Leadership for business sustainability in the Islamic economy

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Joy Abdullah
By Joy Abdullah

In my earlier article on Sustainability in the Islamic Economy I highlighted the key missing aspect of sustainability and how it has to be from ground-up.

There are four broad areas to look into when scoping out sustainability for a business:

  • Leadership
  • Processes
  • People
  • Communication

This is not only for the businesses that are operating in the halal or Islamic finance space, but involves businesses in any industry sectors. Coming home to the issue of developing a ‘capital’ or ‘hub’ for Islamic economy, Dubai has focused on the following key industries (UAE’s 7-pillared strategy):

  • Tourism: Impacting on the hospitality industry organisations covering both halal-friendly tourism for the global Muslim community & general tourism.
  • Information Tech: Islamic e-commerce & digital economy impacts specifically on software development, web & system architecture oriented organisations.
  • Education: For knowledge, training & research. Impacts all learning & training institutions both private and public.

These three key industry sectors have been identified as part of the six key industries in making Dubai an Islamic Economic capital. The other three industries are:

  • Financial services
  • Halal Food
  • Halal standardisation

Let’s get back to why sustainability is a critical success factor and why we need to take this on-board right at start. Here’s the view on ground:

  • Given the extremely tight timeline (of 36 months or three years) to establish Dubai as the Islamic economic capital), organisations in these six industries are faced with having to re-align their business plans with key industry goals so that milestones on the national project are achieved.
  • As a result of this financial liquidity or availability of working capital has assumed pole position resulting in a pressure for more collaboration within the twin industries of Islamic Finance & Halal.

There are two scenarios organisations, in these industries, can now proceed on – either continue with their own business plans or actually comprehend how they can contribute to the agenda set, re-calibrate their plans quickly, obtain the necessary resources and get moving. If they choose the former obtaining organic growth will be tougher. If they choose the latter, speed and agility will be the order of the day for the next three years.

Whichever option businesses select, one critical resource need emerges clearly – Key talent i.e.human resource, that has both technical & behavioural competencies, need to be in key positions in order to drive the respective businesses in achieving their goals – in short there is a pressing need of strong, capable and visionary leadership at the organisation and industry level.

Without doubt, for any organisation in any industry, leadership is the key in ensuring achievement of goals. There are some key areas of leadership that need to be tangibly visible for projects of this magnitude:

  • Strategic Clarity
  • Communication
  • Engagement

The question to ask ourselves now is this – Will we review & evaluate if we have the required leadership?  This will need some deep soul-searching and authenticity in answering.

Given rising calls for transparency and authenticity, business leaders would now have to discuss  leadership in a different light if they are interested in aiding in the establishment of the ‘Islamic economy’.

* Our writer Joy Abdullah is a Malaysia-based expert in brand-based business sustainability

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

By Joy Abdullah

In my earlier article on Sustainability in the Islamic Economy I highlighted the key missing aspect of sustainability and how it has to be from ground-up.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Joy Abdullah
By Joy Abdullah

In my earlier article on Sustainability in the Islamic Economy I highlighted the key missing aspect of sustainability and how it has to be from ground-up.

There are four broad areas to look into when scoping out sustainability for a business:

  • Leadership
  • Processes
  • People
  • Communication

This is not only for the businesses that are operating in the halal or Islamic finance space, but involves businesses in any industry sectors. Coming home to the issue of developing a ‘capital’ or ‘hub’ for Islamic economy, Dubai has focused on the following key industries (UAE’s 7-pillared strategy):

  • Tourism: Impacting on the hospitality industry organisations covering both halal-friendly tourism for the global Muslim community & general tourism.
  • Information Tech: Islamic e-commerce & digital economy impacts specifically on software development, web & system architecture oriented organisations.
  • Education: For knowledge, training & research. Impacts all learning & training institutions both private and public.

These three key industry sectors have been identified as part of the six key industries in making Dubai an Islamic Economic capital. The other three industries are:

  • Financial services
  • Halal Food
  • Halal standardisation

Let’s get back to why sustainability is a critical success factor and why we need to take this on-board right at start. Here’s the view on ground:

  • Given the extremely tight timeline (of 36 months or three years) to establish Dubai as the Islamic economic capital), organisations in these six industries are faced with having to re-align their business plans with key industry goals so that milestones on the national project are achieved.
  • As a result of this financial liquidity or availability of working capital has assumed pole position resulting in a pressure for more collaboration within the twin industries of Islamic Finance & Halal.

There are two scenarios organisations, in these industries, can now proceed on – either continue with their own business plans or actually comprehend how they can contribute to the agenda set, re-calibrate their plans quickly, obtain the necessary resources and get moving. If they choose the former obtaining organic growth will be tougher. If they choose the latter, speed and agility will be the order of the day for the next three years.

Whichever option businesses select, one critical resource need emerges clearly – Key talent i.e.human resource, that has both technical & behavioural competencies, need to be in key positions in order to drive the respective businesses in achieving their goals – in short there is a pressing need of strong, capable and visionary leadership at the organisation and industry level.

Without doubt, for any organisation in any industry, leadership is the key in ensuring achievement of goals. There are some key areas of leadership that need to be tangibly visible for projects of this magnitude:

  • Strategic Clarity
  • Communication
  • Engagement

The question to ask ourselves now is this – Will we review & evaluate if we have the required leadership?  This will need some deep soul-searching and authenticity in answering.

Given rising calls for transparency and authenticity, business leaders would now have to discuss  leadership in a different light if they are interested in aiding in the establishment of the ‘Islamic economy’.

* Our writer Joy Abdullah is a Malaysia-based expert in brand-based business sustainability

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid