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Monday, April 04, 2011

Lima Syarat-Syarat Ibadah Dalam Islam

Pengertian Ibadah: 

Ibadah bermaksud semua amalan dan tindak tanduk yang syarie, yang dilaksanakan dengan jujur dan ikhlas, untuk dipersembahkan kpd ALLAH SWT. 

Ibadah kepada ALLAH meliputi semua ibadah asas, ibadah tambahan dan perkara-perkara harus (mubah), dan hanya akan menjadi ‘berpahala’ jika pelaksanaannya menurut syarat-syarat yang telah ditetapkan oleh syariat Islam. 

Syarat-syarat tersebut dinamakan, ‘Lima (5) Syarat-syarat Ibadah Dalam Islam:

Jika, sekiranya amalan-amalan kita tidak mengikuti syarat-syarat tersebut, maka ia hanya akan menjadi perbuatan yang sia-sia saja menurut pandangan ALLAH. Amalan itu tidak diberi pahala, bahkan adakalanya mendatangkan dosa pula. 

Apakah ‘Lima(5) Syarat-syarat Ibadah’ tersebut? 

1) Niat Mesti Betul 

2) Perlaksanaan Mengikut Peraturan Syariat 

3) Perkara/Subjek mesti Dibolehkan oleh Syariat. 

4) Natijahnya memberi Manfaat 

5) Tidak Meninggalkan Ibadah Asas. 

Huraian lanjut:- 

1) NIAT 

Niat penting sebelum melaksanakan sesuatu. Ini juga untuk membedakan antara amal ibadah dengan amalan adat, dan antara niat karena ALLAH dengan niat karena yang lain-lain. Supaya setiap perlakuan menjadi ibadah, ia mesti dengan niat yang betul. Niat kerana menuruti perintah ALLAH SWT. 

Sabda Rasulullah SAW, “Hanyasanya amalan-amalan itu sah dengan niat, dan adalah bagi setiap seorang itu menurut apa yang diniatkan". 

Dan sabdanya lagi, “Niat orang mukmin itu adalah lebih baik daripada amalannya”.

2) PERLAKSANAAN 

Perlaksanaan di dalam satu2 hal atau satu2 perkara mesti mengikut peraturan. Lebih2 lagi jika kita ingin melakukan ibadah, kita harus mendalami peraturan itu supaya kita benar2 di atas landasan syariat. Untuk menjayakan usaha manusia, perlaksanaannya mesti mengikut landasan yang Allah Taala telah tetapkan. 

Allah memberi peringatan melalui firmanNya, “Dan jika mereka berjuang pada jalan Kami (ikut peraturan Kami) sesungguhnya Kami akan tunjukkan jalan Kami (jalan keselamatan) bahwasanya ALLAH beserta orang-orang yang berbuat baik.” (Al Ankabut: 69) 

Dalam hal ini ulama juga berkata, “Yang hak kalau tidak ada peraturan, akan dikalahkan oleh yang batil yang ada peraturan.” 

3. Perkara (Subjek) Mesti Dibolehkan oleh Syariat. 

Perkara (subjek) yang hendak dilaksanakan itu mestilah yang dibolehkan oleh syariat, terutamanya perkara yang melibatkan makanan dan minuman. 

Misalnya, seorang yang hendak berniaga mencari rezeki untuk keluarga, dengan berniaga barang makanan, yang hasilnya boleh juga menjadi makanan asas dan memberi manfaat kesihatan rohani dan jasmani kepada semua umat Islam. 

Sabda Rasulullah SAW, “Tiap2 daging yang tumbuh daripada benda yang haram, maka Neraka adalah yang lebih patut dengannya. (Riwayat Tarmizi). 

Dan, “Hati ditempa mengikut makanan dan minuman”. 

Rasulullah SAW amat menekankan perkara yang berkaitan dengan makanan kerana hati yang merupakan raja dalam tubuh manusia itu dibina dari makanan. Hati yang dibina dari makanan yang haram akan menjadi degil dan sukar menerima kebenaran. 

4. Natijahnya Memberi Bermanfaat 

Natijah merupakan hasil usaha seseorang. Hasil itu semestinya baik karena ia merupakan pemberian ALLAH ataupun nikmatNya kepada hamba2Nya. 

Hamba2 yang menerima pemberian itu wajib bersyukur kepada ALLAH SWT. 

