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Monday, August 10, 2015
In Search Of New And Sustainable Solutions: Co-CLASS On Industrial Relations And Productivity




It is said that the transformation of any system begins by transformation of the people that make up the system. And on 20-22 June, a small but important part of Indonesia's Industrial Relations & Productivity system has started this transformation towards a better common future through UID's Collaborative Creative Learning and Action for Sustainable Solutions (Co-CLASS), hosted jointly by UID, PT Polychem Indonesia, Tbk., and The Ministry of Manpower of Republic of Indonesia.

The manufacturing industry is one of Indonesia?s primary drivers of economic growth, contributing to more than 25% of the nation?s GDP in 2013 and employing 15 million people overall. Despite its importance to the economy, the climate of Indonesia?s industrial sector is also one of the most volatile, characterized by massive and disruptive labor protests, an often-dysfunctional negotiation process, and a strong political undercurrent. So the question that remains for everyone to answer is, How can we do things differently?

To answer that question, the stakeholders of the system need to take a step back and undergo an internal transformation in order to be able to operate from a deeper level of awareness of themselves and their role in the system.

In this novel and ground-breaking direct application of Theory U, a social technology for initiating systemic change developed at MIT Sloan School of Management by Prof. Otto Scharmer, to solve real thematic issues in Indonesia, UID facilitators Dr. Shobi Lawalata and Dr. Ben Chan, along with associate facilitator Dr. Rachman Sjarif, guided thirty participants from employers, labor unions and government to jointly explore how to co-create a business ecosystem that shifts the relationship of the stakeholders from transactional to trust and serves the good of all.

Planned with the U?s three movements in mind (Sensing, Retreat and Reflect, and Act in an Instant) the workshop aimed to collectively produce innovative solutions to systemic issues driven by personal transformation. This was accomplished by first raising collective awareness among the participants of their role in the system, and of a common future that we can all co-create together. But simply accumulating knowledge is not enough: After all, a tool in two different hands can produce vastly different results depending on the intention of the user, and as Prof. Otto Scharmer said himself, the ability of a leader to influence a system depends on the quality of attention and intention that he or she brings to the situation. This is why the second part of the U movement, to ?Retreat and Reflect?, is important. It is only by slowing down and reflecting can one arrive to the questions of Who is my Self and What is my Work, the answers to which will provide a deeper awareness of one?s role in the current and future emerging realities. Lastly, these newfound insights must be put into action by doing something in an instant: Rapid prototyping to fail often in order to succeed sooner.


Hanif Dhakiri - Minister of Manpower (right) and Jatna Supriatna-UID President (left) in Closing the Co-CLASS Workshop

By the end of the 2.5 days, the participants came out with a new awareness of a ?spiritual dimension? to leadership, one that demands the wisdom of the heart in addition to the intelligence of the head. They also hatched six prototypes that are centered on innovative ways to compensate labor. All of them have one commonality, in that they all radiate the shared optimism in the power of trust and dialogue using the heart to solve any potential compensation conflicts. The Ministry of Manpower HE Mr. Hanif Dhakiri in his closing address also mirrors this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of a social dialogue in overcoming differences, especially since it is a mechanism that is already deeply engrained into the social fabric of Indonesian culture.


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