Spiritual and What it Does to Creativity

Just like any other knowledge, spiritual is just another resource of creativity.

Is it? NO! It is not that simple.

Most of us raised in a family with specific religious guidance. It becomes an anchor of our behavior. Most of religions teach us how to be a good human being. Nature-loving and useful for society. Being placed in a society means we are not living for ourselves. There are others who needs our help, and of course, we can’t live by our own. Sometimes we need each other, and that is exactly where we have to be creative. Resources are finite, while needs are infinite. To cope with that, we have to be creative.

Every human have their own portion of Intellectual, Emotional, and Spiritual intelligence. Having only intellectual intelligence is going to make us smart. But without emotional, we are not useful for the society. Emotional intelligence brings us the feeling of having each other, living in a community, and interaction. Having 2 out of 3 intelligence is good. But without the spiritual, we have no guidance of how to live this live, what are our purposes of living in this world. The bottom line is, spiritual intelligence is a standard, a guidance, and an anchor of our behavior. Having a good spiritual intelligence will lead to a better, social characteristics.


Business Model

Now I’m going to open the business model about KTM, an austrian motorcycle company producing mainly off-road 2-wheeled vehicles. Among Indonesian dirt bikers, KTM is the most wanted bike after Honda CRF.

SCAMPER – An Innovation Wizard

SCAMPER is a method or a ‘wizard’ of reaching innovation.

This method stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify/Magnify, Purpose, Eliminate, Reverse/Re-arrange.

Now to make it easier to understand, let’s jump to an example.

This Land Rover had been around since the world war. It was widely use by international army from time to time. Just about couple of years ago, this model ‘Defender’ was discontinued. The Defender has been known for the reliability and exceptional off-road performance.

This also brought the image of the brand Land Rover as the mighty off-roader vehicle. The latest model of Land Rover is now arrive with a more sophisticated technology, styling, and efficiency. It’s The new Land Rover LRX.

SUBSTITUTE: Land Rover can change their semi-offroad features such as tires, engine, to a real one. Having the image of off-road vehicle meaning they have to give the real thing for the customer. Not just off-road look. Seeing the new model, i doubt that it has the same off-road ability as good as the old one.

COMBINE: Land Rover was not a famous engine manufacturer. In the latest model they buy the engines from Volkswagen. It is a good way of solving problem. Combining internal disadvantages with other’s advantages.

ADAPT: One of the reason the Defender was discontinued was because it is not eco-friendly. Land Rover should adapt with current issue of environment. This is the new challange for Land Rover.

MODIFY: Modify the interior. We have to admit that the new model adopt more of the ‘Luxury’ than off-road orientation. But if customers use it for off-road, which is a dirty work, the interior should also provide the ease. It should be easily cleaned, reliable, and tough.

PURPOSE: Do not let the luxury world shifts the purpose of off-road. More and more people adapt the off-road look without doing the real thing. But manufacturers should still provide the real thing. All of the features and performance should still facilitate the real off-roader. Not just the poser.

ELIMINATE: Reduce carbon emission! Going off-road meaning loving the nature, not ruining it.


Cross-Culture Communication

Since we’re living in a multi-cultured country, it is good to know what differences we are facing when communicating with people with different backgrounds. I actually would like to do more research about local cultures in Indonesia, but haven’t got a chance to do it. At the time being, let’s read about international issues. Adopted from wiki. Really interesting, though.

Following are further descriptions of the distinctive aspects of each of the 15 cultural groups videotaped. Certainly, conclusions of statistical significant differences between individual cultures cannot be drawn without larger sample sizes. But, the suggested cultural differences are worthwhile to consider briefly.

Japan. Consistent with most descriptions of Japanese negotiation behavior, the results of this analysis suggest their style of interaction is among the least aggressive (or most polite). Threats, commands, and warnings appear to be de-emphasized in favor of the more positive promises, recommendations, and commitments. Particularly indicative of their polite conversational style was their infrequent use of no and you and facial gazing, as well as more frequent silent periods.

