My Eisenhower Fellowships Journey
During Eisenhower Fellowships Day in Bali, 14 October this year, I met with Ramon Hernando. I forgot to asked how old is he…but, he was Eisenhower Fellow alumni 1959 from Philipines. Fifty two years ago! I guess he is not less than 80 years old now. And still has great spirit and charm. He came from Manila, to supporting EF Regional Seminar “New Asia Raising” organized by EF Indonesia Alumni Chapter.
Having conversation with some senior alumni, reminding me to all my journey along EF, April-May 2011. Yes, I am the “youngest” alumni from Indonesia in term of year of class (not in term of age ;-)). I have priviliged to join #EF Multi Nation Program 2011, with 18 fellows from 18 countries. What a great experiences. I travel to many cities in US, and knowing a lot of great minds, learning about different culture from my fellow fellow, and sharing a lot of jokes. Off course.
The Eisenhower Fellowships differed from existing international scholarship and exchange programs because the Fellows, both from overseas and the United States, were not students or faculty, but mid-career professionals who had already achieved leadership positions. Bi-national committees abroad nominated candidates from fields identified by the country representatives as critical to national needs. Details about this fellowships is here : www.efworld.org
This journey, is about leaderships learning.
I took Media Convergence as my main theme in Eisenhower Fellowships. I would like to learn how in United States, the regulation have been made in the area of multimedia, in the era of digital media. I asked questions, from “what had been done?”, “why it should be done?”, “how it should be discussed?”, “what is the essential things to be considered”, “how to form a healthy regulation from the point of view of the stakeholders: public, private, government?” “What is the impact on business model apllied by media or non media companies?”. “What is the impact on values of “true journalism in the era of digital and instant media?”. And many more specific questions. More than three essential questions, because from one meeting to another one, I found new fact that interesting to be share and discussed with people I met.
What I found during this fellowship, is more than discussions about technology the era of digital media, multiplatform and media convergence, US National Broadband Plan or how James Cameron, director of “Avatar” made his 3D movies – I attend Cameron session on the opening of National Associations of Broadcasters 2011 in Las Vegas. Also, not only about what we have to do in the era of “Next Journalism” as stated by Tom Rosenstiel, author, press critic, vice chairman of the Committe of Concerned Journalists, whom I met in Pew Research Center, in Washington, DC. Nor the essential of broadband to addressing major national challenges like education, health care, energy, transportation and public safety. As stated by FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski during Breakfast Session in NAB2011, broadband is essential to consumers. Most Americans can not imagine life without the Internet or their wireless devices. We rely on them for everything from entertainment to checking job listings to staying in touch with friends and family.
I found innovation and creativity as a key of success in many areas. Applied by leaders, people who lead the change, in any levels.
The “Keep on doing Innovation.” This spirit applied consistently by people whom I met, and companies that I visited during this fellowships. It is the key ingredient for sustainable business, organization, movement and provide competitiveness during the fast changed world. Innovation does not meant “product” or “service” only, but also the way to manage companies and organization. To ensure the “get things done”. As explained by Gail Harrity, President and COO of Philadelphia Museum of Art in dealing with more efficient procurement system, to the incentives scheme of funding and admission in order to attract sponsors and visitors. In the world where budget limitation always become the issue for many organization, Philadelphia Museum of Art top executives managing this non profit and public institution by implementing business principles. CHANGE spirit is there. But, the Master Plan, consisting Vision and Mission of the Institution, become the guidance for the whole team and keep them together, especially during the crises and leaderships transition.
When I was joining ANTV News in Februari 2006, the management asked me to draft the mission of our news division in the cluttered market. By then, from internet research I found this school of journalism who has a progresive thinking on how to teach journalism by combining with marketing and communication. As journalist, for instance, knowing your audience is become more importance especially when you are work in broadcast –entertaintment- industry. Understanding what public needs to know basically is like doing market research before launching a product to the market. Roger Ailes did market research before decide that Fox News will serve “US conservative audience”. And, yes. Fox beats CNN in domestic market. Until now.
Medill School visit, and meeting with Dean John Lavine definitely in my “purpose meeting”. I put this on my proposal.
So, I was so excited when my program officer during EF, Brandyn Campbell Muller, successfully got confirmation from Dean Lavine – and some great expert from the school – to spare time for me.
Dean John Lavine brought innovation to Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern of University Chicago when he took position in 2006. His Medill 2020 Vision introduce new era in teaching journalism, combining with Integrated Marketing and Communication (IMC) studies, in order to provide student, journalists, better understanding about the market. The audiences. Making engagement. Their Media Management Center, its Readership Institute examine how people used media and then quickly moved to understanding why they engage or disengage with newspapers, magazine online, local broadcast news and television. It was not easy to lead the change. “Changes really hard. Most people againts change”,” said Dean Lavine answering my question. Medill School goal is to train all Medill students to create “relevant, differentiated storytelling and messages that engage the audience.” That’s the key, Lavine says, to capturing the attention of very busy people — and to stemming the tides of circulation loss for newspapers and declining viewership for broadcasters.
