Viewing Agility in the Workplace, How?

Rininta Muthia Syahrir – Alumni XLFL Batch 4
Senior Business Development Specialist

About Rininta
Meet Rininta Muthia Syahrir, an Universitas Padjadjaran (Unpad) graduate and XLFL Batch 4 Bandung. Her friends are used to calling her “Irin.” Currently, Irin is a Senior Business Development Specialist, focusing on handling the digital category in one of the biggest and leading e-commerce in Indonesia. She began her journey as a Business Development Specialist in July 2018. With the given role, Irin imagines herself as the “CEO” of her own product in the digital category that she is responsible for. To be specific, she develops the intangible products, such as data packages, electricity tokens, or mostly in charge of developing and managing the billings in her company.

The game-changing question is, was she directly given the role of a Business Development Specialist after graduating from college? No, she was not. But practicing agility helps her to create the byproduct. It hasn’t only paved her path with an abundant amount of trials, but also has given her time to understand herself more. To be creative, to quickly embark on and execute plans, to develop products she is entrusted upon, and to even adapt in this COVID-19 pandemic, she believes that adapting is important.

What were the hurdles that came up to her? Let’s try to go deeper…

Being Agile in the Workplace
Let’s just open it with a story about how agility -before going to the workplace- changes the whole perspective of Irin. For her, it all started with a mindset; a mindset of growth. She graduated from Unpad in 2017 and the first thing she said during the Newsletter interview was, “It’s saddening to recall the memories I had when I graduated, I was overwhelmed with myself. I felt like I had achieved things that I wanted and decided not to adapt to the needs of the company I’m applying for. I even underestimated the company that I applied just because I felt too superior. One of the companies that I underestimated was e-commerce. I decided to show myself off and it was my biggest mistake back then. ” Biggest mistake? Yes, she was not adapting. That was her starting point in realizing she needed to be agile. Yet, Irin said that her mistake was still the mistake of most graduates today, they felt superior, overbrand themselves, some even forgot to be humble. That’s somehow dangerous.

From a professional’s perspective, Irin has delivered two things that we need to embrace and understand to be agile based on her true story. First, change your mindset. Whether you are a fresh graduate, someone who has just been promoted in their workplace, or even someone who has just altered their career, you need to change your mindset to not only be better, but also to open for a plethora of new perspectives. For instance, when someone has just graduated from college, yet they’re very confident with their previous experiences, they often forget one thing: four years of college means nothing when you need to face the world that constantly changes, forever. In college, we have a certain point of view, but the phase after it forces your point of view to be broader so we know and understand what we should do and develop. Why? The industry has always been, and will always be changing and developing. By that, change your mindset too, be agile.

Changing our mindset might help, but what leads to a chain of sustainability? Adaptation. It is not about what you can do or get, but it is about what you can give and make the best out of it. Adaptation does not only imply throwing out fresh ideas, but also understanding the industry, the team, and making you sure that your idea is actionable.

For Irin, implementing those two values was not easy, there were many things that she needed to step on beforehand. But after the processes she went through, she told a story about her success in being agile. She initiated a new feature for a specific market in Indonesia, in her case, the Muslim community market, as Muslim is the major population in Indonesia. Her idea was fresh, adaptive, and very well-thought of. This gave her a huge impact on not only herself but also to the whole team.

The New Normal and Agility
Talking about challenges, let’s get more specific on the COVID-19 pandemic situation. This situation leads to a bunch of challenges for us. However, one challenge that Irin needed to face was the people’s assumption that they thought the e-commerce industry would be growing faster due to an increasing number of online activities during this pandemic. On the flip coin, the assumption was wrong, “No, we do not. We are still struggling.”

Irin, then, continued, “We need to adapt. Adapting way much faster than before.” She said that the pandemic was not only making adaptation to our work but also pushing the way we viewed and valued ourselves.

  1. Emotion, communication, and new regulations are the variables that impact her the most. Hence, being agile is prominent.
    Growing mindset. Imagine facing new regulations that you have never analyzed or even read before. They are all brand new regulations, what will you do? Push them away? No, we cannot. Irin believes that this is the key factor that we all need to have. Having a growing mindset means you are pushing yourself to be creative in solving problems.
  2. Practicing discipline. Irin believes that home has always been a place for us to rest and have our own me-time, but this pandemic has forced us to work from the comfort of our own home. By being disciplined, Irin feels that everything is way easier and balanced.
  3. Having effective communication. The key is to make it effective. As someone who is working in e-commerce and handling digital categories that is mostly working with billings and payments, Irin feels that communication is very important because the rising number of users equals the rising number of complaints. If we are unable to communicate effectively about our ideas to the team, the possibility for us to fail will increase, and that’s not what we’re planning for.

XLFL and New Normal’s Agility
Irin has already delivered her point about effective communication, she believes that in this global health pandemic situation, this value is very helpful. Irin also said that every single thing that she said earlier was part of managing changes. Imagine if we do not have at least those two values, it will be very tough for someone to adapt and finish everything with the best output.

Last Note for the Readers
“I will not add anything to my previous points, I just want to say that believe it or not, like it or not, COVID-19 pandemic is our restart button to everything,” Irin said that we usually felt too powerful with ourselves and stopped adapting with the new situation. We even feel superior to others then we assume that we can be better than others. But this global health pandemic really restarts everyone and forces everyone to be adaptive. So what are the key takeaways from this situation? We can try anything, do anything, start something, and be anything we want. The aforementioned values and points do not define the best practice of agility.

The growing mindset and adaptation are simply about being humble and able to think how we grow and help others to grow.

Written by: Ubay Syakhisk Arbi Mohamad– XLFL Batch 7