and productivity go hand in hand and the presence of one need not preclude the absence of the other.


  • Cultivate a conscious understanding of mental models and how the brain works
  • Get exposed to a basic overview of the field of positive psychology and how happiness at work can increase productivity
  • Learn proven techniques to shift the happiness baseline and have greater control on one’s emotional experiences
  • Learn about emotional intelligence in the context of self management and leadership
  • Learn the fundamentals of appreciative inquiry and its application to organizations and work groups
  • Learn ways to manage personal energy and cope with stress more effectively


In the first part of this course we will explore the subjective nature of experienced reality and understand how human beings can process information and thoughts only on the basis of underlying mental models. We will explore some dominant mental models that are held individually as well as collectively in the context of work, business and management. This first part of the program will draw on the latest scientific developments in psychology, neuroscience, and quantum physics so as to enable participants to open up to the possibility that we consciously and sub-consciously co-create the realities that we experience. In the second part of this program we introduce specific tools and strategies that can be used to become aware of the workings of our own mind and we start building new models and habits that can serve us better in our leadership roles. We explore the fundamentals of the field of positive psychology and learn techniques to shift our happiness baseline so as to gain better control over our own emotional states. Participants will be guided through the fundamentals of appreciative inquiry and emotional intelligence and we will do some in-class exercises on how to use these two powerful concepts in an organizational context. As we go through the exercises we will also discuss the psychological theory that drives appreciative inquiry and emotional intelligence so as to empower the participants to create and experiment with their own exercises in future.


The pedagogy is based on participative methods and will involve lectures, class exercises, small group discussions, and self reflection. We will endeavour to create an informal and trusting atmosphere to enable open sharing of experiences and insights.

Target participants profile

This program will be useful to individuals at any level who are keen on transforming the way they work. Participants who are ready to take responsibility for their experience and progress will benefit the most from this program.

Program Director

Dr. Ramya Ranganathan is an Electrical, Electronics, and Communications engineer from IIT Madras and holds a PGDM (MBA) from IIM Ahmedabad. Ramya worked in the corporate world with blue chip companies like ICICI, Infosys and Citibank, before she embarked on a quest to learn how she could help people (and herself) flourish better at work. As part of understanding the person-work relationship, Ramya studied organizational behavior and work-psychology at London Business School and she has a Masters of Research as well as a Doctorate in Management from London Business School. Ramya has now dedicated her life to helping people find joy and meaning through their work. For the last 4 years she has designed and taught courses, programs and workshops with this singular objective to both MBA students as well as working executives. Ramya’s sessions have been acknowledged for the authenticity and sincerity she brings to her course content by virtue of only including strategies and tools that she has herself experimented with. Her style of teaching has also been appreciated for blending intellectual left brained logic with intuitive right brained reflection. Ramya attributes this to her mix of being trained in engineering and psychology. Some of Ramya’s landmark courses and workshops are ‘Personal Values, Goals and Career Options’, ‘Positive Psychology and Positive Organizational Scholarship’, ‘Nurturing Creativity and Excellence’, ‘Leading with Joy’, ‘Being a Learner’, ‘Managing Emotions’ and ‘Leveraging Strengths’. In the past four years Ramya has reached over 2000 participants through various programs and has received excellent feedback from them with her courses consistently being rated among the top few courses at IIMB.

How to Enroll

This is an open program that is conducted at IIM Bangalore. It is a 3 day workshop and you can get more information and register at http://www.iimb.ernet.in/executive-education/open-programmes/Inside_pages/leading-with-joy.htm If you’d like a customised workshop designed around a similar theme you can contact Ramya at ramya.ranganathan@iimb.ernet.in


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