As industry grows more competitive, innovation has become the heart and soul of a company. On August 15, BBS, in collaboration with the Samsung Research and Development Institute Indonesia (SRIN), held a knowledge sharing event at the Joseph Wibowo Center.
Tubagus Hanafi MBA., MSi., Program Director MM Executive of BBS, said, “A strong company is a company that keeps innovating.Innovation emerges from fresh ideas that often make no sense or even sound ridiculous at the beginning. There are two basic things that are important in producing new ideas, a conducive environment and empathy.”
Hanafi asked the participants what innovation is, how it can be manifested, and why innovation comes hard to many people, especially after they enter the workforce.
He cited a NASA study that indicated children below five years old relate around fifty things to a single object, while those above five years old relate to only thirty things. At age 25, an adult can only relate to no more than fifteen things when asked about the purpose of an object, aside from its main purpose. It concluded that, as people grow older, they become afraid to make mistakes or face ridicule about their ideas. Creativity appears most often when someone is free and unafraid to make mistakes.
“When someone tries to give an idea, no matter what it is, whether we think it is weird, ridiculous or not making sense, never discourage the person. At least listen to the idea first, then think about its possibility,” said Hanafi.
Hanafi offered Sosrodjojo and Tirto Utomo, the creators of Teh Botol Sosro and Aqua, as examples. When they were first introduced, both of their ideas were considered funny and weird, and people laughed at them. But now their products are consumed by people everywhere in Indonesia.
It is difficult for employees to be creative in an unsupportive working environment. Design Thinking is a method inspired by designers’ discipline in thinking that stimulates creativity and produces innovation. According to Hanafi, there are six steps to stimulating your creativity: empathize, define, create ideas, vote, make a prototype and tell the story.
To show how this method works, Hanafi asked the participants to do a Design Thinking simulation. They were divided into three groups of five and role played as if they worked for an airline company during a flight delay. They had to provide solutions that limited the customers’ disappointment.
Each group simulated the Design Thinking method that had been explained earlier. They shared their experiences of flight delays while the other participants empathized with them.
By empathizing, participants could identify the problems and give ideas. They created prototypes of their ideas with colored paper, newspaper, scissors, glue, and some simple tools.
Finally, they presented their results through storytelling to explain the situation. The class became very lively and full of laughter since they enjoyed their roles in the drama.
In this relaxed brainstorming atmosphere, the creativity Hanafi had sought emerged. Each group offered innovative ideas.
Andy Djiwandono, director of SRIN, expressedhis gratitude for being invited to the knowledgesharing session by saying, “What an insightful event. We now realize that creativity can only appear if our environment allows us to do so. The Design Thinking method should be applied further in our company, especially since we work in an industry that demands innovation all the time.” (RAW)
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