Leadership for Business Sustainability in the Islamic Economy

Sustainable Visual Courtesy: www.sumall.com
Visual Courtesy: http://www.sumall.com

Last week in my post 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:

  1. Leadership
  2. Processes
  3. People
  4. 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 (U.A.E.’s 7 pillared strategy):

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

These three key industries have been identified as part of the six key industries  in making Dubai an Islamic Economic capital. The other three industries are the financial services, Halal Food & Halal standardisation sectors.

Coming back to why sustainability is a key success factor and why we need to evaluate this right at start let’s look at what’s happening at the ground level:

  • Given the extremely tight timeline (of 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 are achieved.
  • Simultaneously, between the core industries of Islamic Finance & Halal, a lot more collaboration has become the need of the hour.

There are two scenarios business can proceed on now—either continue with their own business plans or actually understand how they can contribute to the agenda set, re-calibrate their plans quickly, obtain the necessary resources and get going.

Whichever option businesses select, one critical need emerges clearly– Key human resource, having both technical & behavioural competencies, need to be in specific positions necessary in driving the respective businesses in achieving their goals—in short there is an acute need of strong, capable and visionary Leadership  organisation & 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 present for projects of this magnitude:

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’.