Korea. Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of the analysis is the contrast of the Asian styles of negotiations. Non-Asians often generalize about the Orient; the findings demonstrate, however, that this is a mistake. Korean negotiators used considerably more punishments and commands than did the Japanese. Koreans used the word no and interrupted more than three times as frequently as the Japanese. Moreover, no silent periods occurred between Korean negotiators.

China (Northern). The behaviors of the negotiators from Northern China (i.e., in and around Tianjin) were most remarkable in the emphasis on asking questions (34 percent). Indeed, 70 percent of the statements made by the Chinese negotiators were classified as information-exchange tactics. Other aspects of their behavior were quite similar to the Japanese, particularly the use of no and you and silent periods.

Taiwan. The behavior of the businesspeople in Taiwan was quite different from that in China and Japan but similar to that in Korea. The Chinese on Taiwan were exceptional in the time of facial gazing—on the average, almost 20 of 30 minutes. They asked fewer questions and provided more information (self-disclosures) than did any of the other Asian groups.

Russia. The Russians’ style was quite different from that of any other European group, and, indeed, was quite similar in many respects to the style of the Japanese. They used noand you infrequently and used the most silent periods of any group. Only the Japanese did less facial gazing, and only the Chinese asked a greater percentage of questions.

Israel. The behaviors of the Israeli negotiators were distinctive in three respects. As mentioned above, they used the lowest percentage of self-disclosures, apparently holding their cards relatively closely. Alternatively, they used by far the highest percentages of promises and recommendations, using these persuasive strategies unusually heavily. They were also at the end of the scale on the percentage of normative appeals at 5 percent with the most frequent reference to competitors’ offers. Perhaps most importantly the Israeli negotiators interrupted one another much more frequently than negotiators from any other group. Indeed, this important nonverbal behavior is most likely to blame for the “pushy” stereotype often used by Americans to describe their Israeli negotiation partners.

Germany. The behaviors of the Germans are difficult to characterize because they fell toward the center of almost all the continua. However, the Germans were exceptional in the high percentage of self-disclosures (47 percent) and the low percentage of questions (11 percent).

United Kingdom. The behaviors of the British negotiators were remarkably similar to those of the Americans in all respects. British people believe that most British negotiators have a strong sense of the right way to negotiate and the wrong. Protocol is of great importance. However, the “right way to negotiate” may be a completely different concept for people from different cultures. Some cultures may consider the British negotiation style as extremely cold and arrogant.

Spain. Diga is perhaps a good metaphor for the Spanish approach to negotiations evinced in our data. When you make a phone call in Madrid, the usual greeting on the other end is not hola (“hello”) but is, instead, diga (“speak”). It is not surprising, then, that the Spaniards in the videotaped negotiations likewise used the highest percentage of commands (17 percent) of any of the groups and gave comparatively little information (self-disclosures, only 34 percent). Moreover, they interrupted one another more frequently than any other group, and they used the terms no and you very frequently.

France. The style of the French negotiators was perhaps the most aggressive of all the groups. In particular, they used the highest percentage of threats and warnings (together, 8 percent). They also used interruptions, facial gazing, and no and you very frequently compared with the other groups, and one of the French negotiators touched his partner on the arm during the simulation.

Brazil. The Brazilian businesspeople, like the French and Spanish, were quite aggressive. They used the second-highest percentage of commands of all the groups. On average, the Brazilians said the word no 42 times, you 90 times, and touched one another on the arm about 5 times during 30 minutes of negotiation. Facial gazing was also high.

Mexico. The patterns of Mexican behavior in our negotiations are good reminders of the dangers of regional or language-group generalizations. Both verbal and nonverbal behaviors were quite different than those of their Latin American (Brazilian) or continental (Spanish) cousins. Indeed, Mexicans answer the telephone with the much less demanding bueno(short for “good day”). In many respects, the Mexican behavior was very similar to that of the negotiators from the United States.

French-Speaking Canada. The French-speaking Canadians behaved quite similarly to their continental cousins. Like the negotiators from France, they too used high percentages of threats and warnings, and even more interruptions and eye contact. Such an aggressive interaction style would not mix well with some of the more low-key styles of some of the Asian groups or with English speakers, including English-speaking Canadians.

