CEO Message #61

Speed in Execution


Jack Welch said that speed is the most important thing in winning business. “The 3S’s of winning in business are speed, simplicity and self-confidence,” he said. While in The Art of War, Sun Tzu said, “What is of the greatest importance in war is extraordinary speed; one cannot afford to neglect opportunity.”

It is not a coincidence that Jack Welch places speed as the first element of his 3S concept (Speed, Simplicity, and Self-Confidence). It is because in a rapidly changing environment speed is everything. That’s why I also put speed as one of the values that must be developed at the Ministry of Tourism, they are: Solid, Speed, Smart. And I often say, “The fast one eats the slow one, not the big one eats the small one.”

Speed is realized if an organization is able to think fast (fast thinking), take decisions quickly (fast decision), and take action quickly (fast action).

Fast thinking becomes very important because it can anticipate the future through the vision and strategies that we formulate. Making decisions quickly is necessary since there is so much information that must be pursed into a policy. And taking fast action is crucial because it is the action that produces the result. I often say, “Vision without action is a fantasy, action without vision is a sensation, harmony of vision and action that can change the world.”

In this CEO Message, I will specifically discuss the third aspect of speed, which is fast action. Why? It is because so far we have been quite capable in terms of fast thinking and fast decision, but still very weak for matters of fast action or speed in execution.

Not only that, in 2019 the execution of work programs quickly is no longer an option but has become a necessity when we have established the “Shifting to the Front” (STTF) strategy. Through this STTF all our resources are concentrated up front and we are maximizing our speed early in the fiscal year. If it is likened to a car, then now we replace the engine, if at first the Kijang engine is now replaced by a Ferrari engine which has been maximized since the start.

Since the end of last year we have formulated a comprehensive strategy for 2019. We have 9 programs that are divided into three groups: Ordinary (BAS: Branding, Advertising, Selling), Extraordinary (IHC: Incentive Airlines, Hot Deals, Competing Destination Models), and Super-Extraordinary (BHL: Border Tourism, Hub, Low Cost Terminal).

In addition to a comprehensive program, we have also set targets and budgets for each deputy in detail referring to the three program groups above. All the deputies have presented to me in a very detailed and very good way. So, what is the lack? The lack is the last part that is the most important, the real execution in the field.

In the concept of Strategy Implementation (SI) we recognize three elements of the process, namely Program, Budget, and Procedure (abbreviated PBP). We already have a comprehensive program. We also have a detailed budget. Now, in terms of execution on the ground we will face a series of procedures that can slow down the speed of our action. This last thing is the main weakness that we have faced. Our problems are always executed.

In terms of execution, up to today, we only reached 308 billion rupiahs or 14%. As it is known, for this year’s budget the tender reached a portion of 2/3 (amounting to 2.2 trillion rupiahs), while the rest went through self-management (1.1 trillion rupiahs). If 308 billion rupiahs are divided by a total of 3.3 trillion rupiahs, then only 9% will be reached. If the achievement is only like that, then the absorption can be projected to run out in November. This is certainly not in accordance with the “Shifting to the Front” strategy.

Then what to do if it’s like this? There is nothing else but we must get around and speed up the implementation of the procedure. So we compiled the Daily Budget Realization (LHRA) Report. When we have written the daily report, there is no other way than to be reported every day, namely in the LHRA. Well, the question is how to make the process faster?

Generally if there is acceleration, there should be a team. During this time in Ministry of Tourism there are many acceleration teams, but the acceleration team for procurement actually does not exist. In some companies project leader is often formed to focus on working on a project. So the disadvantage is that the procurement acceleration team does not exist. As a result, all followed the procedure as usual that we know, the bureaucracy is very slow. My decision was to form a Goods and Services Acceleration Team.

Another solution is to solve it at a leadership meeting. I have repeatedly reminded that if there are problems with procedures, don’t be afraid to bring them to the leadership meeting. This leadership meeting mechanism can be a solution for two reasons. First, the decision at the leadership meeting was not personal because it was decided together or collegially. Second, the decision taken is not based on one’s own thinking which is not necessarily true.

I give an example of that thought that is not true. For example, there is a thought that the rest of the auction cannot be used. In fact, it can be used. Secondly, colleagues are always afraid that the budget will run out, but it turns out that at the Ministerial level there are always around 10% left over each year. 10% in the total budget of 3.8 trillion rupiahs means that there is 380 billion rupiah in cash. It is not small money that can be used again.

Another example, we may tender even before the current year. I have decided that, but it cannot be done fully because I am still in charge of the previous year’s budget. But thank God, the tender in December last year could still be carried out so that by the beginning of January this achievement had reached 14%, quite well. Usually this big achievement is only achieved in April. Why did it happen? This can happen after we run the LHRA consistently every day, we absorb checks one by one every day.

In addition we often make rules that make execution not fast. The rule was made not with the values of Solid, Speed, Smart. If the regulation is made with the spirit of our work culture, the execution should be faster. According to Jack Welch, the key factor for fast execution is Simplicity, which is to think and act simply, not complicated and complicated. “The essence of creating speed is simplicity.” If we want speed, then we have to be able to change the way we think and the process we go through becomes simpler. Simplicity is the great enabler of speed.”

Unfortunately, we in the bureaucracy are already bureaucratic in mentality, such as making something simple to be complicated and convoluted. The “Shifting to the Front” strategy requires us to move super-fast. Therefore we must dare to innovate and breakthrough so that we can simplify procurement rules and procedures, of course by staying within the corridor of good governance and not producing BPK’s findings.

Finally, I see an execution that can be fast if there is a way out. If a deadlock problem has no solution, then the process automatically stops. I give an example, nomadic tourism will be fast because if there is anything the way out is there. When we have more solutions, the way of the process will be faster.

I illustrate, the more exits in a room the easier we enter, and the longer we are in the room. Why is it? It is because if anything happens we easily get out. When we are easy to get out, we will never get out and get in quickly. This is a paradox.


Dr. Ir. Arief Yahya, M.Sc.