Faculties from SBM ITB formally gave an endless appreciation toward the three books written by former Banyuwangi Regent Abdullah Azwar Anas as a record of his retirement leadership. There are three pillars of success written in his book, which are marketing, collaboration, and innovation. Each one representing the three books Abdullah wrote in regards to his ability to lead Banyuwangi. 

The book review was held at the Banyuwangi University (UNIBA) Campus, Saturday (27/2/2021). Present online at the event was the Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahudin Uno, former Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Arief Yahya, Dean of SBM ITB Prof. Utomo Sarjono Putro, and Rector of Uniba DR. Sadi. The event itself was attended by 200 SBM ITB postgraduate students.

Abdullah wrote ‘Anti-Mainstream Marketing: 20 Jurus Mengubah Banyuwangi’ (Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2019); “Inovasi Banyuwangi: Jalan Terpendek Mencapai Layanan Publik Prima’ (Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2019); and ‘Creative Collaboration: 10 Tahun Perjalanan Transformasi Banyuwangi’ (Mizan, 2020), to which all of them were to be discussed in the event. 

Agung, as the first examiner, reviewed Banyuwangi within the framework of the Medici Effect. It is an innovation that resulted from the interaction of various unrelated fields which eventually brought new ideas. Like Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, which is the result of the interaction between Charles Darwin (geologist) and John Gould (ornithologist).

“There is no relation between geologists and ornithologists. However, as they contribute to each other, they eventually produce a theory of evolution. This is the impact of collaboration from different sciences. I have seen the same thing in Banyuwangi,” Agung explained.

Agung then gave an example of the branding of Public Service Mall. According to him, this is an authentic representation of how to combine the term mall with bureaucratic service.

“Upon hearing the word ‘mall’ we find joy, on the other hand, however, hearing the word bureaucracy makes us rather upset and restricted. Well, in Banyuwangi those words fuse and become a Public Service Mall. It truly leaves the impression that public service is something enjoyable and pleasant,” he said.

Therefore, it is important to collaborate with people outside our field as it broadens the scope and knowledge we acquire. Afterwards, Reza Ashari Nasution, the Dean of Resources of SBM ITB, specifically examined the book Anti Mainstream Marketing. Reza discussed more of the marketing aspect that Banyuwangi has done with the well-known mainstream marketing in Indonesia. 

There are seven mainstream marketing ideas in Indonesia. The first one is the idea that the main role of marketing is to sell. The second is the exclusion of marketing tasks done by the marketing division. The third is that promotion is the main tool of marketing. The fourth is the implementation of sales orientation, meaning, a transaction is the main indicator of marketing. 

The fifth is the fact that a fixed mindset regarding reputation. The sixth is radical innovation. Last but not least is the terminology used for public services which are difficult to change.

Meanwhile, Abdullah emphasized that these books are not merely a milestone in what he does alone. However, there are contributions from various parties. Starting from the people of Banyuwangi, bureaucrats, to other vertical agencies.

“This book does describe the changes in Banyuwangi as a result of the collaborative work of many parties. Meeting many people, then collaborating and ultimately producing many innovations,” Abdullah highlighted.

You can watch full version of the webinar on SBM IT YouTube channel below:

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Written by Student Reporter (Mitsal Athaya, Management 2022)