Friday, February 26, 2016

my note on making effort

Young, good looking, and currently have achieved something great, not for just himself, but also his country. Yes, I am talking about Rio Haryanto, a figure whom is currently buzzing the (social) media.

There are pros and cons about Rio to finally be able to take part in Formula 1, world’s highest class of single-seat auto racing, which has been the premier form of racing since the inaugural season in 1950. On the cons side, the majority argues regarding the huge amount of money allocated for taking part in the race. I have to agree that for the context of Indonesia, we kind of have our national priority straight, which is to reduce poverty by accelerating growth, etc, and this mission takes on significant portion of our national budget. However, on the other hand, a balance should be created by start investing on other matters outside of our “national priorities”. I was passing by this interesting writing I found on Facebook arguing that there is indeed a price to pay to take part in world class sport events, be it auto racing, soccer/football, etc. At the basis of it, in my opinion, when it is related to investing money, we tend to calculate and predict revenues (short term or long term) measures in numbers, and we’re all pretty much gambling with the probabilities. At the end, we can decide whether we’re satisfied (or not) with the money that we have invested.

Let’s break it down a little bit : Rio Haryanto, born 23 years ago in Solo, Indonesia. His Career started back in 2008, when he was still 17 years old, he took part in Formula Asia 2.0, since then he tried to improve himself by taking part in other regional series of auto race. In one of the series, Formula BMW Pacific, he won 11 out of 15 races. He started to steal spotlights since taking part in GP 2 Series in 2012. He’s been racing in numerous countries, representing Indonesia. The number one Indonesian oil company has been his major sponsor throughout the way, and he also gained support from foreign sponsors and partners. Because of his involvement and accomplishments in the GP 2, he is eligible for the FIA Superlisence, his grand ticket to the Formula 1 Series.

Let’s take out our calculation and start looking at the other (un)tangible matters, the immaterial impacts. Though it is too early to predict their victory in the series, Rio and his team has worked really hard to be where they are now, another example of success stories that deserves more highlights in our media. For the kind of person who really appreciates process like me, I highly regard Rio and his team’s efforts. I believe that in the globalized word that we live in right now, we need more Indonesian people to move around, representing our country, and leave impression on others. With talent and support, Rio has the perfect modal to do it. While on the other hand, he has big responsibility to represent Indonesia in his best effort. Just like the old saying, the bigger one dream, the bigger the obstacles, therefore one must endeavor.

We have seen and heard couple of success stories of Indonesian abroad from various fields before, be it science, music, politics, etc. We need more of these success stories, the immaterial impacts. We need our younger generation to be coherent with these stories and examples. We need our younger generation to be brainwashed with optimism, creativity, and willingness to dream big. We need our younger generation to be constantly inspired by our own people, from people to people. We need our younger generation to believe that they achieve anything they want as long as they work hard for it. You cannot really measure the spirit of optimism and working hard with money, nor to invest and expect return. It is a spark that grow inside of us, because we want to achieve something, else will follow. We need optimism to help lights the spark. 

I’d like to close this writing with one of my favourite verse from the Qur’an, surah Ar-Ra’d : 11, which has strong relevancy to the topic above, and the verse is more or less is translated to the following : “God (Allah) will not change the state of a people until they change the existing situation on themselves”.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

My note on the concept of collaboration

Being the social animal that we are, it is almost impossible for us to not interact with other individuals in our daily life basis. And If you're working and living in a big and populated city, it is something that you will encounter with other individuals probably almost every single day. Interaction somewhat becomes a way of survival to be part of the wave. In this kind of context, interaction between some people tend to go to the level of collaboration.

There are many reasons for people to collaborate. The main purpose is to achieve or approach the common goals. By collaborating, all the power, talents, assets, and ideas are combined. This mechanism allows people to achieve common goals faster, more effective, and more impactful than if you are a solo fighter. Collaboration is also a peacemaking medium in which keeps people busy thinking and doing to create something or make difference in their groups and communities. I imagined if all of the people in Indonesia are busy collaborating, we will have a productive yet conflict-free nation!

