Social Consulting Toolkit – YSEALI PFP Fall 2015 Experience in Deloitte

            I’ll open my writing with some common questions for NGO practitioner. Is this a good business idea? How I grow my organization? How can we work more efficiently? How to secure sustainable resource? These are common questions that NGO practitioner has. But, people who’re good on answering the questions, mostly situated in management positions and not within reach to help those NGO practitioners. That’s what I realize back then when I was working in management consultancy, and hence decide to lend my expertise to some of NGO and startup practitioner friends to support their strategy and management decisions to help them grow and create more impact to society.

            And that’s the background of why I apply for YSEALI Fall 2015 Professional Fellowship Program, under economic empowerment cohort where I have a chance to learn about social consulting in Deloitte. Have been advising several organizations, and currently act as active chairman and advisor of Forum for Indonesia, I want to create more impact to Indonesia by built a team of social consultants / advisors to leverage more impacts to society. And to lead a team, I need to have strong fundamental of the subject. Understand well, teach, and leverage it with the team to create bigger impacts through the hands of more people which were the core future looking objective that I would like to achieve from my fellowship.

Me in Deloitte

            After month full of discussions with ~70 experts in the field, at the end fellowship we come up with tailored framework to support NGO. We call this framework as social space framework as the capability is to help NGO practitioner to tackle their issue on each sections that we define as spaces. Start from idea, growth, and streamline space. For more information, kindly refer to figure 1.


Figure 1: Social space framework

Social Space Framework

            The journey has been worthwhile, the product has been well made, and now it’s time to leverage this learning into impact. A good friend in Deloitte pose this question “If what you’re passionate on is strategy consulting and advisory, how big is the impact you could do if you do it alone?” and that’s make sense. Framework is just the first step on the whole impact proposition. The important next step is on how the framework could be leveraged to gather and enable more NGO pro bono consultants. I might have the capability because of the social enterprise related pro bono work that I’ve done, but the real impact would be realized if we able to gather and enable more creative minds to create bigger impact. To borrow Deloitte tagline, it is time to make impact that matters! Thanks a lot Deloitte, US State Department, and American Councils, for the opportunity of attending YSEALI PFP program. It’s surely something that leaps my perspective by miles!

YSEALI PFP – Volunteering in Washington DC

During my YSEALI PFP fellowship, I had the opportunity to spend my day volunteering at Carpe Librum, used bookstore in downtown Washington, D.C. What’s interesting from this bookstore is the profit would be used to fund its parent organization named “Turning the Page”, which activities revolve around improvement of D.C. students learning environments through their parent engagement programs.

My responsibility for the day is to structure and organize books in business & economic section to ease navigation of potential buyer. Because there’re so many books piled up randomly, it is hard for potential buyer to the title collection. Simple as it heard, it’s really daunting that we spent half day to organize everything.

During my volunteering here, I found that it’s an interesting model of social movement. And in essence, it should be possible to replicate this model in our home society. On top of it, there’re several things that I think would be interesting to be noted here, which crystalize the essence of NGO and volunteering:

1. Connection with society
You know what’s cool with having a shop? Opportunity to meet with all range of people! Wherever it is, whatever it is, NGO always depend on people to support their movement. Hence, connection with people is essential. Warm and passionate volunteer at the cashier could be the main factor to attract strong supports for volunteer & donation.

2. Kindred spirits
There’re hundred books donated, and not just any book, many of them are high quality books. Some of the big names like freakonomic and built to last also found among them. I found it interesting that people have this helping heart where they really donate quality books for a cause.

3. Virtue could be brought from simple act
Last take away is that, even simple act could bring virtue. However small it is, act of virtue in everyday life is worthy.

Charismatic Leader – A lecture by Sam Potolicchio

When I recollect my notes, I found this really interesting note from leadership lecture by Sam Potolicchio as part of my YSEALI PFP program in Washington DC. Sam Potolicchio is Director of Global and Custom Education at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and named as one of “America’s Best Professors” by Princeton Review, the only one in his field and the Future Leader of American Higher Education by the Association of Colleges and Universities. Really love his lecture and I think it would be useful to share it. It’s really interesting because he bring out the samples from politic areas and try to construct a conclusion on what make a political leader really stand out and different.

So, what’s charismatic leader? Sam informally defines it as leader with strong contrast. Contrast is something that would make you unique and hence recognizable by society. In addition, strong contrast would need to be accompanied with 2 hygiene factors: competence over their respective field (strength) and trust from people (warmth). These 3 (contrast, competence, and trust) are traits, that not only differentiate, but also make a leader really stand out over the others.

So, what do we need to create those 3? Sam share some tips:
1. Ability to attend / observe. A leader needs to be able to attend / observe many things around them (country, colleagues, sub-ordinate, society, and even follower/fans) because they need to make a stand point /decision in their daily lives. Don’t drag too much in unimportant task, because human is not a good multi-tasking organism.
2. Attentive to subliminal signal / body language
3. Ability to create Halo effect. Halo effect is something that makes you trust and create feeling of similarity with other person. This one is really apparent in political figures, and it could be built and practiced from the way you use language (verbal and non-verbal).
4. Be flowsome could make you awesome. Means, what would make a leader awesome is the way they could handle the flows of where things are going.
5. Handle unexpected conditions well.

Hope it’s useful for you, aspiring leaders!