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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

0007-UNDERSTANDING STRATEGY

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

·        This session defines and discusses the basic concepts of strategy and planning.

 

OUTLINES:

BACKGROUND READING

Definition of strategy

Strategic planning

Strategic thinking

Strategic management

Strategy in seerah and contemporary work

Strategy: change, stability and growth

 

TEXT ANALYSIS

Allah knows ghaib; humans can not know the future; they only guess

Allah is the best planner

Trust in Allah: Prophet and Abubakr in the cave

Vision of conquest of Makka, Byzantine, Persia, Yaman, Syria, Iraq, and the peninsula

Vision of paradise as success and hell as failure

Niyyat (intention)

Sincerity of action

 

DISCUSSION

Vision

Forecasting

Scenario Casting

 

BACKGROUND READING

INSTRUCTIONS: THE DISCUSSION LEADER OR THE MEMBERS (IN TURNS) WILL PRESENT THE MAIN POINTS IN THE BACKGROUND READING SECTIONS PRE-ASSIGNED THE PREVIOUS WEEK

 

Definition of strategy: Strategy is a rational approach to management of life's uncertainties. It involves assessment of the internal and external environments, forecasting the future, thinking forwards and reasoning backwards, and preparing for various hypothetical scenarios. Strategic behavior is a vital necessity for living and succeeding in a complex environment in which your decisions and actions have an impact on others and are also influenced by what else is going on around you. Strategic concepts are used in leadership thinking, analysis, planning, management, and negotiations. Organizations that only want to react to events and have no strategies, are waiting for their death. It is a major mistake for leaders to be so absorbed in day-to-day operations that strategic planning is neglected.

 

Strategic planning: Strategic planning is a very powerful tools for leaders and managers. Strategic planning is establishing strategic objectives and formulating plans to accomplish them.  Strategic plans answer three questions: where are we now? where do we want to be? how do we get there? Strategic planning involves thinking forward and reasoning backwards, preparing for all possibilities. You have to develop contingency strategies to be implemented if a chosen plan does not work as envisioned. Strategic planning has many benefits. You are not completely surprised by events. You are pro-active and not reactive. You will not be easily provoked into wrong responses. You can take pre-emptive moves ahead of the competition. Strategic planning is difficult because it essentially involves achieving and maintaining objectives in a changing and unpredictable environment. It requires considerable intellectual effort and creativity.

 

Strategic thinking: Strategic thinking are intellectual processes that are a background to strategy formulation, planning, and management. Strategic thinking enables you to see through difficult and complex situations and make the right decisions. A strategic thinker prepares for and exploits unpredictability and surprises. He anticipates, sees through, and prepares for a rival's strategic move. His frame of mind is prepared opportunism being ready to exploit opportunities that arise unexpectedly.

 

Strategic management: Strategic plans call for strategic management. Strategic management is managing pursuit of organizational mission while managing relation of the organization to the environment. It is characterized by always being ready to deal with sudden changes in the environment. Strategic management in a highly uncertain rapidly changing environment can be likened to shooting at a moving target when riding on a galloping horse.

 

Strategy in seerah and contemporary work: Careful study of the seerah reveals effective strategic thinking and planning at all stages of the forward march of the Islamic mission. Although the environment and technology have changed, human nature has remained basically the same. Thus many human behaviors today whether strategic or not have their parallels in the seerah. You can learn from the lessons of the past and build on them to develop your strategic skills for the modern era. Some of the major crises that contemporary organizations and movements went through could have been prevented if the leadership employed strategic thinking and planning skills. There is a need to develop strategic planning and management skills among the leaders and managers of today to be able to face the multi-faceted challenges of today. In many cases they are dealing with or opposing organizations that operate strategically and they have no chance if they do not have comparable or better skills.

 

Strategy: change, stability and growth: Strategic plans must be flexible enough to be able to adapt to rapid environmental changes. The organization must have an in-built capacity for change if it is to succeed. Strategy formulation requires a determination of whether the organization wants growth or stability. The plans are different for each scenario. Strategies that emphasize stability are less innovative and are based on premises and facts that are not likely to vary a lot. Strategies of growth anticipate a lot of change and with it the uncertainty and risks that are inevitable. Risk management is a very important aspect of such strategies

 

TEXT ANALYSIS

INSTRUCTIONS: READ OUT EACH TEXT ALOUD TWO TIMES. MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE MAIN POINTS RAISED. WRITE DOWN THE MAIN LESSON(S) YOU HAVE LEARNED FROM THE TEXT.

