Susan P. Chen · December 2, 2019

Great Leaders Don’t Stop Learning. Here’s How We’re Developing Our Leaders at Gojek.

Leaders in a company can spend a large portion of their time coaching and grooming our team members. This happens on top of our workload, often at the expense of our own growth and development.

As such, Gojek has recently decided to double down on the development of our leadership team to both update their skills for the constantly changing business landscape, as well as to create a culture of curiosity and lifelong learning, starting from the top.

For this, we engaged the services of a learning solution provider to deliver a series of university-certified courses in 3 or 6-week virtual formats. Courses were administered by top business schools, and participants could directly apply what they learnt to a high-priority work project of their choice to generate immediate and long-term business impact.

We curated 3 different programs from 2 reputable business schools, Columbia Business School and University of California, Berkeley. The courses were:

  1. Implementing Winning Strategy by Columbia University Executive Education.
  2. Building & Leading Effective Teams by Columbia University Executive Education.
  3. Accelerating Change Readiness & Agility by Berkeley University Executive Education.

We selected our first batch of 32 leaders across corporate and product functions to pilot this program, and held the graduation ceremony for them last week. 96% of our graduates had a positive experience with the program, 93% of them are likely to apply their learnings to their work, and the projected financial impact from the project work stood at $56M.

These participants will go on to support our development program by being mentors or learning buddies for future learning initiatives.

We spoke to a few of our course graduates to find out some of their key takeaways from the courses.

Anticipating and managing organisational changes

Nesya Lukmandjaja, a Senior People Partner, enrolled in the course on Accelerating Change Readiness and Agility. She believes that the course has helped her better adapt to changes, and empower her teammates to do so.

“In the work I’m currently doing, change happens almost every week, and not everyone is well-equipped nor able to thrive in such a situation,” she says. “On top of guiding us on how to implement the change itself, the course has taught me to identify how my team members and I adapt to change, enabling me to delegate tasks according to their strengths, as well as the way they adapt and react to change.”

She is now in the midst of creating a playbook for change initiatives, and preparing for potential outcomes of the change that might be outside of her team’s control.

Strategy is everyone’s job

Brata Santoso, VP of Operations for GoFestival, enrolled in the course on Implementing Winning Strategy. The course prompted him to shift his mindset about organisational strategy.

“Early on in the program, there was a session by Prof. Willie Pieterson discussing the topic ‘Why strategy is everyone’s job,’”he said. “Upon reflection, I realise that I — and sometimes those around me — tend to complain if our leaders do not clarify the organisation’s strategic goals. But we need to accept that leaders do not always present this kind of clarity on a plate. The answer is not to sit back and complain, or simply take shots in the dark.”

Instead, employees should take responsibility for finding clarity through dialogue with leaders, as well as defining their roles within the top-line strategy.

“Because as much as strategy is often thought of as the exclusive preserve of top management, organisational alignment and executing the strategy is impossible without everyone’s participation,” he said. “And that’s why strategy is everyone’s job.”

No matter your title, learning shouldn’t stop. I recently shared my thoughts about creating a culture of curiosity and learning in the workplace, and am proud of work alongside a team that is committed to do so — through formal, structured initiatives such as these, or informal learning sessions conducted by subject matter experts within the company.

We spoke more about adopting and practicing the growth mindset during our recent GoTalk SG fireside chat ‘Want to work in tech but can’t code?’ Check out the article here!

This article was co-written by Sim Yanting.

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