Change Or Die


Change in business for a better business health correlates to change in your own behavior for personal health. The fierce business environment today leads to great pressures for success. With technology and internet taking its toll throughout businesses around the globe and playing a key role in business transactions, speed is vital for business success. Business executives are always on their toes to lead a lifestyle of constant intensity and fighting to win against competitors and winning the customer. This leads to many health issues amongst business executives. Even though statistics show that approximately 600,000 people have bypass heart surgery every year with approx 1.3 million heart patients to have angioplasties (procedure to improve blood flow to the heart and temporarily decreasing, all totaling to around 30 billion dollars, people still have a hard time of changing their behavior.

In business it is no longer about strategy, structure, culture or systems; it is about changing the behavior of people. To that extent, the title, “Change or Die”, literally means, “You either change your behavior in business, or you will die of a heart attack.”
With those numbers, people are seldom to change even after a crisis such as a heart attack.

Alan Deutschman speaks about in order to change people’s behavior, we need to talk to people’s feelings, motivate them to change. We don’t tell them to change because they will certainly not, and that is a consensus of 9 to 1 that people will not change in favor of 9.

He says that emotional persuasion to motivate change is not taught in business schools or in companies where professionals such as engineers, scientists, managers, lawyers, accountants, doctors, etc are too focused on day to day concrete analytical work. Professionals do not see the importance of emotional, psychological stability and turbulence to be important to business results.

So how do we get people to change their behavior to save their businesses and most importantly to save their lives?

The Ormish Program lead by Dr. Dean Ornish, professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco, founder of the Preventative Medicine Research Institute, in Sausalito, California, has changed the motivation for change from the fear of dying, into the joy of living and feeling good about yourself. This change of motivation speaks to the feelings of people of chronic disease in changing their frame of thought.  In neuroscience, people think of concepts in their own mind frame as facts that don’t fit their mind frame often do not make sense. Persuading someone to change is not about giving facts to people, it is about changing their mind frame of thought or direction by making them feel good about themselves.

But it is not always about changing the mind frame, but creating a radical and instant change. Organizations and people tend to succeed more when instant and radical changes take place rather than slow and gradual change. This leaves people to be emotionally distressed because of impatience that they do not succeed. Radical change is important to instantly change behavior.

Changing behavior also needs support through the process of transformation. Without support, change will most likely not succeed.

Lastly, change deals with one’s brain.  The brain of the human being has been discovered as a plastically muscle that can be shaped throughout our lifetime with constant practice and usage. Change can be stimulated by what posit science calls a, “fifth day strategy,” meaning that employees within organizations spend 1 day to complete a task out of their comfort zone. For an example, software engineers work in marketing or designers involved in business functions such as accounting and operations.
Innovation and creativity can be achieved when people use both sides of their brain and intelligence rather than being controlled, told what to do, and work within corridors and boundaries.

We all must learn to master the art of change in order for us to have a healthy life in business and in our personal health. An important fact is that for heart patients, it is “change or die”, but for people with no heart problems and live life into our 80s, it is about, “change or lose your mind.”
We all must understand that we need to master the art of change to consistently live “the feel-good life”.


photo-ipmi2It has been a little over one year since I have entered the MBA IPMI Business School program to vibe out every night with case studies to analyze while preparing for presentations almost on a daily basis. Some of the many things are consistently thinking about how ‘tos’ and ‘whys’, preparing to tackle readings, preparing assignments, arranging meetings with group, networking with awesome people and leaders of their field; And just basically molding myself being into the person I was born to be.

This year has been a phenomenal year with many transformational changes happening to myself with different aspects of my life.  I have to admit that IPMI Business School has changed my life for the better;  Not only on the hard skills of business such as marketing, accounting, operations, etc, but most importantly my intangibles such as problem solving skills, leadership, organization, behavior, attitude, etc, as those skills are keys for growth.  Those are some of the things that I have been thankful for this past year through IPMI.

It has also been a year of fast paced, moving, juggling projects, work and intensity with exhilarating outcomes.  If any Indonesian out there or foreigners are looking to study at a fine institution for a Masters business education , I would recommend IPMI Business School. ->

With the strong alumni and network amongst diverse industries, one wonders of the open opportunities for future endeavors.  I am a first hand witness of the power of IPMI Business School.


Benjamin Soemartopo is Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company in Indonesia. Topic: “Developing World Class Leaders for Indonesia.”


Today, I had the chance to sit-in for the IPMI Discussion Forum to celebrate IPMI’s 25th Anniversary of Excellence in Business Education with the topic of “Developing World Class Leaders For Indonesia” presented by the Managing Partner of Mckinsey & Company in Indonesia; Mr. Benjamin Soemartopo.

Mr. Benjamin spoke about different things including the rise of Indonesia’s future;  The eye on Indonesia amongst the International community and most importantly,  The need of 27,000 Indonesian World Class Leaders in a span of 10 years for Indonesia to move forward into a strong powerhouse nation.

Mr. Benjamin began by sharing to us the 6 schools of leadership theory, and they are:
– Traits : “Great Man Theory.”
– Behavioral
– Power
– Context
– Charismatic
– Transformational

He stated that the main point of leadership is, “leaders develop leaders”.  He explained that leaders can be extrovert or introvert and leaders can be made leaders or natural born leaders, but the most important thing is breakthrough results.  Results of significance of the greater good; In other words, results beyond expectation.

He also talked about that world class leaders need to understand developments amongst Indonesia & throughout the world within a span of 10 years in the future and knowing what is going on in your industry as well as your functional development all throughout the world.  He shared to us a link on the internet at,  to read about further developments throughout the world.

Mr. Benjamin then told us that world class leaders must understand business, government and society as leaders are born on the job rather than off the job. For further self development, he stated that 70% of the 100% portion of leadership development is that one needs to stretch their jobs or stretch jobs of subordinates as well as find creative ways for solutions.  Where 20% is from Feedback and Mentoring/Coaching others and the last 10% would be formal training; such as public speaking and Team Building.

Other important points he mentioned:

herdianLead Self:

Understanding English/Indonesian;


Conceptual/Problem Solve;

Don’t be shy to speak out;

Have the will;

Leadership interpersonal being.

Lead Change:

Strong Vision;

Dealing with resistance;

Managing Stakeholders.

Lead Others:

Leading a top team;

Coaching and Feedback.

How to delegate:

Have the authority to assemble a team;

Segment time to mentor & monitor according to performance members within different team personnel;

Monitoring by creating an owed task checklist for your team;

Continuous 2 way communication.

Lead Business:

Benchmarking with global peers.


During the two hours of presentation and interactive session, I learned that leadership starts within yourself and those people you have developed as leaders all throughout your lives.  Leadership are born on the job as leaders have the highest level of initiative.

I have to admit I was inspired One hundred Fold in order for me to create significance into the greater good for my country, and this can be done starting with each and everyone of us.   There is no better time to pursue this leadership than right now.  Thank you very much for the inspiration Mr. Benjamin Soemartopo.  God bless you.