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Becoming a game changer? Bring it on!

At work, we often encounter challenges. It can feel unfamiliar, we don’t know exactly how to face it, and sometimes we also make mistakes from it. Bottom line, some challenges feel impossible. But, instead of having it let us down, we could learn how to turn those impossibilities into opportunities! Be a game changer not only in our work, but also in our life. 

This notion took a centre stage in the recent DNA Power-UP! webinar held on October 23rd, 2020 themed “Impossible vs I’m Possible: You’re the Game Changer!” hosted by Soffi Tsaurah Islami (Head of Customer Experience). In this session, Kirill Odintsov (Head of Data Science at Home Credit Indonesia) together with Kavindira Amarendiran (Product Manager Traffic Value Stream at iPrice) shared their experience on how to turn challenges around. Let’s find out what they discussed! 

Kavin’s Story 

Kavin has spent ten years studying and working in Canada and recently he came back to his hometown in Malaysia with a new role as Product Manager (PM) 

He remembered, his first product grooming meeting went awkwardly and it was uncomfortable for both him and his team. This meeting experience had him notice that there’ are two possible improvements he could do.  

Firstly, his team had trouble understanding the way he spoke as most of team members are non-native English speakers so he tried to enunciate his words, using more visualization, and encourage them to speak up and to not be ashamed with the language barrier. Secondly, he had challenges to clearly outline the WHYs and the WHATs in the user story he created. This happened because he did not have in-depth SEO domain knowledge, so he had to learn it fast! He also has regular knowledge sharing session with in-house SEO expert and asked his fellow PMs to read it and see if they can understand the user story before it is shared to team.  

Kavin has gained more confidence after understanding the problem and has made several plans to overcome it. He got inspired from Kobe Bryant - The Mamba attitude: it is a commitment to excellence one step at a time. Much like Agile, it is an iterative process of being continually better. He also shared that we should always have growth mindset: “If I can be a little bit better than yesterday, I will accomplish that!”. Moreover, be very open to feedback.  

Kirill’s Story 

Kirill talked about his experience back when he first had his first project in Indonesia which caused him panic and overthinking. At that time, the partner was not ready, everything was all over the place and he could not do anything during his business trip. From that situation, he learned to create checklists in advance before going on an important trip.  

Kirill quoted Thomas Edison: “I found 10,000 ways of how it will not work”. He shared that you can never know before you try, and that’s how it is when you work on research or innovation projects. He shared a story how he stopped fearing that he and the partners would not deliver a project. Instead, he looked onto why the project might not be ready and then designed a process that prevented it from happening in the future. After overcoming the challenge, he’s much calmer and ready to learn from the project. 

Kirill also gave us some tips on overcoming the impossible:  

  1. We shouldassume that nothing is impossible, where some tasks are simply too time-consuming compared to their benefit.  
  2. We should ask a lot of questions to understand why it is impossible. 
  3. We should notbe afraid to challenge people who say something is impossible with common sense. 
  4. Donot expect to achieve the 'impossible' straight away. We should plan small steps to achieve the  ​ 

From the Q & A session, Kirill answered several questions.  

On how to handle criticism without being defensive, he mentioned that it is not simple, and it needs frequent practice. We could identify the criticism, listen and understand it. But take time to compose our emotions, and after that we could think objectively and by then we could respond.  

On how to boost motivation during this WFH situation, he mentioned a separation of working and living space (if possible) as well as finding a new hobby unrelated to work, so that we won’t end up working nonstop. 

Aside from having a great sharing session, we also gave a special gift to participatns who asked questions. Congrats to Marcello Susanto (Data Scientist) who won a GoPay voucher! 

If you want to (re)watch the webinar, you can find the video here. 

Stay tuned for the next DNA Power-UP! session!




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