Permata Bank's Ridha Wirakusumah on Eliminating Complexity

Ridha Wirakusumah, president director of Permata Bank, shares how he introduced several mottos that helped his team reduce complexity and achieve more than they thought possible.

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Read the transcript below.

RIDHA WIRAKUSUMAH: To be able to take the team from feeling extremely down and depressed, so to speak, into a better state of mind, requires quite a number of things. You have to set the tone that this is actually an extremely positive journey, that if you can actually turn around, you have seen the bottom, and you move up.

So I actually introduced a couple mottoes. One is activities do not equal results. Just because you run around run around doesn't mean you can achieve anything. So activities does not equal results. Number two, I introduced three simple mottoes. I said, simple, fast and reliable.

Why do I introduce those? Because the things that can be done in five steps, our team are doing it in 45 steps. And to be able to then ask the question as to why did you do it in 45 steps, most of the time, they said, "Well, it's always been done that way."

So to basically then come around and say, "Look, we don't have to do it in 45 steps. We have to adhere to the law, there's governance and compliance we have to follow, but you can still do it in five steps." And the result is quite amazing, because then they say, "Wow, we can accomplish the same thing with a lot less complexity."

One example was our company, as you know, is owned 45% by Astra and 45% by Standard Chartered Bank. To onboard a credit in Astra companies, in our bank, requires 49 days, whereas the competitors have 12 days.

We devised a process, we can now do things in about five to six days. We can then go back to Astra and say, "Look, why are you giving it to a competitor at 12 days if you could do it to us at 6 days?" When we were at 49 days, we can't ask that question. Of course, as a result, we see the business picking up quite significantly.

I think the most satisfying thing is on the people side. People realize that they can actually improve, they can actually have more confidence. They can actually, in my language, jump higher than they think they can. That gives me the most thrill and satisfaction.

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