From my experience, collaborating with other people could be a nice yet challenging thing to do. With collaborating, we will get the work done for sure. And having to work with other people, they complete the part which is out of our ability or specialty. This process also allows us to practice and sharpen our social skills. Collaboration could be challenging when expectations and capabilities of individuals involved are failed to be noticed and accommodated. Given the diverse characteristics and backgrounds of individuals involved, it is essential to take time to understand and accept the differences to collaborate more effectively.

Though it is always possible to be accommodative, in reality we don't always have the energy to please everyone, particularly if we put so much focus on our ideals and the things we want to achieve. In this kind of context, according to myself, collaboration shall be modified to the extend between small-knitted, like-minded, and similar vibes of individuals. It is important to be in a squad that stimulates you to think and do better.

Of all the available options within our network, we have the rights to choose the people that we want to collaborate with, especially if it is for the long run. These people are likely to be the ones you shared the same values, ideals, and have the vibe connections.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My note on the concept of Culture

Last weekend I was involved in an activity where I have to assess one's ability to adjust to new environment and culture to be able to perform self growth from it. From that activity, I am seeing young individuals who are determined to become world citizens by gaining experience and learning interculturally. What is it about this intercultural experience and learning that attracts people to be immersed in?

The concept of intercultural experience and learning is very closely associated with culture. In my definition, culture represents a wide aspect in our everyday life, from our way of thinking, way of living, way of creating something, etc. I think that every single person is part/product of a bigger culture and they represents the culture of their own at the same time. The process of creating culture involved external stimulus as well as generating our own values and ideals.

We see and witnessed varieties of individual ways of living, thinking, etc. We can see that, potentially, there are many ideas and new ways that could be developed by opening our minds to learn and see how the way of others may benefit us. Ideally, with open minds, we can be more receptive and able to unleash limitless creativity to create or improve many things in life. But on the realistic side, of course there are challenges to overcome when implementing the effort, from really believing the power of oneself, being misunderstood by others, to unsupportive external conditions (i.e corruptive government, conflicts,  etc).

While it seems that there may be no boundaries when it comes to discovering culture, the boundaries actually exists within ourselves as individuals. In other word, the extend to where we can change our behavior (even though we have been culturally empowered) actually has limit. If you happen to follow Daniel Pink and his show at Nat Geo channel, it is validated how we are tend to be 'lost' in our habits and culture, therefore controlling it becomes necessary. Or we all recalls on how our prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) always behave in kind manner in order to inspire and influence the disbelievers to take the right path. Culture could also be formed as influence to inspire and empower.

I guess these young people are aware on how intercultural learning and experience will benefit them by being able to learn about something that they have never been exposed to,and also being used to accepting new stimulus. The experience will have effect not just in short term, but also long term, as culture is not something to be mastered in an overnight. It is a fluid entity, which will stimulates, inspires, and challenges us in our entire life.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

my note on community based tourism

source :

How is the way of travelling changing in the nowadays context? And how is it associated with the idea of improving communities?

For you wanderers and explorers, I am pretty sure that you have the thought that there are many ways to experience the world. As an ultimate traveler, you tend to find ways to be connected with the people that you meet at your destinations, as well as the surroundings. You will make the best of your time and money to gain as much experience as possible. Travelling is not just a means of leisure, but also a means of exploring local cultures, food, history, landscapes, etc

For us millennials, travelling has becoming something that is incorporated to our lifestyle. Travelling is somewhat the catharsis media of the buzzing routines millennials tend to have. We realize the importance of taking our time offs and to keep exploring.  On the other hand, there are some people who are dedicating themselves freely, and took the opposite approach. Out there, there are individuals who directly took part as catalyst, entrepreneurs, agent of change that promotes tourism in many different ways. With their creativity, these people offers new ways of travelling to the emerging market, while on the other hand also engaging and collaborating with the local community to help improve their lives.

We see this growing trend of travelling, particularly among youngsters in Indonesia. If you look closely, what is there to miss? Our nation has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. And on top of that, given thousands of islands that existed in this nation, there are many settings and cultures that could be explored. Given these potentials, it is not too vague to say that tourism is a promising industry that is worth to be explored. With their entrepreneurial mindset, some people took the chance to create something out of it. One example that I am going to emphasize in this writing is the concept of community based tourism.