Not only combining with marketing and communication understanding, in Medill, they also built interdiciplinary relationship in providing innovative way to teach, and doing research on media engagement, such as with Technology Faculty. Journalist and Media on this day need more than skill to report and write the story, but also the capability to applying technology, or even Math! Why Math? “It makes you think logically, and provide accuracy in your journalism product when you are dealing with number,” said Prof Owen Youngman, Knight Professor Digital Media Strategy, at Medill. A 21st century journalist’s toolkit according to Prof Owen Youngman, is: accuracy, self awareness, numeracy (!), appropriateness, business knowledge, audience awareness and adaptibility.
Prof Youngman was the person who built “Tribune Interactive”, a digital media section in Tribune Media Group who run The Chicago Tribune newspapers, WGN TV and WGN Radio. The biggest media organization in Chicago. In Medill, Vision 2020 had been communicated well among the faculty members, so everybody understood the challenges, and why the school have to adopt the change. An honest and tranparant approach, as well as better communication makes change easily to adapted. I saw this in many people, many organizations I met. One of the leadership insight I’ve got. .
Another insight from this school is: “Journalists, and the media people usually only think about the content. Now, they have to think about the business too,” said Prof Rich Gordon, professor and director of digital innovation. At Medill, he launched the school’s graduate program in new media journalism. He has spent most of his career exploring the areas where journalism and technology intersect. What is the limitation of innovation? From the people side? Technology side? “From the technology, the limitation is the regulation. From the people, the challenge came from the culture.”, said Prof Gordon.
Innovation also makes organizations or companies stay competitive. Obviously that is why companies like Boeing, Emerson, and Microsoft have their Innovation Center. As stated by Ed Monser, COO of Emerson, “If there is no innovator, we are die. Innovation generate 40 percent of our products. It’s everything.” Monser was president of Emerson’s Rosemont division. Under his leadership, Rosemont developed a range of innovative “smart” measurement and analytical devices for the process industry, expanded its services and solutions capabilities and implemented significant operational efficiencies. In the era where information become important tool in “business war”, innovation become more crucial to be done, because others company will always try to look at what kind of product and services that you offered? What is the plan? When? Who is the key person dealing with these product and services? “Do you know how many times our information systems been hacked per day?” asked Monser. “It’s 6000 times!.” What a number! And the challenges. Emerson’s value on innovation expressed in their tagline, stated in the website: It’s Never Been Done Before. For Talent Management, it is very important to manage personal contact with team. “As global company we spent most of our time for travels. It is tempting to manage from behind the desk. But, personal communication with people, staffs, is important. Answering emails personally is one of a way to do personal engagement,” said Mike Rohret, VP Human Resources in Emerson.
In Microsoft, the importance of innovation explained by Cathy Menees. Information Communication and Technology (ICT) and innovations in these area become economic growth drivers. The cycle for sustainable development is Education, Innovation, National Competitiveness and Development. Innovation is not just invention, but build on top of it. Orlando Ayala, MS COO on Emerging Markets addressing Innovation needed because in ICT business revolution underway a whole new ball game. Consumer demand products and services which brings them to: cost reduction, flexibility, agility, more mobility, highly automated, easy to implement, and increasing end user productivity. Still, there is a big question on the affect of innovation in ICT for public life: privacy.
Privacy issue is one of the biggest problem for government and companies implementing Cloud Computing. Privacy issue become hot debates, here in US –and off course in countries that become consumers of US ICT product, because few big company will control the possesion of informations, included personal data of individual. Off course, in the digital era, boosted by social media trend and the hype of Wikileaks phenomenon, there is almost no secret anymore. Then dilemma is, how much information you want to share with others in this world, while enjoying all the gadgets, tablets, smartphones? And what is the future of “true journalism” value, the idealism and the “public needs first”, when big companies, non media, controlling the media companies? They are not only controlling the pipeline, the infrastructure, but also can control the contents delivered through the pipe. “It is a big challenge for journalist and media,” said Tom Rosenstiel. No wonder, all the media people and professors I met, support The Net Neutrality Principle. As we can find from Wikipedia, Network neutrality (also net neutrality, Internet neutrality) is a principle which advocates no restrictions by Internet service providers or governments on consumers’ access to networks that participate in the internet. Specifically, network neutrality would prevent restrictions on content, sites, platforms, the kinds of equipment that may be attached, or the modes of communication.