Allah knows ghaib; humans can not know the future; they only guess: “Say: None in the heavens or on earth, except Allah, knows what is hidden Nor can they perceive when they shall be raised up ( for Judgement ).Qur'an 27: 65 …. "Narrated Ibn Umar: Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said, " Keys of the unseen ( knowledge ) are five which nobody knows but Allah: nobody knows what will happen tomorrow; nobody knows what is in the womb; nobody knows what he will gain tomorrow; nobody knows at what place he will die; and nobody knows when it will rain" Bukhari 2:82

 

Allah is the best planner: And (the unbelievers) plotted and planned and Allah too planned, and the best of planners is Allah. Qur'an 3:54  …. “Remember how the unbelievers plotted against you, to keep you in bonds or slay you, or get you out (of your home) they plot and plan and Allah too plan but the best of planners is Allah. Qur'an 8:30

 

Trust in Allah: Prophet and Abubakr in the cave: ‘If you help not ( your Leader ) (It is no matter ): for Allah did indeed help him, when the Unbelievers drove him out: he had no more than one companion: The two were in the cave, and he said to his companion, "Have no fear for Allah is with us" then Allah sent down His peace upon him, and strengthened him with forces which you saw not, and humbled to the depths the word of the Unbelievers. But the word of Allah is Exalted to the heights: for Allah is Exalted in might, Wise.  Qur'an 9:40 …"Narrated Abubakr: I was in the company of the Prophet (may peace be upon him) in the cave, and on seeing the traces of the pagans, I said, " O Allah's Apostle! If one of them (pagans) should lift up his foot, he will see us." He said, " What do you think of two, the third of whom is Allah". Bukhari 6:148, Hadith #185

 

Vision of conquest of Makka, Byzantine, Persia, Yaman, Syria, Iraq, and the peninsula: Truly did Allah fulfill the vision for His Messenger: You shall enter the Sacred Mosque, if Allah wills, with minds secure, heads shaved, hair cut short, and without fear. For He knew what you knew not, and He granted, besides this, a speedy victory. Qur'an 48:27 …. "Narrated Jabir bin Samura: The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) said, " If Caesar is ruined, there will be no Caesar after him; and if Khosrau is ruined, there will be no Khosrau after him; and, by Him in whose hand my soul is, surely you will spend their treasures in Allah's cause" Bukhari 8:408, Hadith #625…"Narrated Sufyan bin Abu Zuhair: I heard Allah's Messenger ( may peace be upon him ) saying " Yemen will be conquered and some people will migrate  (from Medina) and will urge their families, and those who will obey them to migrate (to Yemen) although Medina will be better for them; If they but knew. Shaam will also be conquered and some people will migrate (from Medina) and will urge their families and those who will obey them, to migrate (to Sham) although Medina will be better for them, if they but knew. Iraq will be conquered and some people will migrate (from Medina ) and will urge their families and those who will obey them to migrate (to Iraq) although Medina will be better for them, if they but knew". Bukhari 3:56-57, Hadith # 99 … "Narrated Khabab bin Al Art: We complained to Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) about our state while he was leaning against his sheet cloak in the shade of the Kaba. We said, " Will you ask Allah to help us? Will you invoke Allah for us?" He said, "Among those who were before you a (believer) used to be seized and, a pit used to be dug for him and then he used to be placed in it. Then a saw used to be brought and put on his head which would be split into two halves. His flesh might be combed with iron combs and removed from his bones, yet, all that did not cause him to revert from his religion by Allah! This religion (Islam) will be completed (and triumph) till a rider (traveler) goes from Sana ( the capital of Yemen ) to Hadramout fearing nobody except Allah and the wolf lest it should trouble his sheep, but you are impatient" Bukhari 9: 62, Hadith #76

 

Vision of paradise as success and hell as failure: "Narrated Abu Huraira: the Prophet (may peace be upon him) said, " Allah said, " I have prepared for My righteous slaves (such excellent things) as no eye has ever seen, nor an ear has ever heard nor a human heart can ever think of". Bukhari 9:435-436, hadith # 589 …."Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet ( may peace be upon him ) led us in prayer and then went up to the pulpit and beckoned with both hands towards the qibla of the mosque and then said, " When I started leading you in prayer, I saw the display of Paradise and Hell on the wall of the mosque (facing the Qibla) I never saw good and bad as I have seen today." He repeated the last statement thrice". Bukhari 1: 400, hadith # 716