Bagaimanakah seseorang itu menunjukkan tanda bersyukur kepada ALLAH SWT?.

Di antaranya dengan berzakat, melakukan korban, serta membuat amal bakti seperti bersedekah dan sebagainya. 

Sehubungan dengan itu, ALLAH berfirman, “Jika kamu bersyukur niscaya akan Aku tambah lagi nikmat-Ku kepadamu, dan jika kamu kufur sesungguhnya siksaan-Ku sangat dahsyat”. 


Dengan itu, natijah setiap amalan agar menjadi ibadah ialah dengan membelanjakan keuntungan yang diperoleh atau hasil usaha setiap pelaksanaan untuk jalan ALLAH. Seperti dibelanjakan untuk membantu kaum miskin atau anak-anak yatim. 

Jika berupa ilmu yang dicari, maka ilmu itu hendaklah digunakan sesuai dengan yang diredhai ALLAH. Bgitu pula dengan natijah-natijah yang lain. Mestilah digunakan untuk perkara-perkara yang benar-benar sah dan halal sahaja. 

5. Tidak Meninggalkan Ibadah Asas. 

Dua perkara utama yang menjadi asas ibadah ialah Rukun Iman dan Rukun Islam. 

Kedua2nya merupakan tapak atau ‘platform’ untuk menegakkan amalan2 yang lain. Tanpa tapak, macamana nak dirikan binaan? 

Di antara dua rukun tersebut, Rukun Iman menjadi ‘platform utama’, dan ianya yang pertama2 ilmu yang wajib diketahui, dan hendaklah dibina, dipupuk, dibaja dengan ‘keyakinan yang qatie’. 

Ini selaras tuntutan dalam syariat Islam, iaitu “awal2 ilmu ialah mengenal Allah”. 


Manakala, Rukun Islam menjadi perkara asas dalam jenis2 ibadah yang lain. Melaksanakan amalan yang dituntut di dalamnya adalah amalan asas, manakala amalan2 lain (seperti baca Al-Quran, wirid, dll) merupakan pelengkap ibadah. 


Di antara 5 rukun Islam itu, solat sangat diberi perhatian oleh Rasulullah SAW. Sabdanya, “Shalat itu adalah tiang agama. Barang siapa telah mendirikannya maka dia telah mendirikan agama. Dan barang siapa yang meninggalkannya maka dia telah meruntuhkan agama." 


Tambah baginda lagi, “Barangsiapa yang meninggalkan shalat dengan sengaja, nyatalah ia telah kafir." 


Jadi sangat jelas, bahwa setiap amalan berasas kepada dua(2) perkara ini yang merupakan amalan yang paling wajib. Artinya tidak boleh ditinggalkan sama sekali. Jika tidak ada rukun Iman dan rukun Islam, maka seluruh amalan lain, tidak ada artinya lagi. 

Demikianlah ‘Lima(5) Syarat-syarat Ibadah’ dalam Islam. Seandainya amalan-amalan kita tidak mengikuti kelima2 syarat di atas, maka tidak dapat diakui (diiktiraf) sebagai amalan Islam, bahkan dianggap amalan jahiliah. Amalan itu tidak diterima oleh ALLAH Taala. 

Bagaimana tindakan kita agar amal kita memenuhi syarat-syarat yang disebutkan itu hingga menjadi ibadah? 

Contoh:- 


a) Melibatkan diri dalam perniagaan. 


· Pertama, berniat kerana ALLAH, iaitu untuk menunaikan perintah ALLAH melaksanakan salah satu fardhu kifayah dalam bidang perniagaan. 

Selain untuk membantu anggota masyarakat agar mendapat manfaat dari perniagaan kita, lebih2 lagi untuk membeli serta memenuhi keperluan hidupnya yang pokok. 


Kalau perniagaannya berupa makanan, makanannya yang halal mestilah boleh mendorong seseorang Islam itu dapat beribadah dengan khusyuk, dan berperilaku sebagai seorang mukmin yang sejati. Kerana akhlak dan mental seseorang itu terpengaruh oleh zat makanan yang ditanggung halal, di mana fikiran yang baik memudah terima ilmu2 akhirat yang dipelajari. 