Las Vegas!….Spent 6 days there….all day seminars, workshops, enjoying the biggest broadcasting exhibition annually. And not to mention, the dynamics night life, included Celine Dion concert in Colloseum, Cesar Palace…how lucky I am..
Here is the highlight.
During NAB2011 Conferences in Las Vegas, spirit of innovation shaping the whole conferences and exhibitions. “When Content Comes To Life, Picturing Possibilities” was the title of NAB2011. Technology enabling people exploring innovation in film making, daily life activities, producing contents for multiplatform, and become better citizen. James Cameron took the stage as keynotes speaker. Together with cinematographer Vince Pace, James was discussing the power of 3D programming and where future technology can take the industry. Cameron’s movie, “Avatar” was shot in 3D in 2009”. He said, “3D is a basic, fundamental aspect of the way we see the world. It’s the last big thing. After that, it will all be nuanced.” For Cameron, innovation in film making came always become his passion. From underwater film making in The Abyss and the “human robotic” in Terminator Movie, and off course making the sinking ship, Titanic. Avatar recorded as the biggest blockbuster movie all time. So far. The Abyss set for underwater filmmaking was implementation from Cameron vision and creative tinker as film production designer in the early of his career. It has been using by countless of movies, from Michael Bay’s Armageddon to National Geographic nature film. It became the only underwater lighting NASA allows in the indoor pool in Huoston where its trains its astronauts in weight-lessess.
For the broadcasting industry, “3D is the future of broadcast”,” said Cameron. More and more content production become important, not only from the ideas and new way to do story tellings, but also because the technology development enabling people to consuming contents in anywhere, anytimes, various devices with higher quality. NAB2011 was an impresive experience for me. The theme, is just rightly in accordance with my main topic, the media convergence. Insightful informations came from various session, from the regulatory perspective, industrial point of view, and how the market respond on this. One of the media convergence related example was the session about “Behind the Multi-Platform Success of ‘Glee’, and others movie. “Glee” the musical show very popular in Indonesia. It was not easy for “Glee” at the beginning to gain success, in rating/share and revenue base, but as mentioned by Dante Di Loreto, President of Ryan Murphy Productions and Executive Producer “Glee,”, the multiplatform media – we can use this term in describing media convergence usage- helping “Glee” build “engagement” with the audiences.
It is proven. When I was in Saint Louis, MO, US Fellow 2011 Rick Majzun, brought me to see one of vocal group performed in restaurant in Old Historic Down Town, Saint Charles. They are the result of “Glee Sensations” that spreading in many places in US, because of the “virus” of “Glee” movie. This goup of about 20 teenagers, boys and girls, practicing 1-2 days per week after school, singing “Glee” playlists. They are invited to perform in front of guests in the café or restaurant. Their voices is good, and their performance entertaining. Rick daughter was part of the choir group. “Glee” bring the audiences to sing together. Family enjoying the show. As from the business perspective, using multiplatform, provide “Glee” revenue streaming not only from the tv commercials spot, but also from games, quizzes through web and mobile devices. Not to mention selling their merchandise and CD album.
NAB2011 shows that Innovation and Creative Industry moving very fast. Indeed, the creative industries make a big impact on the bottom line: in the average OECD country, between 5 and 6 percent of GDP comes from the creative industries. The United States is far ahead of the pack: over 11 percent of U.S GDP in 2009 contribute by creative industry. In Indonesia the number is 6%. The Media Convergence –Dean John Lavine prefer the term Digital Media–, opens bigger opportunity to create and delivering better content.
I would like to share part of the Chairman FCC Genachowski speech on The Breakfast Session of NAB 2011: “Back then, when you spoke about viewers’ three screens, you meant the TVs in the living room, the kitchen, and the bedroom. Now we are talking about your TV, your computer, and your mobile device. With each of the screens connected to broadband Internet. An average American now spends more of their free time online than they do watching TV. As of this past December, 172 million Americans were watching video online, a number that continues to increase at a fast pace. Meanwhile, sales of broadband-enabled smartphones have surpassed PC sales. Nearly 25 million Americans are watching video on their phones – a 40% increase from a year ago, and continuing to rise rapidly. And now there’s a fourth screen bursting onto the scene – tablets. With a camera. Not only are people watching national networks, and You Tube, their phones and tablets are beginning two-way video conference devices, increasingly used not only by grandma talking to grandson, by businesses doing business.
The fact that Broadband is the future of Industry in US – and also in Indonesia. The Indonesia National Broadband Plan launched on April 24 this year – hardly to argued. Even by the broadcasters, the traditional media practitioners, who are usually produce the content for one platform. But, again, change should be done. As continued by FCC Chairman: “I understand that this new world creates challenges for broadcasters. It both exacerbates long-standing challenges, and creates new ones. Challenges like fragmenting audiences, and multiple pressures on ad revenue. I’m encouraged to see that many broadcasters are tackling the challenges and seizing the opportunities of a multi-platform broadband world – seeking to reach the audience where the audience is going — experimenting with new technologies, new platforms and new business models. “.
