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What is Transformational Thinking? A Self Reflection
Andreas Kennardi Julianto
Everything is changing especially with the surge of creative industries in developed and developing country. If we take a look at the human history, growth in the first industrial revolution was driven by engineering, the second through electricity and production lines, and the third by technology and information. However, creativity is predicted to bring transformation to the industrial revolution in today’s modern economy (Palti, 2017). Creativity will bring a revolution for economic growth by putting skilled talent a crucial factor in production. A new transformational thinking is needed for young generation. Thus, I’m trying to define transformational thinking from a self-reflection, reminiscing series of events that had happened
in my life and start wondering what will I need in the future.
Creative Force Transforms the Modern Economy
Most of the countries already invest their human resource in becoming skillful labor, including the country where I live. During my college years back in 2015, I remembered one of my issued the launch of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and talked about how I should prepare myself with skilled talent among ASEAN countries. At that time, I just thought how hard it would be for me since English was not my native language. But funnily, my lecturer told that most of ASEAN countries still use broken English. So the key to face this opportunity is being confident, and just be me.
Following the launch of AEC, Indonesia will be on the hot seat. According to Kharas (2017), Indonesia will have middle-class markets that are $15 trillion bigger than today by 2030. 64% of the middle class are entrepreneur or work in private business and industry (Salim, 2012 as quoted by Afif, 2015). That’s why Indonesia under the President Joko Widodo’s regime has formed Creative Economy Agency to strengthen and support the role of the creative economy in Indonesia with the rise of the middle class. According to BEKRAF, the next big thing in Indonesia is our creative economy industry, which has contributed 7% of the GDP in 2016. The contribution of art, music, film, literature and creative industries with the help of technology advancement can produce great work and become potential for the global market.
The Power of Collaboration on Indonesia’s Creative Economy
The development of Creative economy can transform our way of life and beyond. However, I am part of the generation that will truly decide what will it be in the future. I think it will be interesting to see how I and my generation act and do in the creative industries. Creative industry talents consist of people who work in an advertising agency, start-up, graphic designer, art performer, musician, or artist. It will be interesting to see how we come to this point and
what we’ll see in the future.
Most of us live in the post-Suharto era, where freedom of speech and diversity has become the backbone of Indonesia’s identity. This makes us have a greater degree of openness towards others, and initiate collective groups based on same interest and create collaborative projects. The collective groups consist of different people with the various background but have a related interest whether in music, art, film, technology or literature. These collective groups can be traced in an urban area in Indonesia where the creative economy and popular culture throb at the heart of the city.
The benefit of collaboration allows you to broaden your perspectives when you work on certain projects. When we collaborate, each of us automatically has roles, intent, vision, and metrics to achieve shared goal (Coleman, 2009). Roles define each participant’s responsibility, intent and vision create clear goals, and metrics help the group to create measurable evidence to achieve the goal. I have a friend who has started a collective study group called “Bakudapan”. 1 “Bakudapan” initiate collaborative projects about food and combine it with social research and art. One of the remarkable collaborative project from “Bakudapan” is a program called “Cafe
“Cafe Society” is a weekly mini film screening in a city called Yogyakarta. In “Cafe Society”, people can get collective experience from watching a movie, eating thematic food, and social interaction through intimate discussion. Other collective groups such as “Mes56” and “Forum Film Dokumenter” support this program by curated the film and provide their working space as the mini theater. This opportunity allows the collective groups to create a scenario where people can access art in a unique, playful, and holistic experience. The spirit of collaboration ramifies with the rise of collective groups and communities as the evidence. Thus, it also generates more demand on co-working space in Indonesia. The demand is increasing significantly that local government has taken part to upscale the situation by providing creative space for artisans to collaborate, such as “Jakarta Creative Hub” in Jakarta and “Simpul Space 1 & 2” in Bandung. Collaboration can transform the progress of creative economy in Indonesia to the point it entangles all the stakeholders to move forward.
What is Transformational Thinking?
Transformational thinking should make us able to create generative change, build a sustainable ecosystem, and produce great work. I realize the spirit of collaboration has immersed in my culture and become the key to obtain transformational thinking. “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” has always been the national motto in my country, which means “Unity in Diversity”. With the spirit of collaboration, we let ourselves to be more diverse. Diverse groups bring out the best in individuals too. In diverse groups, all member has their own role and can fill each other’s flaws. This will create them to be more innovative and creative. In the advertising industry, the trend has been divided into 2 categories; culture, and collateral (Golding, 2017). Collateral is a safe zone where data is heavily optimized and directs the overall campaign, resulting low-production-cost and flexible (templated) marketing. The intention is not to be brand-building, but nudge an audience member along a consumer journey. While culture is a bravery act where creativity and culture are integrated to create disruptive cultural events, which will lead to a relevant social phenomenon for the audience. Of course, from the business side, popularity can trigger growth for the brands (Sharp, 2012). Being collaborative means embracing our own uniqueness and culture to the table. Although data is important, cultural insight is the main ingredient to create a powerful campaign. As astrategist, it will challenge us to make a campaign that will create an impact on the culture. Hence, it can also be an opportunity for brands to act beyond marketing and support the cultural shift by creating disruptive collaborative work. With this, brands can also get deeper engagement with their audience and develop fame to sustain their growth. One of great example is a campaign by Tiger Beer called “Air Ink”.2 Tiger beer initiated a collaborative project with Marcel Sydney and MIT Spinoff Graviky Labs and created an ink made from air pollution. They were also incorporating street artists to work with the ink and produced art exhibition. With this, Tiger Beer already embrace transformational thinking by creating collaboration project and fabricate cultural event.
1 See more at http://bakudapan.com/en/
Collaborate. Learn. Play
Applying transformational thinking is not an easy task because not everyone is a team player, including me. But we’ve seen the power of collaboration, from supporting the backbone of Indonesia’s creative economy landscape to producing a powerful campaign that creates a cultural phenomenon. To collaborate, I think the first step to do is just be ourselves while working. Remember the story about my lecturer had taught me to prepare the AEC? It’s the same advice. One of the premises of collaboration is collecting unique individuals on the table. So, embrace yourself and discover the best you can be, and how big is the difference you can make.
The last step is thinking all the projects as a playground. Really. Collaboration is often marked by lots of open discussions and brainstorming together to achieve shared goals. We can learn and expand our perspectives while playing around with our work. Hence, we will able to find powerful ideas as our solution.
Afif, Syaiful.2015.”The Rising of Middle Class in Indonesia: Opportunity and
Coleman, David.2009.”42 Rules for Successful Collaboration.”Silicon Valley: Superstar Press.
Golding, David.2017.”The Big Adland Divide: Culture vs
Kharas, Homi.2017.”The Unprecedented Expansion of The Global Middle Class:An
Palti, Itai.2017.”Creativity will be the source of our next industrial revolution, not
Sharp, Byron.2012.”How Brands Grow:What Marketers Don’t Know.”South Melbourne:Oxford
2 See more at http://www.air-ink.com