the best bosses…

January 31, 2011

the best bosses serve as human shields, protecting their people from intrusions, distractions, idiocy from on high, and anything else that undermines their performance or well-being

bob sutton

I found those statement from Bob Sutton’s story on Pixar

Am always amazed by that kind of story because of two reasons:

1. I have not been trying hard enough to serve as human shields to protect my members… I did try some efforts, but not to the extreme as shown by the two great guys from the Pixar story. This, I’ll never stop trying and improving..

2. From all the bosses I had, I always remember the ones who I knew/heard they fought to protect us, his/her members


to-do list & NOT to-do list

January 29, 2011

while making a to-do list becomes habit for many of us,

please start to make a NOT to-do list


NOT to-do list is a list of activities which deviate you from the path to your goal

for instance, on my NOT to-do list

  • excessive meetings (or joining a pointless meeting)
  • arguing without data/facts/logical base
  • stuck in traffic
  • worry
  • impulsive shopping (yeah, happens to men too)

the (near) future of office and working in jakarta

January 28, 2011

if you are tired with the picture and headline, here is my thinking

forget about the government

this is for you, employees, entrepreneurs, managers, CEO, etc, to think and act

I am not talking about MRT or any transportation/infrastructure investment, I am talking about breaking the old paradigm of WORKING and OFFICE

1. Encourage virtual office

I know that today many people in Jakarta (especially in managerial roles) currently have been carrying their laptops everywhere they go. They bring a small device (“VPN token”) to connect with their office network. Many companies have their web-based email, web-based approval process, push email, etc.

So, why go to office everyday?

Make it 3x week (or less) for  actually and physically going to office

In addition, with the BlackBerry and the upcoming hype in tablets (iPad, Samsung, and co), the collaboration media is not limited to only laptop/PC. We are already so good in using them for fun, let’s use ’em for some real stuffs.

Go to office only when there is a strong need to meet. Read Seth Godin’s blog on how to make the meeting more expensive but more effective

Virtual office and working from home are  simple idea which will help many things, especially if we focus on significant impact rather than attendance/compliance

2. Move out from Sudirman-Kuningan area to somewhere with direct access to Jakarta Outer Ring Road (JORR)

For functions which cannot be done virtually/remotely (operations, call centers, etc), I recommend to start searching places near the JORR such as Cilandak (TB Simatupang), or Bintaro, or BSD (notes – I am bias on this, all of them are my preferences…)

Many companies have moved to Cilandak area, some call centers are set in Pondok Indah area. That’s good. The key idea is to distribute the traffic jam nodes to Jakarta Ring Road, so the flow will move better rather than locked by Semanggi junction or Casablanca

I have known an analysis that moving an office from Sudirman to an area such as TB. Simatupang is actually more expensive vs status quo. That is when we look at only one cost parameter (for instance building rental cost saving vs. the cost to moving the technology infratstructure). We need to look at the TOTAL cost. The time, the fuel, the depression….

3. Start with your influence circle

I know many of you can influence the decision making process on no 1 & 2

do it

80/20 rule, around you

January 27, 2011

you use less than 20% of  the buttons on your TV’s remote control more than 80% of the time

at the same time, you use only less than 20% of your BlackBerry/iPhone features for more than 80% of your time

20% of your customers, contributes more than 80% profit

now the extreme  one (everybody knows it, anyway)

less than 20% of Indonesian population owns more than 80% of the wealth

and i really like this…

the very minimum efforts (less than 20% of your energy) which can contribute very big (> 80%) to your peformance are SMILE and say “THANK YOU”


sorry, no data… just a general observation. the only think that i can confirm is the 20% customers who contributes to 80% profit. I’ve seen it couple times

Richard Koch writes a good book on this, titled The 80/20 Principle

in the pursuit to simplify my life

January 25, 2011

since around 2007, I have been in the mode of searching a better way to run my life.

as a practicioner of process improvement (including LEAN principle), I had been fully aware that I spent more than 20% of my time daily stuck in traffic on the way to and from office

notes: I live in BSD city, work in the heart of Jakarta business center. It is only about 30 kms, but in average it takes 2 hours one way trip driving

From a LEAN principle, this daily transportation time is obviously a non-value added activity (NVA); but at that time I considered it as necessary NVA especially because I really like the job (and the company) and I think I have a good chance to progress well.

but i keep searching a better solution

fortunately, during my journey, an old colleague offered me to join her consulting firm as an associate. The job gives me at least 2 advantages: it is something which will keep me excited everyday, and it allow me to work mostly (>60%) from home.

but the fact in life, deciding on a job was not easy (actually will never be easy for everybody)

it has some risks, and it took me 2 YEARS (!) to think, prepare and decide. To take the new route, it means I am leaving a great job in a great company and my GREAT & FUN team! There is an issue of sustainability and losing the opportunity of taking big roles in big  corporation (+ the perks).

So, how I made the decision?

1. I started to reflect and questioning my goal in life; what is the most important thing for me and my family

2. Started to make some tracking of the time I spent versus my ideal goal. Is it aligned? If my first priority is family, do I spent the biggest portion of my time for my family? Do I follow my passion in life?

A simple pareto diagram like this helped me to visually see the actual time spent (the example on the link is not exactly the one I used for deciding my career)

3. Made the decision and plan well to have a smooth take-off

For me, simple does not mean easy.

The path is simple yet not easy. But, it is less complicated because basically I am taking the simplest and clearest way between what I am doing and what my family want to achieve in life.

I just started in 2011, but I am glad I am taking this decision and certainly will work smartly + hard to make it successful. Wish me luck, friends!

end notes:

For any of you, this is not about to be an entrepreneur nor a consultant nor an artist. It is about finding the simplest way between your dream, your passion, and how you actually spend your day

from leverage point blog:How Toyota Ran Off the Road–and How It Can Get Back on Track

January 24, 2011

a good artice by H. Thomas Johnson, please click/visit leverage point blog

very recommended!

if japan can …why can’t we?

January 21, 2011

a TV program aired by NBC in 1980 started a quality revolution in the US.

it takes more than 20 years (!) for Americans to understand the secret of Japan’s greatness in manufacturing and products is actually coming from some American thinkers, most notably W. Edwards Deming and Joseph Juran.

today,  61 years after Deming’s teaching in summer 1950 for Japan engineers and managers, the question is does Deming & Juran teaching still relevant to today’s business?

my answer is YES.

their teaching on customer focus, appreciation of a system, appreciation of people, understanding of variations and its root causes, the principle of continuous improvement, the focus on long term over short term gain, in fact more relevant today than it was.

it is so basic, eventhough for many conventional thinking it looks counter-intuitive

it is not just about lean or six sigma or TQM or QCCC or ISO or others….it is about the passion to deliver the best product and services to the customers. it is about growth and sustainability

for my Indonesian fellows, please allow me to ask this question

if Japan can…why can’t we?