Investors keenly await an end to Indonesia’s political limbo

It was the former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson who reportedly asserted that “a week is a long time in politics”. For many who have been following the recent Indonesian Presidential Election, the two week period between Election Day (9th July) and the anticipated announcement of the official result on 22nd July feels like an eternity.

Many Indonesians quip that their country currently has three presidents: the incumbent and outgoing president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, plus the two contenders – Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto – who have both claimed victory.

This current fortnight of political drama and limbo is the finale in a protracted political drama. It has long been known that 2014 would be a year of change: under Indonesia’s constitution, President Yudhoyono is obliged to stand down this year after two terms in office. However, the ‘change’ that would ultimately be on offer to the electorate had long been a topic of speculation, right up to the final months before the election. Would Jakarta’s popular Governor, Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stand or not? Would the incumbent president’s party (Partai Demokrat) be able to field a candidate or not? In the end, it wasn’t.

For many foreign investors, statements from the two candidates to date have provided a rather hazy mix of cautious optimism and mild concern. Neither candidate has indicated a radical shift in policy towards foreign investment. Both have a background in international business and in one form or another have acknowledged the contributions FDI has made to the Indonesian economy. However, both have also taken care to acquiesce to nationalist sentiments by talking a negative stance on certain foreign investment activity:

Earlier in the year, Jokowi’s party (the PDI-P) stated in its economic platform for 2014’s two elections (legislative and presidential) that “we are facing a situation in which our economic sovereignty and policies are being dictated by foreign powers.” Meanwhile, Prabowo has indicated plans to renegotiate contracts with foreign companies to get better terms for the Indonesian state.

The degree to which such rhetoric actually evolves into hard policy once the president is sworn in is questionable however. Fauzi Ichsan, Senior Economist at Standard Chartered, recently asserted that “the rhetoric during the political campaign is likely to be thrown out of the window the moment either [candidate] is elected president.”

In the case of Jokowi, some recent actions reassuringly seem to trump the less encouraging rhetoric. Infrastructure is widely regarded as both the impediment and key that will unlock much of Indonesia’s investment potential and ease of doing business. On this, Jokowi has an encouraging track record as mayor of the Javanese city of Solo and more recently as Jakarta’s Governor, where after years of inertia despite the economic boom times, the capital has finally begun the construction of a long-awaited mass rapid transit (MRT) system, with other major transport infrastructure projects in the pipeline.

For his part, Prabowo’s credentials as a businessman with significant overseas interests lead some to believe and hope that he would maintain an investment-friendly business environment. However, the high-profile case of the UK’s Churchill Mining and its long-running dispute with Indonesia’s Nusantara Energy (which is affiliated to Prabowo), has lingered in some investors’ minds.

Whatever the outcome that’s announced on 22nd July, there’s widespread hope among international political and business leaders alike that the new administration will keep Indonesia on the path of reform and openness with the global economy. With a population nearing 250 million and a growing, urbanised middle class eager for new, innovative products and keen to build careers in increasingly sophisticated industries, Indonesia’s new leadership will owe its people nothing less than the vast economic and professional development opportunities that can come from attracting targeted, value-added FDI.

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Daniel Nicholls is author of Foreign Direct Investment.

Daniel Nicholls is a London-based Consultant at the economic development consultancy OCO Global where he works on a variety of consulting and training assignments for clients and industry associations. With a background in marketing and communications, Daniel has lived and worked in various European countries over the past decade and is currently on assignment in Indonesia.






Gower Author Gary Lloyd regularly writes on his double Loop blog. 

Here is the beginning of his latest post but do pop along to Double Loop to read more.

Gary Lloyd

When I tell people that I specialise in Lean Project Management,    they often ask:

“Is that the same as Agile?”


“Is that a version of Agile?”

My answer is:

 “It could be but usually it isn’t”

One could get drawn into a long discussion, comparing and contrasting the 5 Principles of Lean Thinking and the 12 principles behind the Agile Manifesto but let’s be honest, it would be pretty boring.

So what, in my experience, differentiates Lean Project Management from most Agile implementations?

The key difference is that most Agile implementations are based on the “push” of requirements, rather than the “pull” of business value.

Full post:


9781472409317[1]My new book, ‘Welcome to GoodCo’, looks at how the tools of business can be, and increasingly are being, used to create public benefit. Witness:

• The growth of social enterprise, where imitation is a form of flattery
• Trends towards ‘responsible’, ‘social’ and ‘impact’ investment
• The ‘arms race’ between supermarkets on community engagement.

