Monday, September 8, 2008

National Cultural Strategy

Globalization brings Indonesia the need to set up national strategy which leads us toward competitive advantage rather than comparative advantage. The strategy includes cultural aspect. Culture becomes important attention in national strategy because it is the glue of Indonesia effort toward competitiveness. It can link many dimensions of Indonesian’s lives. In addition, Cultural strategy is important because it is about how Indonesia is perceived abroad. Cultural development contributes to the image of Indonesia, thus supports the overall development program. It both reflects and shapes our society. Cultural strategy is also needed because we should build capability to our culture to adopt, adapt, and innovate the international influences.

Competitive strategy is about being different (Porter, 1996). Developing cultural strategy needs framework of action, which will underpin the expected cultural life in the future. Thus, to strategize our culture, we need to explore our unique value and heritage to set up national cultural strategy which fosters national innovation and creativity. The blue print of national cultural strategy should embrace all people, inclusive, and belongs to everyone.

There are several elements to be considered as core objectives in arranging Indonesian cultural strategy. First, we should consider innovation and creativity. We could develop the conditions in which creativity and innovation can flourish in all sectors of our life, including business, schools, and daily lives.

Innovation is the creativity in action. Creativity could become our national resource, vital to the individual's quality of life and to society's well being. Fostering creativity among people would give potential growth into creative industry. Creative industry is industrial sector which contains creativity as the concept.

Second, we should maximize the role of educational institution as the key for cultural enhancement. Schools are the center of creativity. Having educated people, we would realize culture’s potential contribution to Indonesian economy. Reflecting Indonesia’s present condition, education doesn’t become priority of government budget. Government even neglects the law which regulates 20% minimum allocation of the budget.

Culture is still needed to be included in the educational curriculum. Arts and other cultural expressions could enrich everybody’s lives, thus should be embedded in the daily teaching process.

The next attention is partnership among parties in national lives to strategizing cultural aspect. The parties are government, culture practitioner, and public. Blue print for national cultural strategy should declare clearly what is the role of each party.

The essence of government’s role is creating conducive environment to support and encourage the development of desired culture. National cultural treasures and traditions must be conserved and promoted both locally and globally. Government commitment

Local authorities held important roles here. Indonesia has 33 provinces that possess its own culture. Local authorities, means “Gubernur” and “Bupati/Wali Kota” must be engaged in the national cultural development. They are also hold strategic roles in initiating any cooperation with private sector.

Cultural practitioners must also view culture as one of national potential to be enhanced in the global era. They must also realize that international influences could become big threats to the existence of national culture.

Finally, public engagement is the edge for cultural strategy. Indonesian efforts to conserve, enhance, and promote national culture is depend also in the public hand. Lack of participation from public would not makes the objectives couldn’t be reached. The expected role of public is also controlling the implementation of the blue print for national cultural strategy.

Read also: Porter, Michael E.1996. What is Strategy?. Harvard Business Review

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