Community based tourism allowed local residents (often rural, poor, and economically marginalized) to develop strategies and plans to promote the local potentials by inviting tourist to visit their communities. This will includes activities such as organizing festivals, providing homestay, as well as marketing products of artisan goods. This system allows residents to earn income as land managers, entrepreneurs, service, etc. On the consumer side, community based tourism allows tourist to discover local habitats and wildlife, as well as knowing more about traditional cultures, rituals, and wisdom.

Kampung Wisata Mola is one example of community based tourism implemented in Wakatobi, Sulawesi. The idea of this project is to develop an ecotourism that allows the establishment of sustainable socio-cultural interaction. Wakatobi has one of the richest underwater life in the world which attracts thousands of tourist coming to experience it. With quite a number of visitors coming, the local community who established Kampung Wisata Mola are findings ways for visitors to also experience their majestic local culture in various ways, such as tasting local culinary, introducing the Bajo star telling tradition, and let tourists to have hands on experience being a traditional Bajo fisherman.

The concept of community based tourism somewhat contribute in offering new ways of travelling and exploring and empowering communities at the same time. These two ingredients are important in creating a sustainable social enterprise, where in the bigger context, business and development are also shifting to a more impactful and environment friendly causes. Community based tourism may be small business units which contribute in creating new employment opportunities in communities. Specifically, this system also allows the transfer of knowledge, as well as exchange of ideas and experiences between tourist and the local people. If managed properly, these advantages will enhance growth as both sides gain new perspectives, skills, and knowledge from the process.

So, are you on board?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I want my kids ...

I want my kids to be a proud Muslim and always have the willingness to learn more about their religion.

I want my kids to have minds that are broad, and they could imagine of anything to achieve their dreams.

I want my kids to have hearts that are open, so they could have empathy and forgive easily.

I want my kids to understand that failures should not beat them, and they have continuous energy and aspiration to keep going.

I want my kids to know that working hard is important, yet are not blinded by material things. I want them to know that happiness is sometimes a simple thing.

I want my kids to be constantly grateful, especially when they face difficult times.

I want my kids to value their life by keeping on exploring the world, and enrich their perspectives by doing it.

My kids doesn't have to be the smartest, as long as they know what they are doing, and what they do is useful for others.

I want my kids to be in the blessed path and be happy about their life.

Amin ya robbal alamin

Sunday, November 02, 2014

my note on the concept of leadership

Our nation is currently entering its "new age" as we officially have a new leader, a new president, elected directly by Indonesian people. Many people are hoping for new breakthroughs under his leadership, many people are hopeful for improvements of the nation. In less than one third of his first quarter of governance, the new president has caught us attention through various stories and headlines, particularly on his composition of cabinet, named Kabinet Kerja, literally translated as Working Cabinet.

Susi Pudjiastuti has became the most talked about person in the nation since the day Mr. Jokowi announced his cabinet and assigned her as Minister of Marine and Fishery Affairs. Many critics and cynical comments were being addressed to her, given her educational background and other personal matters. The assigned minister is a high school dropout whom on the other hand has been a very successful entrepreneur in the field of fishery and aviation. This is probably a rare type of case. Hard work, correct strategy, effective leadership, and probably luck are the key factors which has brought Susi Pudjiastuti to where she is now, a successful businesswomen of two companies with billions Rupiah worth of assets. Before, many people may have not known Susi Pudjiastuti and what she does. Despite of negative comments on her background, Susi Pudjiastuti has raised a positive story, which hopefully, encourage others. Her story tells how anyone can be successful, by being a hardworking and empathetic entrepreneur. A successful example of a leader.

Being elected as the first female Minister for Marine and Fishery Affairs, Susi Pudjiastuti's model of leadership, experience and knowledge is to be tested in a whole new level. Given her background as a high school dropout, particularly, has always been challenging for her to gain trust and acceptance from others. This may also applies during the earlier period when she was just starting up her business. What constructs her success? How was her leadership established and maintained?