Rasulullah SAW sendiri begitu mengutamakan perihal makanan karena kalau yang dimakan atau diminum itu kotor mengikut syariat islam, hati orang akan dibentuk sebegitu rupa hingga menjadi keras kepala dan sukar menerima kebenaran. Terkadang orang tersebut langsung menolak kebenaran dan menentangnya pula 


Kalau perniagaan kita berbentuk perkhidmatan professional, seperti perubatan, guaman, juruperunding, dsb.nya maka niatnya mestilah untuk berkhidmat kepada anggota masyarakat Islam karena ALLAH. 


Sebab, kalau perniagaan kita tidak diwujudkan, umat Islam akan susah karena terpaksa mendapatkan perkhidmatan dari orang yang bukan Islam, yang cenderung kepada tipu muslihat atau ‘ada udang di sebalik batu’. 

Demikian sebaliknya, kalau perniagaan kita ‘tidak membantu’ masyarakat Islam mendapatkan keperluan2 asas fizikal dan mentalnya, seperti perniagaan yang membawa kehancuran hidup, maka sukarlah kita nak mengukuhkan niat yang betul. Contoh urusniaga adalah seperti perniagaan berasaskan riba, pusat video, pusat snooker, jual rokok, arak, dsb.nya. 


· Kedua, pelaksanaan perniagaan. Iaitu dalam melakukan transaksi urusniaga mesti ada kejujuran, amanah dan bersih dari amalan-amalan yang bertentangan dengan syariat Islam dan sebagainya. 

· Ketiga, subjek yang di’niaga’kan hendaklah terhindar dari hal-hal yang tidak halal atau tidak mengikut syariat Islam, seperti perniagaan menjual arak, rokok dan sebagainya. 

· Keempat, natijah (hasil) dari perniagaan itu hendaklah ditunaikan haknya. Iaitu kalau beroleh keuntungan, kita hendaklah melakukan zakat, soal-soal pengorbanan serta turut membantu perjuangan menegakkan agama ALLAH serta membantu kaum yang miskin dan lemah. 

· Kelima, dalam melakukan aktiviti perniagaan, kita tidak boleh meninggalkan ibadah asas, iaitu shalat, puasa dan sebagainya. Karena kesibukan itu tidak boleh dijadikan alasan untuk meninggalkan yang wajib. 


b) Mencari ilmu dan belajar. 


· Pertama, niat karena menunaikan perintah ALLAH. Bukan untuk mendapatkan jabatan dan pangkat yang tinggi supaya kita disanjung dan dimuliakan?. 


· Kedua, dalam pelaksanaan menuntut ilmu itu, tidak terdapat pergaulan bebas antara lelaki perempuan yang bukan muhrim, menutup aurat, dsb.nya. 


· Ketiga, perkara yang pelajari itu sesuai dengan syariat Islam dan halal. Misalnya belajar ilmu Hukum Islam, Kedokteran, Perundangan Islam, Ilmu alam, ilmu hitung dan sebagainya?. 


Yang mesti kita ingat, ilmu yang bertentangan dengan syariat contohnya adalah belajar ilmu mencuri, sihir (black magic), tari menari, bermain musik dan sebagainya. 


· Keempat, natijah daripada ilmu telah diperoleh, maka hendaklah dijadikan alat untuk berbakti kepada masyarakat kerana ALLAH. 

· Kelima, dalam proses kita menuntut ilmu itu pula kita tidak boleh meninggalkan perkara yang asas seperti shalat, puasa dan sebagainya. 


c) Pejuang Agama Allah @ Berdakwah. 

Walaupun, pada lahirnya sudah tentulah merupakan satu ibadah. Tetapi sekiranya tidak memenuhi syarat yang diterangkan itu amalannya akan menjadi sia-sia dan berdosa. 

Cuba kita perhatikan. 

· Pertama, niatnya mestilah benar-benar untuk berjuang membela nasib bangsa dan tanah air serta benar-benar menegakkan agama karena ALLAH. 

Perlu diingat, membela nasib bangsa dan membebaskan tanah air dari penjajahan ataupun mempertahankan negara dari kekuasaan orang kafir adalah satu perintah ALLAH. Tetapi bila kita mempunyai niat yang tersendiri, yang merupakan kepentingan pribadi, maka perjuangannya menjadi tidak bermakna. 

· Kedua, ketika kita melaksanakan perjuangan itu, kita tidak melakukan kezaliman, menindas serta memfitnah orang lain. 

· Ketiga, apa yang kita perjuangkan itu jelas sah atau halalnya seperti berjuang melepaskan bangsa Islam yang dizalimi dan ditindas. 