 

Niyyat (intention): "Umar b Al Khattab reported the Apostle of Allah ( may peace be upon him ) as saying: Actions are to be judged only by intentions, and a man will have only what he intended. When one's emigration is to Allah and His Apostle, his emigration is to Allah and His Apostle; but when his emigration is to a worldly end at which he aims or to a woman whom he marries, his emigration is to that for which he emigrated". Abu Daud 2:593-594, Chapter 727, Hadith # 2195 … "On the pulpit Umar bin Al-Khattab said: I heard Allah's Apostle ( may peace be upon him ) saying, " The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended. So whoever emigrated for worldly benefits or for a woman to marry, his emigration was for what he emigrated for" Bukhari 1:1, chapter 1, hadith #1

           

Sincerity of action: "It has been narrated on the authority of Sulaiman b. Yasar who said: People dispersed from around Abu Huraira, and Natil, who was from the Syrians, said to him: O Shaikh, relate (to us) a tradition you have heard from the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him). He said: Yes. I heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) say: The first of men (whose case) will be decided on the Day of Judgment will be a man who died as a martyr. He shall be brought (before the Judgment Seat). Allah will make him recount His blessings (i.e. the blessings which He had bestowed upon him) and he will recount them (and admit having enjoyed them in his life). Then will Allah say: What did you do (to requite these blessings)? He will say: I fought for you until I died as a martyr. Allah will say: Your have told a lie. You fought that you might be called a " Brave warrior ". And you were called so. (Then) orders will be passed against him and he will be dragged with his face downward and cast into hell. Then will be brought forward a man who acquired knowledge and imparted it (to others) and recited the Qur'an. He will be brought and Allah will make him recount His blessings and he will recount them (and admit having enjoyed them in his lifetime). Then will Allah ask: What did you do (to requite these blessings)? He will say: I acquired knowledge and disseminated it and recited the Qur'an seeking you pleasure. Allah will say: You have told a lie. You acquired knowledge so that you might be called " a scholar " and you recited the Qur'an so that it might be said: " He is a qari and such has been said. Then orders will be passed against him and he shall be dragged with his face downward and cast into the Fire. Then will be brought a man whom Allah had made abundantly rich and had granted every kind of wealth. He will be brought and Allah will make him recount His blessings and he will recount them and (admit having enjoyed them in his lifetime). Allah will then ask: What have you done (to requite these blessings)? He will say: I spent money in every cause in which you wished that it should be spent. Allah will say: You are lying. You did (so) that it might be said about (you): " He is a generous fellow" and so it was said. Then will Allah pass orders and he will be dragged with his face downward and thrown into hell". Muslim 3: 1055, Chapter 746, Hadith # 4688

 

DISCUSSION:

 

VISION

Think of your particular organization or any other organization that you know well and answer the questions. Make sure you mention the name of the organization and the nature of your involvement with it. Answer the following questions regarding your organization’s education programs.

 

(a) What is the organization's long-term vision?

 

(b) How was the vision formulated?

 

(c) How far has the vision been translated into mission, goals, and objectives

 

FORECASTING

Think of your particular organization that you know well and answer the questions. Make sure you mention the name of the organization and the nature of your involvement with it. Answer the following questions about forecasting future trends in the education field.

 

(a) What is the present status?

 

(b) What are the expected trends in the next 5 years?

 

(c) What factors will affect these trends? Explain how each factor will impact the trends?

 

 

SCENARIO CASTING

Think of your particular organization that you know well and answer the questions. Make sure you mention the name of the organization and the nature of your involvement with it. Answer the following questions about future educational scenarios.

 

        (a) Work out a possible scenarios for your organization’s educational efforts in 5 year's time if the external environment is supportive assuming that other factors are constant

 

(b) Work out a possible scenario for your organization’s educational efforts in 5 year's time if the external environment is neutral assuming other factors are constant

 

(c) Work out a possible scenario for your organization’s educational efforts in 5 year's time if the external environment is hostile assuming other factors to be constant.

 

YOUR NOTES:

©Copyright Professor Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr July 2000