Innovation – Mandatory For Solving Future Problems?


I’ve had a sudden interest in the word “Innovation” ever since I was accepted to currently attend Stanford University’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Professional Certificate Program just a couple of months ago. I had applied to the program a while ago, filled out some forms, did a couple of tests, wrote a couple of essays and received the acceptance letter several weeks after applying. I was thrilled and excited to be part of a high-caliber university and began my journey to understand Innovation.

Throughout the past, I’ve never studied Innovation nor dug out its essence because I’ve always correlated the word Innovation with Invention. I thought they sounded similar so I figured they just meant the same. And you’ve guessed it, I was completely wrong as Innovation is completely different than Invention.

Below is the simple definition of the difference between Innovation and Invention:

Invention is the “creation of a product or introduction of a process for the first time.” Thomas Edison was an inventor.

Innovation happens when someone “improves on or makes a significant contribution” to something that has already been invented. Steve Jobs was an innovator.

We can see that by improving something that has already been invented, Innovation drives the creation of new companies, new jobs, improves efficiency, effectiveness and improves the quality of products and services.


Then I start thinking, how does this relate to your own current job and your ability to innovate within your own company. How will Innovation make an impact to your job and impact your company better. How are you going to find new improved ways of doing things. How will you improve going forward and turn that “status quo” statue into a living-breathing organism that will move, run, and decide. These are the things that Innovation can answer whether that be improving the many processes that exist within the company, the bravery to create significant change, to define precisely what the issues are instead of guessing based on no data and calling it concrete and lastly by moving forward as a growing company.

Below are some of the questions that can be answered through Innovation for your company.

1) How do you make your employees have the mindset of always “over-delivering” against their own compensation they are receiving.

2) How do you make your employees have a service mindset. Meaning servicing their own colleagues, servicing their team mates, servicing their clients. How do you make subordinates have the mindset of servicing their boss and bosses servicing their subordinates.

3) How do you make your company be a learning organization, where every single employee is truly motivated and hungry for an improved self and an improved way of doing things?

4) How do you implant the mindset to your employees that this company as if it is their own company. If they don’t do things right, the company will fall. How do you make your sales people think, “If I don’t sell this, my family won’t eat tonight.” How do you make your operational people think, “If I don’t improve this by doing it continually better, my family won’t eat tonight.” How do you make your Finance people say, If I don’t save this much money or advise my company on future financial decision making, my family won’t eat tonight.

5) How do you build solid communication amongst teams for effective productivity.

6) How do you retain the highest talent and remove those slowing down the company.

7) How can your decisions guard quality across the board and sustain it.

8) How can you make your company increase the bottom line.

9) How do you beat the competition.

10) How do you have long term die hard fans (customers) for your brand.

These are some of the questions that can drive Innovation in your company.

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.

IPMI Business School – Reg Jan 2009/Jul 2008

Growing up as a teenager,  a few of my friends while hanging out would often bombard us within every few minutes to pull out their cameras to shoot some pictures.  During my time as a teen, I always remembered how annoying it was to pause within every few minutes of my “teeny” life to document our day to day living as if there was nothing better to do.

But as we get older to realize that our days are diminishing every second we live and breathe – we take a whole different perspective towards picture taking and documentation.  I’ve recently just realized the importance of documentation as an important aspect of my own life through the great friendships that we bond throughout our days.  The power of documenting pictures or videos is vital to make our days cherishable as well as connect with our inner and outer being of what truly matters in this short life time of ours.  Living simple, cherishing these moments are living norms that we everyday people can live by in order to engrave these precious moments that may never come by ever again.  To my Family and Friends, lets document the times of our lives.  Thank you MBA students & facilitators for making these moments unforgetable.  We are the future leaders of

4 Engines To Lift Off Your Team Through Leadership

leadership-pyramidI attended a Leadership Seminar with speaker of Bob Andrews whom spoke about the 4 engines needed to lift off your team through leadership. They are the following:

1. Energy/Enthusiasm
A leader must show energy and enthusiasm for his/her team to lift off and reach greater heights. No matter the circumstances, the leader must at all times show his/her passion and excitement towards every aspect of the team. Through its ups and downs, the leader must always be energetic. This automatically transends the energy into the team.

2. Education
A leader must educate his/herself in all aspects of the team. Through all the tangibles and intagibles, the leader must have solutions to problems and always motivate the team to greater heights after all of its accomplishments.

3. Expectation
A leader must always believe and have a positive attitude towards every aspect of the team. Through its personnel, outcomes, strategies and decisions; the leader must always expect to come out as a winner. One doubt from the leader; and the team will automatically follow doubt. Remember–> “You can’t manage doubt!”

4. Encouragement
A leader must always motivate and encourage his/her team to always strive for the best and to never be easily satisfied. The team can be rewarded after all of their accomplishments but always push them to be better than they are. Encourage success. Always remember, “we are on a journey and not a destination”.