English-Speaking Canada. The Canadians who speak English as their first language used the lowest percentage of aggressive persuasive tactics (threats, warnings, and punishments totaled only 1 percent) of all 15 groups. Perhaps, as communications researchers suggest, such stylistic differences are the seeds of interethnic discord as witnessed in Canada over the years. With respect to international negotiations, the English-speaking Canadians used noticeably more interruptions and no’s than negotiators from either of Canada’s major trading partners, the United States and Japan.

United States. Like the Germans and the British, the Americans fell in the middle of most continua. They did interrupt one another less frequently than all the others, but that was their sole distinction.

These differences across the cultures are quite complex, and this material by itself should not be used to predict the behaviors of foreign counterparts. Instead, great care should be taken with respect to the aforementioned dangers of stereotypes. The key here is to be aware of these kinds of differences so that the Japanese silence, the Brazilian “no, no, no…,” or the French threat are not misinterpreted.

In addition to the 15 cultures which have been discussed; below is an excerpt on negotiation approaches within the Mediterranean.

“The Mediterranean culture is altogether warmer.

Warm greetings and social aspects. Exuberant uses of postures and gestures. difficulty in pinning discussions down to particular deals or particular phases of negotiation.

In some regions, deals need to be ‘lubricated’. Indeed, this question of ‘lubrication’ is central to the cultures of some Mediterranean countries. It is seen as a normal practice and does not have the repulsive character of ‘bribery’.

The approach to negotiation in these cultures needs to retain the types of discipline we have been discussing; and yet to be conscious of the need for lubrication. Since no respectable western company would wish to be associated with the practice of bribery, the need is to secure a local agency and to ensure that that agency handles the lubrication.”


Daily Life Innovative Invention

And the winner is… CALCULATOR!

Bayangkan hidup kita tanpa KALKULATOR! Semua orang yang berdagang di pasar baru harus membuat kotret-an setiap kali bertransaksi. Dan si pembeli juga harus membuat kotret-an sendiri agar tidak ditipu pedagangnya. Kalau belanjanya sedikit sih, tak masalah. Tapi kalau belanja keperluan lebaran, misalnya. Repot banget tuh kalo harus menjumlahkan puluhan item belanjaan di atas kertas dengan sebatang pensil.

Saya rasa kita akan hidup dengan cara yang berbeda apabila hingga 2010 belum diciptakan kalkulator berukuran kecil. Apabila ditelusuri, sejarah penciptaan kalkulator layak pakai belum terlalu lama, kok. Baru sekitar tahun 1970-an konsep “kalkulator untuk semua” tercetus. Sebelumnya, kalkulator merupakan barang mewah seharga 2-3 minggu gaji karyawan umum (menurut oom wiki). Era kalkulator mewah berakhir saat ditemukannya IC (integrated circuit). Buat yang belum tahu, IC ini berupa benda kecil hitam berkaki banyak yang menempel di setiap rangkaian elektronik. Benda ini menggantikan ratusan transistor sehingga menghemat biaya dan ukuran. Bayangkan, kalkulator transistor sebesar lemari bisa disulap menjadi sebesar kotak korek api, berkat IC.

Meski begitu, sejak dahulu, masing-masing peradaban punya caranya sendiri untuk menghitung cepat, tapi tentu saja tidak secepat kalkulator. Contohnya toko-toko di daerah pecinan, beberapa pedagangnya masih menggunakan sempoa untuk menghitung. Bangsa Roma dan Babilonia juga punya metode perhitungan sendiri.

Kalkulator modern sendiri secara garis besar terbagi menjadi 2. Scientific kalkulator, dan kalkulator tukang daging. Pemakaiannya tergantung kebutuhan. Dilihat dari namanya saja, kalau kalkulator scientific, digunakkan untuk melakukan penghitungan rumit seperti pythagoras, integral, dsb. Kalau kalkulator tukang daging, hanya kali bagi tambah kurang yang simpel saja, biasanya memang dipakai pedagang.

Saking bergunanya inovasi kalkulator, maka ini menjadi fitur standar di setiap handphone dan iPod. Karena tiap orang suatu saat pasti menggunakannya sekali waktu. Untuk mempermudah akses, kalkulator juga dibuat menjadi tempat pensil, jam tangan, gantungan kunci, penggaris, bahkan anting.

