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A Letter to the Team on Openness

Updated: May 31, 2021

Before we begin, I must admit that I am guilty for piling on my Simpul Stories’ debt. I was hiding behind the busy-ness of my position in the team but actually it was kind of hard to pull out stories that are not personal to publish in this medium. I was trying to put some distance on my image. But lately I’ve been thinking that that’s not the kind of clothes I would like to put on in front of the team, plus the pandemic also calls for a different approach in team dynamics. Most of all, Simpul Stories is a company-wide initiative pushed by the management (me included). It’s only fair that I produce as much writing as everyone does. Therefore I’d like to try to write in a format I think I do best: a letter to the team.

In this new format, I’d like to address openness as the subject because I think this is the best theme to start as my own vehicle of change. Hopefully this is something that can resonate with everyone beyond the team as well.

It is actually silly to start talking about openness right now, because even years before Simpul Group was legally formed, openness has been my and the co-founders' stance to each other whether we are aware of it or not. Without it, Simpul Group may not even be standing today. I don’t know why I forgot to wear “openness” these days.

Simpul Group was formed out of a tight friendship between me and its other co-founders. Our friendship starts from our former workplace where we share (sometimes) too much of ourselves to each other yet we managed to find balance between vastly different characters.

It turns out openness, like the word suggests, opens doors to many things. In our case, it brought us to a term that is so popular these days: empathy. This openness also resulted in something else, something very valuable not only for ourselves but for the business. It resulted in creativity.

Ideas pop-upped, projects rolled, and Simpul began. It was all fueled with openness. Imagine if one of us is not open to each other's ideas, open to challenge, open to risks, our first project that fueled Simpul’s first capital—100+ Gerai Interior Jakarta—won’t be born. The worst of all, our friendship won’t last.

This stance is something that I strongly suggest to all of today and tomorrow’s Simpul team. Not only because openness can lead our own selves to a greater and more fulfilling work, but also to a valuable and meaningful friendship among us. Openness and friendship, it turns out, go hand in hand.

I wouldn’t lie that as a business it’s good if the Simpul’s team has this trait. Because Simpul is what the team is. But, I have been working in several places and one that was personally most rewarding is the one where friendships thrive. We can go our separate ways in work life, Simpul may one day shutter down. But if Simpul should have a legacy 20-30 years from now, it should be a story that came out from it’s team, and I would love if it sounds like this:

We met at Simpul when we worked there, and our friendship lasts till today.

So, I don’t know if “openness” is still this letter’s main subject. I just let it flow, and hopefully towards a better subject to address.



Henri Matisse, Open Window, Collioure, 1905

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