All this is happening at a time when services provided by government and the voluntary sector are being squeezed as demand on them is growing. Many in business now recognise the obligation to engage constructively with communities and the environment but too many, especially in the 99% of businesses that are SMEs (which employ half the private sector workforce) do not. There are worrying counter-trends, too – as asset owners become increasingly out of touch with how their investments are used, fortunes are made and lost by the second and injustices in pay gaps, not least in the world of high finance, get ever worse.

The book builds on Al Gore’s idea that the last 30 years has seen the separation and divorce of capitalism and democracy after 200 years of marriage; and that unless the rift is healed we and our environment will suffer catastrophic consequences. That rift can be seen in the growth of short-termism in finance at the expense of the generational outlook of the family firm and how our use of GDP to measure ‘growth’ fails to differentiate between ‘good’ spending and ‘bad’, with no accounting for environmental and other externalities. I explore several valiant if small attempts to bring the whole thing back on course. I ask ‘how ethical are ethical investments?’, ‘what role did business play in ending the slave trade?’ and ‘have we reached the limits of what support central government can (and should) provide to communities?’ whilst exploring the business case for companies to get involved in those communities.

In the book I also look at the politics of ‘responsible capitalism’, the history of market regulation and impact investment and the life story of Frances Perkins and I highlight some unlikely ‘good guys’. I also call for the Social Value Act, the implementation of which is currently optional for the public sector, to be more widely used and employed in private sector procurement, too. I really enjoyed writing the book and I think that comes across.

You’ll have to read the book to find out who Frances Perkins was!

(Tom Levitt was Member of Parliament from 1997-2010. Tom is a writer and consultant on charity partnerships whose clients include corporates, government agencies, charities, councils and SMEs; Chair of Trustees, Concern Worldwide (UK); Honorary Doctor of the University of Derby, UK. He is also a non-executive director of Digital Outreach Ltd, a director of Good Measures ethical business consultancy, a trustee of The Work Foundation and an occasional columnist for The Guardian’s Voluntary Sector Network.

This blog post written by Gower author Gijs van Wulfen can be found on site. 

 “The fuzzy front end is the nickname for the start of innovation or ideation phase. Getting innovative ideas is a vague process. It’s considered as hard to do. That’s exactly why I like to unfuzzy it. I wrote more than a dozen blogs on this on In this blog all my advice come together in 20 tips for ideation excellence.”

Gijs is the author of Creating Innovative Products and ServicesWULFEN PPC(250x172)PATH,

The Return of the Iconic Brands

How two, iconic brands, the Jaguar and the Land Rover have made a spectacular comeback with its new Indian owners, a German CEO and the best of British design and manufacturing tradition to back it. Not only has Ratan Tata saved these two representatives of pinnacle British design through his personal conviction and confidence in them but he has made them serious competitors to the world’s premium car brands.

It was in 2008, that Tata Motors Ltd acquired Jaguar Land Rover and by the end of financial year 2013 had a gross profit of around 2.6 billion pounds! Their profit margin of 13.7% is reported to be much higher than that of Audi, BMW and Mercedes. Full-year retail sales stood at over 425,000 vehicles, a growth of 19% in all the major regions of the world, with new records set in 38 markets, including Russia, Brazil, Korea and Canada.

Dr Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, while commenting on his company’s sales performance, has said: “2013 has proven to be a very positive year for Jaguar Land Rover thanks to continuing strong demand for vehicles across the range. Our unrelenting focus on design, technology, innovation and quality has seen Jaguar Land Rover reach global consumers in more markets than ever before thanks to its most desirable product line-up, enriched further in 2013 by the Jaguar F-TYPE and the all-new Range Rover Sport.”

The Jaguar is the fastest growing brand in Germany, India and the USA. Little wonder, that the Jaguar Land Rover’s new and enhanced stable of products received around 195 Awards in 2013, with the Jaguar receiving 80 awards for its most decorated model, the F-TYPE, which also earned the World Car Design of the Year, Germany’s most prestigious award! Other awards of note, have been, the Golden Steering Wheel award for the Cabriolet & Coupe category and BBC’s Top-Gear magazine’s Convertible of the Year. J.D. Power has named Jaguar as UK’s number one automotive brand in the vehicle ownership satisfaction survey (VOSS) and the highest ranking manufacturer among luxury brands in the US J.D. Power Sales Satisfaction Index Study (SSI).

It is said that their global sales success have been driven in large measure to the range of new and award winning product introductions that have delighted their customers. It is their rich heritage of innovation and engineering excellence that has been carried through by their present set of world-class people.