Open Innovation: Where R&D is Just a Tiny Spec

The R&D concept as a department in a company seems to be working well. In the theory. In a matter of  fact, in the world where ideas and knowledge are widely spread, the R&D department seems to be a tiny spec compared to what’s “the externals” is capable of. Forinstance, take a look at Google, who bought facebook.

Facebook, was not Google’s idea. Google might even have any idea of social networking until Friendster, myspace, and facebook appears. But looking at the opportunity, Google took the idea and implement it (by buying it) into its IT empires. The benefits of this acquisition is even bigger compared to the benefits generated by facebook itself, or google without facebook. And the founder, Zuckerberg, becomes an “accidental billionaire”. This is one of the examples of “Leverage” created by open innovation.

Adobe, the well-known software manufacturer, did not come to their success by internal ideas only. They have the feature called “Ideaspace” for customers to freely write down their ideas of what should be repaired and developed. The background is, sometimes the customers know better than the producer. The concept seems to be very simple, taking customers feedback. But for that big scale of a company, implementing it might be very complicated. And Adobe successfully did it.

Open innovation which leads to open business model, which has been done by youtube and ebay. Although they look like a simple online movies and store, not so many people can generate that kind of idea and successfully run it. The biggest stakeholder is not themselves (Youtube and ebay) anymore. It’s the users that counts. On ebay, it’s the uploaders and viewers. The success of YouTube is up to them. On ebay, it’s the sellers and buyers. The existence of ebay is depending on their transactions. There are many copycats duplicating the ideas, but none of them come close to their success.

To sum up, open innovation and open business model is the modern way. If R&D is the theoretical concept, Open Innovation is the practical concept. It looks through the reality, to the bigger picture of ideas and knowledge generation. It completes the lack of ideas in internal department. However, this doesn’t mean that R&D is useless by now. An end product is successfully created by a collaboration of internal capabilities and external ideas. It took both to work. R&D and Open Innovation is a complimentary, not a substitute.


Toyota Textile… Wait, what??

Rasanya terlalu dangkal apabila alasan saya memilih Toyota sebagai ‘The Most Creative Company’ hanya karena Toyota menempati peringkat 3 ‘The Most Innovative Companies’ 2009 versi businessweek. Di bawah ini adalah cerita bagaimana Toyota membuat saya terkesima.

Bulan Juni lalu saya izin tidak mengikuti perkuliahan untuk pergi ke ShanghaiTex, sebuah pameran mesin industri tekstil. Di sana saya melihat banyak produsen mesin China menjiplak teknologi Jerman. Hal ini tidak terlalu mengejutkan, karena peristiwa jiplak-menjiplak oleh China ini memang sudah terjadi di hampir semua kategori produk. Dan bukan hal ini yang ingin saya bahas. Suatu ketika saya melihat 2 buah forklift toyota dipajang di sebuah booth. Ini aneh, karena forklift itu bukan produk spesifik untuk industri tekstil. Tapi ternyata di sebehlah forklift tersebut, ada mesin tenun yang terlihat sangat sophisticated, dengan merk TOYOTA. Saya tertawa, saya pikir produsen mesin China juga menjiplak nama Jepang. Tapi ternyata tidak. Ayah saya bilang, Toyota memang terlebih dahulu memproduksi mesin tenun Toyota sebelum memproduksi mobil.

Seorang dosen semester lalu pernah bilang: “Orang yang menguasai teknis di bidang tekstil, pasti menguasai teknis di segala bidang”. Perkataan beliau mungkin benar. Toyota, dengan basis industri tekstil, akhirnya bisa memproduksi mobil meskipun pada mulanya adalah karena dorongan pemerintah Jepang. Soal jiplak-menjiplak, Toyota pun awal mulanya menjiplak produk USA Dodge dan Chevrolet. Kata Oom Wiki, dulu spare parts Dodge, Chevrolet, dan Toyota bisa saling kanibal. Sekarang, Toyota-lah yang pertama kali memproduksi mass-produced hybrid car, Prius. Pernah suatu kali saya ngobrol dengan seorang bule Amerika, yang mengaku lebih senang menggunakkan mobil Toyota daripada mobil Amerika. Katanya, Toyota lebih bandel dan jarang rusak. Saking innovatif-nya, Toyota menciptakan beberapa merk lain. Lexus, Hino, dan Scion. Mungkin kita sudah tahu Lexus. Hino adalah merk truk, sedangkan Scion populer di Amerika dengan mobil-mobil kecilnya (city car).

