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Sunday, 27 March 2011

Modern Management Principles and The Holy Quran

The Holy Quran, The greatest blessing on humanity, the most comprehensive collection of guiding principles, teaches us, guides us and shows us light in every walk of life. Let it be personal to social matters or issues related with economics, business or politics.
A Muslim is required to believe in its directions, act on them and spread it to others. Ideally that's the only way of success, here and hereafter!!! (Surah Al-Asar), contrary to the fact, today Muslims are those who are found to be living in contradiction with its teachings, but more surprisingly the non-Muslims are now seen more close, of course to not all, but to some of the principles stated in this Great Book.

The principles mentioned in it are ordained to us by The One (SWT) who has designed the Nature, thus the compatibility of these principles with the natural laws is indeed irrefutable for the one who believe in Designer and creator of all. Anyone even a non Muslim, who follows these laws / principles, will probably get the results to the extent or comprehensiveness of his implementation. Like he will save and increase efficiency of his life if he reduced wastefulness, or people will trust in his credibility if he keeps promises and remains honest all the time, et cetera. However his fate in the hereafter cannot be guaranteed.

If we specifically talks about business world, unfortunately today we don't find any Muslim organization (purely) which is considered as a business icon all around the globe. The icons are non Muslim indeed. There exemplary stature inspires everyone seeking guidance in the business world. The leaders among them claim that their success is derived from believing and strictly adhering to certain principles and values (Check "Built to Last by Jim Collins); and surprisingly they are quite similar to what Quran has been trying to infiltrate our deaf ears.
Take Toyota as an example, elimination of wastage (Al-Quran Isra: 26~27, Araf:31) and respect for all (Imran:159, Hujrat:13) is the core of the entire business empire Toyota has developed around the globe. Furthermore when we drill down we see lots of principles which we being Muslims should be experts of. Like Kaizen which is about continuous improvement against inefficiencies or more like Jihad (Ma'idah:35). Or talk about JIT which is about keeping limited inventory or not keeping anything not needed, for a Muslim this should be a state of mind as instructed to him in Baqara:219, Yunus:58 or Tauba:34. Furthermore Toyota emphasis on authenticity of information to an extent that it expects every employee to verify each bit of information on a problem by visiting the site himself, if the employees would have been true Muslims, they would have require no training (Isra:36).

And think about the emphasis on quality of product, at Nike, Nokia, IBM, 3M or Boeing, can anyone really expects them to compromise on this aspect, now think about any Pakistani Brand. Whether it's a shoe, tooth paste, home appliance, etc it's only the pocket constraints that's push people closer to the local brands coming out of factories owned and operated by Muslims! (No doubt there are exceptions) Most local brands don't meet expectations, foreign brands do contrary to the fact that they are manufacturedbro by Non Muslims, most do it for profit of course, but the leaders in the market do it for ideals and withholding to their principles of delivering what is promised to the customers, despites its impact on profitability; as mentioned by Jim Collins in his Book "Built to Last" (Page#8). Surprised! Shouldn't that be expected from the believers of the Holy Book as it clearly states in Mutaffifin:1-3 "Woe to those that deal in fraud,- Those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, exact full measure, But when they have to give by measure or weight to men, give less than due. Do they not think that they will be called to account?" and also in Isra:35, Shaura:181-182, and Rahman:7-9.

The importance of commitments, promises and contracts requires no explanation. Dr. Stephan R. Covey states in his book 'The 8th Habit' (p#169) "Nothing destroys trust faster than making and breaking a promise. Conversely, nothing builds and strengthens trust more than keeping a promise you make". For a Muslim it should be a matter of faith and success in the hereafter (Isra:34, Nahl:91, Ma'idah:1 and Saff:2-3), but these traits are really in a short supply.
These are just a few examples, many more can be quoted. I don't mean to make Toyota, Jim Collins, or Dr. Stephan R. Covey our ideals, in fact I ask you, why look at them for guidance despite the fact we all have access to the most comprehensive set of principles called Quran and the sunnah of the most comprehensive Personality (PBUH)! … Then what stops us?
Omar Javaid, Sr. Editor, CRITIC MAG

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