Finally, it is not just their customers who are delighted in their most successful ever vehicle line-up, even journalists the world-over, have bestowed around 200 awards for their vehicles in 2013. The Jaguar F-TYPE, being their star performer, receiving more than 59 accolades.

A clear demonstration that the Jaguar Land Rover’s focus on designing, building and delivering vehicles of excellence have far surpassed customer expectations. Even, their     Ad-Spot in the recent Super Bowl final in the US had them making a classy, confident statement.


Nation Branding, Innovation and World Export Leadership

Nation Branding, Innovation and World Export Leadership

Ugesh Joseph is the author of The ‘Made in Germany’ Champion Brands book published by Gower in 2014

Gower author, Phil Driver is CEO of OpenStrategies PRUB strategy system, which offers a different way of doing strategy.

Merron Simpson has been involved with OpenStrategies for around 5 years and believes it is quite possibly the best strategy system in the world.

It adopts a purposely simple logical path and plain language that allows many stakeholders to share, understand and own strategies in common, so that they can integrate not just their high level ambitions, but also what they do, effectively. It offers a dynamic strategic planning process so it can be added to and altered as the circumstances change, in real time.

More information about OpenStrategies, what it does and how it can help you, can be found on Merron’s blog

Merron Simpson is Director of New Realities Limited and an Approved Practitioner for OpenStrategies.

The new book, Validating Stategies by Phil Driver, CEO of OpenStrategies, has just been published by Gower.


The Emirates Literature Festival takes place in Dubai on the 4th – 8th March 2014.

Gower author Andy Lake, of Smart Flexibility will be presenting/speaking in three sessions at the Festival. His sessions will consist of a main presentation, a panel, and a session with university students as part of their education programme and are titled: Can You Change Your Life?, Smart Flexibility and The Art of The Microstory. More information about Andy’s sessions can be found here.

The festival will be held at the InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City.

To find out more about the Emirates Literature Festival, click here.


Gower-Handbook-of-Programme-MgmtWednesday 26th March 2014 12:30pm – 1.30pm (GMT) The APM (Association for Project Management) will be holding their Paul Rayner memorial webinar: Is programme management delivering on its promise – ten years on?

Authors of the Gower Handbook of Programme Management  have come together to review their contributions to the book published in 2006, and to discuss how thinking in the topic has moved forward since the book was first published.

This webinar provides a first step to a major rewrite of the Gower Handbook of Programme Management and the beginning of the search for contributors.

The co-authors will take turns discussing how their special area of knowledge has changed since the book was written and how they see the next ten years developing. All the authors are experts in their field. As co-author Paul Rayner has sadly died since the publication of the book the event will be held in his memory.

In 2006 the GHoPgM distilled over 100 years of experience from its six authors. Each an acknowledged thought leader and led by the guru; Geoff Reiss.

The agenda for the webinar is:
Introduction: lead author Geoff Reiss, 1. Delivering Value through benefits management: John Chapman 2. Leadership, culture and stakeholders: Adrian Pyne 3. Governance and standards: Geof Leigh 4. Portfolio management: Geoff Reiss Summary and closing remarks: APM Programme Management SIG (ProgM) chair Merv Wyeth

To book a place on the webinar, and join in the discussion – please visit the APM website booking page.

Gower author, John Smythe, Owner of Engage for Change & Task Force member is a special guest on Engage for Success’ Radio show at 4:00pm – 4:30pm today.

John will be discussing his new book The Velvet Revolution at Work, as well as the Employee Engagement movement. John will be interviewed by host Jo Dodds.

Call in to the show: +1 347 237 4274 or tune in and get more information, here.

The Velvet Revolution 9781409443247

Gower authors, Nigel Iyer, Veronica Morino and Richard Minogue are running a two day course in Oslo on 12-13 March 2014. The course will give an insight into how Nordic organisations can defend themselves against fraud, corruption and unethical behaviour.

About the course
Is corruption and fraud an invisible enemy which is hard to deal with? Do we simply have to learn to live with it? Is it in fact resistant to more laws and regulations?

When we read about scandal after scandal in the papers, it’s so easy to feel like a helpless bystander. But corruption and fraud affects us all professionally and personally… and we can actually do something about it.

Together with experts from the Septia Academy, EEG has developed a self-defence course against fraud, corruption and all forms of unethical behaviour for Nordic organisations.

Day 1 is the “Executive Survival Guide” preparing you for all challenges.
Day 2 helps you navigate in uncharted waters in territories like the former Soviet Union and beyond.

The course will be held in Oslo at NHO (the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise).

You can register here.

You can visit the course programme here

Do have a look – knowing how to defend yourself against fraud and corruption could save you a lot of money… and your reputation!



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