Sakichi Toyoda mulai memproduksi ATBM (Alat tenun bukan mesin) pada 1890 dan berkembang hingga tenun modern. ATBM masih sering kita jumpai di daerah-daerah pedalaman Indonesia. Barulah pada 1934, putra dari Sakichi memproduksi mesin mobil. Lengkapnya lihat di sini.

Kaizen Concept: Where Creativity Changes Things

Toyota terkenal dengan konsep Kaizen atau Continuous Improvement. Konsep yang terkenal di dunia manajemen ini mengatakan bahwa ide-ide sekecil apapun bisa dilakukan secara terus menerus untuk mencapai kemajuan. Konsep ini cenderung ke arah evolusi daripada revolusi. Revolusi dilakukan secara cepat dan mengorbankan orang-orang yang belum siap, sedangkan evolusi dilakukan perlahan dan berkesinambungan, memberi kesempatan untuk orang-orang melakukan adaptasi. Tidak ada ide yang terlalu kecil untuk dilakukan.

Sayangnya, belakangan ini Toyota lagi apes karena masalah rem yang jebol hingga mengalami penurunan penjualan drastis. Dirut Toyota memang sudah minta maaf di depan publik, dan diharapkan, seiring waktu, keadaan akan membaik.

Bravo Toyota, you have the magic. Turning a textile machine into a car.

Which Country is The Most Creative?

There are lots and lots of variables affecting a country’s creativity. The word ‘creative country’ itself, has a biased meaning, if i would say. It takes the people, history, culture, and even the climate. But despite those various factors, there is the ‘micro’ and ‘macro’ factors. The physical conditions, which i define as the ‘macro’ conditions, is out of our hands. Which have been so since the people exists. There’s nothing we can do to make things change. The only thing that matters, is how we respond. For instance: Singapore has a very tiny area, no natural resources, but can be very wealthy in the hand of the right man. Indonesia, whose area is so big, plenty of natural resources, but most of Indonesians live in poverty. The macro conditions cannot be an excuse of a country’s wealth. But, does a ‘creative country’ have to be wealthy? Maybe, in certain unstable conditions, people will tend to be more creative. This is called ‘The Power of Kepepet’ (by Johan Setiabudi).

So I would say, a ‘creative country’ is the country in which the conditions motivates the people to be more creative. This is my definition. Indonesia is a very good example. Some people can find opportunities in which they can achieve a very good result. But apparently, not so many people can do that since most of indonesian live in poverty. Singapore is wealthy, it can create professionals spread in the whole world while it has no natural resource at all. But in the reality, singaporeans live in a stressful competitions. Event the students (in the Movie ‘I Not Stupid’).

Hong Kong. Its conditions is very similar to Singapore. Located in a strategic trading crossline (so is Indonesia), also one of the trade center of the world. The difference is, there is a lot of famous people from HK. Maybe you know some of them: Jackie Chan, Chow Yun Fat, Stephen Chow, Bruce Lee, etc. These are some of well-known creative people to ever created by HK. This country was once the garments center of the world, but it is now more suitable for service industry. There are also lots of names of billionaires from HK. Maybe you don’t know Dr. Dickson Poon, but you may know Harvey Nichols, the upmarket department store (They opened the first store in Southeast Asia in Grand Indonesia, Jakarta). Despite the british brand, it is actually owned by HK businessman. You may also know Li Ka Shing, Michael Ying (Esprit), John Woo, etc.

HK culture is oftenly called ‘Where the east meets west’. It is where western-style skyscrappers can stand tall and the traditional chinese culture still strong. This is the kind of non-invasive development. This kind of creativity which builds something out of nothing, while maintaining original identity. Although not much of a natural landscapes there, they managed to build attractive tourism sites, like The Peak. HK is also a good example of a good collaboration in diversity.