In his interview with Harvard Business Review, Daniel Goleman explained how effective leaders are able to functioned through three types of focus: inner focus, other focus, and outer focus. With inner focus, one will be able to give constant effort and gain continuous power to achieve goals, targets, and put their vision into realization; with other focus, one will believe that they are doing good cause, because it is also affecting other people and thus adding strength and confident in achieving goals; and with outer focus, one will be able to place themselves in a bigger context, and they have role within that larger context which enables them to moderate their effort in achieving targets through strategies, networks, etc. With the three focuses working in parallel, one will be able to practice an effective leadership which most likely will lead them towards success.

The above mentioned theories may have been implemented by Susi Pudjiastuti in running her business. At the core basis, she knew she had to survive by the time she dropped out from school. She was leading herself to start her own small business which happened to continue growing as she gain more experience. Her experience and visions enables her setting bigger goals. She started gaining reputation and trust, which enable her  to include other people in her vision and to have them impacted by her business: families, local fishermans, foreign pilots, etc. By doing this, she generates more resources which helps her business to grow. In a wider context, she need to develop strategies in order to have her effort and the people impacted by her business to be put into effect, there's a product or outcome that is recognized by the market. With USD 40 Million of revenue in 2014, it is not too vague to say that people are satisfied with the product, adding more wealth to her company, both material and non-material.

Susi Pudjiastuti is one of many example of extraordinary individuals who shared similar success stories. New Challenge is ahead of her in developing Indonesia's vast potentials in the field of marine and fisheries. As Daniel Goleman explained, to become an even more effective leader, one need to develop their focus through practices. Realistically, different context have different consequences on the degree of practice that is being done. Supposedly, those practices are drives and motivations for effective leaders.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

my note on the concept of trust

Societies which lives in countries located in the Eastern sphere of the world are often associated with being collectivist, meaning that people living within these societies highly valued collectivity in their daily life.  Of many characteristics, individuals living in collectivist societies are usually family oriented, have many informal associations, have strong group spirit (gotong royong), etc. Some of us are indeed familiar with these characteristics as we are living in Indonesia.

Now, as a nation, Indonesia has been one of the emerging Economies in Asia (with 5,7 % rate of GDP growth in 2014 according to Asian Development Bank). Though our nations economy is still slowly growing, still it is achievement and would be an impossible without good cooperation between government, private sectors, and of course the Indonesian public. The last determinant will have major role in the process, the public. Some study results concluded that economic growth is associated with public trust, where societies with high level of trust mostly lived in countries with stable and promising economic growth (i.e Scandinavian and West European countries). 

What forms trust? in individual scale, trust will grow when one finds other individual is reliable, indicated by integrity, effort, leadership, etc. With trust, individuals are able cooperate and collaborate in achieving common goals. Moreover, people with similar interest and goals tends to be easier in trusting each other. In wider scale, the term used is generalized trust, which is often referring to bunch of individuals trusts as well as trust towards government, officials, etc. Clean and good governance is often associated by high degree of trust by its people as individual well being and wealth are being emphasized. People respect the government of the consistency and integrity in empowering the nation. This balance therefore promotes stable economic growth, civic engagement, civil political involvement, etc.

How does the trend of trusting applies in Indonesia? given its characteristics of collectivist nation, in general it is not difficult for people to engage with each other, despite given the nation's multicultural background. Assuming that trust should form naturally, generalized trust in collectivist country such as Indonesia should also be high. However, the hypothesis referring to the positive association between generalized trust and wealth, particularly, does not seem to generally apply. At some point and levels the mechanism of trust works does promote cooperation between individuals, but in some other there are just too many challenges to be faced such as corruptive government, propaganda, weak law implementation, etc, which hinders generalized trust to grow, thus slowing nation's development. Despite, potentials and resources towards nation's betterment are there already. Hopefully to make breakthrough in the near future.

Reference: Uslaner, Eric M and Mitchel J.Brown. 2003. Inequality, Trust, and Civic Engagement. American Politics Research, Sage Publication