FCC try to lead the change. No debates on this, with one key conditions. Public interest should be considered as important as the development of technology it self. I got the messages. As broadcaster, as journalist.
CBS “60 Minutes Overtime” is one of good example how the media respond to the Digital Media era and the opportunity to build engagement with the audience, and most important, to invite “new eyeball” for one of the most successful TV magazine program in US. I spoke with Bill Owens, CBS 60 Minutes Executive Producer in his office in New York. In order to keep sustainability of the program and building engagement with the audiences, a year ago CBS starting “60 Minutes Overtime” website, and also using social media platform such as Facebook and Twitter to engange and connecting with the audiences. Social media and online media appeals to younger generations. With “the unlimited space” in the Internet platform, CBS 60 Minutes could explore and share more content, includes share their behind the scene of the news gathering and production process.
This leads me to one of the eight values for journalists in the era of Digital Media, proposed by Tom Rosenstiel and Bill Kovach in their latest book, Blur; How To Know What’s True In The Age Of Information Overload. Empowerer. “The press should also give us tools as citizens to achieve the new way of knowing. A big part of this is viewing the public as part of the process of the news and not just an audience for it,” said Tom. It is mutual empowerment. The citizen is empowered by sharing experience and knowledge that informs others—including the journalist. The journalist is empowered by tapping into experience and expertise beyond his or her formal and offcial sources. The end of the result of this is a continuing conversation, which bring to better journalism. In the era of dgtital media, journalist should not act as “lecture”, but build “dialogue” with the audiences.
Web came in 2000, and the social media spread the fever in 2005. Everybody rush into Web and Social Media. Suprisingly, most companies and people still have to learn how to use these tools powerfully. As mentioned by Professor Sree Sreenivasan (@Sree), Dean of Student Affairs in Columbia Graduates Journalism School, also one of 35 people should be followed on Twitter – according to Poynter.Org –, the question always asked by the people – in finance division—is’ “how to measure the return on investment on social media? That question still asked in US. Become debates in newsroom as well as boardroom. “ “One of the answer is, the power of Social Media to build traffic to your company’s website. The ability to Re-Share,” said Sree. The others? “Many. Here in Columbia University we teach student and people how to use Social Media as powerful tools,” add Sree. For the company like Emerson, investment on social media incorporated in the investment on Information and Technology (IT). “I can say, that one third of our revenue come from the usage of IT,” said Ed Monser.
This journey is about leadership learning.
But, also provide me exchange experience and information. In Medill School, Professor Loren Ghiglione, former Dean, asked me to share Indonesia exprience in dealing with Freedom of Expression in front of his Global Journalism Class. It was wonderful discussion. I could share about Indonesia, about Moeslem and Democracy in my country, and got questions from the students. The are smart. They are open minded. They are the “Next Journalists”. I hope so. In Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Professor Sree invite me to introduce my my self before the session with Facebook new-hired News Manager, Vadim Lavrusik. Around 500 people in the session surprise when Sree told them, that Indonesia is the 2nd largest Facebook users in the world after US. About 30 of them asked me about this, through my Twiter account, @unilubis. Indonesia could become good example, how Moeslem, Democracy can working together, side by side. Indonesia is the 3rd largest democracy country in the world, with 90% Moeslem population, from total 240 million. Misperception about Moeslem still exist here in US. I am glad that I have chance to share about Indonesia Moeslem during this fellowship, included to other fellow.
During this fellowship I travelled to 9 cities, met with 85 people – in person or in a group–, attending 20 conferences/workshops, included the discussion in Stanford University with Wael Ghonim, former Google Executives in Middle East who become the face of Egypt Revolution, and one of TIME 100 Most Influential People. If I have to describe in one word, the people I met, personally or as a leader in each organization/companies is “The Futurist”. This is the title of the book describing James Cameron, wrote by Rebecca Keegan. Innovation driven by the people with vision ahead from her or his time. I took Media Convergence as my main topic, because Indonesia in the process to drafting the law on this area. As we are dealing with the area that moving and changing so quickly, the law should be drafted with vision ahead by focusing on building better infrastructure and supporting innovation in technology and content production.
Because, as stated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who become the inspiration of Eisenhower Fellowships:
“The world moves, and ideas that were once good are not always good”.
I hope some of you could have experience like me. To be Eisenhower Fellow. For me, after the fellowship the challenge would be implementing and sharing my experience. Thank you EF.