What Are You?

“How do you measure yourself? What are you?”.

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That’s my coolest and favorite professor last punchline in our last meeting for this semester. No no, dia gak nanya kamu manusia atau bukan. We talked about global and localization for company and his remark is “How do you measure yourself? What are you?”. It is indeed, the word “you” refer to a firm, but it just hit me hard. What am I? (Hazeeeek…)

The current trend is company standardized their product so they can globally market their product. It is all started when Japanese companies, the late comers after WW II, able to boost their revenue and became the big player in market. Jadi, dengan mereka memproduksi barang dengan kualitas sama, tidak dimodifikasi sesuai kebutuhan customer, it is easy for them to gain the market. TV dengan kualitas dan bentuk yang sama di ekspor keluar negeri and it turns out wherever the customers are, they accepted it, the exact same TVs.

Sama dengan manusia. We are all have sets of characteristic in which define who you are. Let’s say gue baik hati, ramah, dan suka menabung (baju). Yaudah gue ke semua orang senyum terus sampe gigi gue kering. Atau ada juga yang bawaan jutek, yaudah sama semua orang juga cemberut aja. Untungnya apa buat kita? Sama kaya company, gue bisa hemat cost a.k.a emosi gue, karena ya gue by default begitu. Senyum atau cemberut all the way. Gak usah capek-capek mikir “aku harus gimana ya sama si A dan si B dan si C, si D, dan kamu?”

But unfortunately, the trend is also shifting. They do some localization. Take Kitkat case in Japan. They have special flavor that just exist there! For God sake! I also want Kitkat rasa ubi! Tapi yang namanya localization, ya Kitkat rasa itu adanya di Jepang aja dan khusus buat orang Jepang. That’s the way they do localization, they blend with the culture until “they” become “we”. Sama dengan McD yang kemarin ngeluarin PaNas pake sambel uleg! Ayam nya tetep ayam McD pake resep mereka, but they put sambel uleg as part of our culture. McD wants to be closer with us, McD want to be your pecel ayam pinggir jalan.

And this also applied with human. We do localization. Despite gue yang ramah dan baik hati, gue akan jaga image dan sok pinter sama TA gue yang jutek tapi ganteng kaya artis Korea. Gue akan sok-sokan tertarik tentang sepak bola sama gebetan SMA gue, walaupun akhirnya gue suka beneran trus cinta sama John Terry. Gue akan belajar mati-matian biar bisa di notice sama professor gue yang keren banget ini (one of the founder of McKinsey Korea tjuuuyyyyyy…) Thus, I do change, adapt, and do things that’s not so me. Sama kaya Kitkat yang tadinya rasa coklat aja jadi rasa coklat ubi.

So, what does the point of a company or human do this? For a company, it is crystal clear that they want a profit. They need to combine both global and localized at perfect combination so it is worked.  But us? Why do we globalized or even localized? Selama dosen gue ngoceh-ngoceh ngomongin tugas yang I refuse to believe it is exist, gue mikir. Mikir kenapa gue punya set of characteristic yang gue tunjukin ke semua orang, tapi gue juga localized my behavior to some people. Why? Kenapa sih gue capek-capek berubah dan beradaptasi? Tujuan gue apa sih beda-beda kaya gini? Biar diterima di masyarakat? Biar temen gue banyak? Biar yang ngelike foto di instagram gue banyak????

Setelah gue mikir lama, akhirnya gue paham. I just can’t lose the people. My profit is the networking, the people. So, I (try to) adapt, I change, so I can keep those people. It’s not that I totally change and make the ratio 10:90 for localization, but I keep the ratio on me. I still have my own “KFC recipe”. Tapi ada juga tipe yang gak merasa perlu localized dan strict to their main personality alias go global for everyone, so 100:0. Contohnya, ada temen gue yang bilang. “ya gak bisa Li, gue orangnya emang ngalah” even pas menurut gue, dia harus stand up buat dirinya sendiri. Ada juga yang ga peduli kalo orang ga terima sama prinsip dia, “no nego, I’m stick to my principle”, even if it means that they might lose some people. For them, the profit might be their happiness karena gausah berantem sama orang lain, atau mungkin it is their pride jadi mereka ga perlu beradaptasi sama orang. It depends.

So back to what my cool yet humble professor said, “How would you measure yourself? What are you?”