For these reasons, I choose HK as the most creative country.


Ternyata Arti Nama Saya Keren Juga…

Btw, post ini dibuat untuk memenuhi tugas kuliah dari Paman Apiq. Bukan inisiatif saya. Hanya sebuah kebetulan apabila nama saya ternyata memiliki arti yang bagus.

If we decide to do something, finish it well.

Ini mengenai judul blog ini. Perkataan ini sudah saya dengar sejak lama, tetapi baru benar-benar menyadarinya saat ini, dimana peluang untuk melakukan segala sesuatu semakin banyak.

Setiap hari kita dihadapkan pada banyak pilihan. Misalnya, pagi tadi saya keluar rumah setelah sarapan dan melihat kandang si Brian (dogi saya) yang selalu menghalangi lalu lintas parkir rumah. Garasi jadi sempit. Saya sudah lama berpikir untuk memindahkannya ke tempat lain, hanya baru pagi tadi saya kepikiran untuk benar-benar memindahkannya. Karena kebetulan tidak ada jadwal kuliah pada hari ini. Di saat yang sama, saya kepikiran satu proyek lagi yang masih belum selesai.

Saat itu saya dihadapkan pada 2 pilihan. Memindahkan si Brian, atau menyelesaikan proyek yang sebetulnya belum saya temukan solusinya. Akhirnya saya memutuskan untuk memindahkan si Brian, karena hari masih pagi, dan saya punya waktu. Tidak mudah untuk dilakukan sendirian, karena kandangnya dibuat custom-made dengan material yang berat dan besar. Dan lagi, bau karena jarang dibersihkan. Pekerjaan yang tadinya mudah ini seketika jadi lebih kompleks karena harus dibersihkan dulu. Saya tariklah kandang itu berdua dengan pegawai saya, dan ternyata rodanya sudah rusak. Muncul pemikiran untuk mem-pending pekerjaan ini karena semakin kompleks-nya detail pekerjaan. Tapi saya berpikir, kalau tidak hari ini, mungkin akan tertunda untuk waktu yang tidak terbatas, dan daftar pekerjaan yang ter-pending akan semakin banyak.

“Lanjut sajalah!” Saya pikir. Akhirnya saya semprot si Brian, eh, kandangnya maksudnya. Baju dan tangan jadi kotor (untungnya belum mandi). Setelah itu saya tarik dengan 2 tali derek karena mustahil untuk didorong dengan roda yang rusak (dan akhirnya meninggalkan jejak ban sepanjang jalan karena ban-nya mati). Sepanjang kira-kira 45 meter tanjakan. Dan lagi-lagi minta bantuan pegawai saya karena berat edan, sementara si Brian diikat di pagar (karena kalau dilepas pasti gigit orang). Dan akhirnya sampai pada tempat tujuan relokasi, yaitu tanah kosong di sebelah rumah.

Saya senang karena pekerjaan selesai. Kandangnya pun sudah dibersihkan, dan si Brian senang karena tempat mainnya jadi lebih besar. Satu pekerjaan bisa saya centang dalam memopad saya.

Contoh tadi cuma sebuah contoh kecil. Banyak hal yang lebih besar yang sebenarnya memiliki hikmah yang sama. Apabila kita sudah memutuskan untuk melakukan sesuatu, selesaikanlah. Selesaikan dengan baik. Kalau bisa, lebih dari ekspektasi awal. Tidak terpikirkan untuk mencuci kandang si Brian, tapi setelah masalah “kandang bau” muncul, maka ada 1 poin lebih untuk diselesaikan. Sehingga ketika pekerjaan selesai, yang kita lakukan sebenarnya lebih dari ekspektasi.

Ajaibnya, begitu menyelesaikan pekerjaan tadi, otak saya jadi lebih aktif bekerja. Menghasilkan ide-ide lain untuk pekerjaan yang lain. Begitu juga untuk proyek tadi yang yang belum ketemu solusinya, akhirnya muncul ide untuk itu. Dan sekarang solusi untuk itu sedang dalam pengerjaan.

Kalau Mario Teguh bisa komentar, pasti dia bilang: “Super sekali“.