· Keempat, natijah(hasil) perjuangan kita hendaklah betul yaitu setelah berjaya membebaskan bangsa dan negara dari penaklukan musuh atau setelah perjuangan kita berjaya, hendaklah menggunakan kejayaan itu untuk lebih meninggikan syiar lslam dan lebih mengukuhkan syariat Islam. 

· Kelima, dalam berjuang itu, perkara-perkara yang wajib tidak kita tinggalkan seperti shalat dan puasa. 

d) Bekerja mencari rezeki 

· Pertama, niat iaitu untuk menanggung dan membiayai hidup keluarga yang merupakan tuntutan wajib dari ALLAH. 

Terkadang ada di antara kita yang berniat untuk mencari kekayaan dan kemewahan hidup agar dipandang mulia dan dihormati masyarakat karena baginya kekayaan itu adalah kemegahan padanya. 

· Kedua, pelaksanaan dalam mencari rezeki perlu sekali dipertimbangkan karena banyak di kalangan kita yang salah hingga usaha-usaha yang bertentangan dengan syariat dianggap sebagai sumber rezeki. Mencuri, menjual kehormatan dan perbuatan sejenisnya kadang-kadang dianggap sebagai sumber rezeki yang benar, padahal sebenarnya bertentangan dengan syariat. Kadang-kadang dalam pelaksanaan mencari rezeki kita bergaul antara lelaki perempuan yang bukan muhrim. Demikian itu salah. 


· Ketiga, sah atau halalnya usaha-usaha kita dalam mencari rezeki dapat ditinjau dari jenis kerja yang kita lakukan misalnya bercocok tanam, menangkap ikan, berternak, bekerja di pabrik-pabrik yang hasilnya tidak bertentangan dengan syariat seperti pabrik roti, susu dan sebagainya dan bukannya pabrik-pabrik yang menghasilkan arak. Sumber kewangan tempat bekerja itu juga tidak bergantung sepenuhnya dengan hasil riba dan sebagainya. 


· Keempat, natijah (hasil) mencari rezeki itu pun hendaklah dengan tujuan memberi makan, pakaian dan perlindungan kepada keluarga dan diri sendiri, bukannya untuk berjudi, bersenang-senang dengan berbagai bentuk hiburan atau meminum arak dan lain-lain yang sejenis. 


· Kelima, sewaktu mencari rezeki, jangan kita melalaikan perkara yang asas seperti shalat dan puasa atau lalai dalam mencari ilmu fardhu ain. 


e) Bermesyuarat 

Coba kita perhatikan satu lagi contoh yang mudah, iaitu suatu pekerjaan yang mubah tetapi caranya salah hingga tidak lagi menjadi satu ibadah, yaitu bermusyawarah atau syura. 


Sebenarnya musyawarah memang menjadi tuntutan dalam Islam sebagaimana yang diterangkan oleh ALLAH, ertinya: “Dalam urusan mereka (yaitu umat Islam) maka bermusyawarahlah sesama mereka." (As Syura: 38) 

Agar amalan bermusyawarah atau syura itu menjadi ibadah, mestilah memenuhi syarat ibadah. 

· Pertama, niat mengadakan musyawarah itu mesti betul yaitu untuk menjalankan perintah ALLAH. 

· Kedua, melaksanakan musyawarah itu dengan betul misalnya tidak ada kaum perempuan yang membuka aurat di dalam perundingan. 

· Ketiga, agenda perbincangan nyata halal atau sahnya di sisi syariat seperti membicarakan masalah nahyun anil mungkar atau tentang keselamatan umat dan negara, dan bukannya membicarakan bagaimana hendak membangun pabrik arak, tempat-tempat perjudian atau masalah bagaimana pelacuran boleh dihalalkan atau membahas untuk mengadakan majelis tari menari dan majelis hiburan dan seterusnya. 

· Keempat, natijah musyawarah itu mesti betul yaitu setelah keputusan diperoleh, akan dilaksanakan dengan baik. 

· Kelima, ketika menjalankan musyawarah jangan ada yang lalai menunaikan shalat atau tidak berpuasa. 

Demikianlah lima syarat ibadah bagi setiap amal dan perbuatan. Kalau setiap perbuatan kita, diselaraskan dengan syarat-syarat itu maka amal-amal kita dari wajib yang paling besar hingga mubah yang paling kecil, akan menjadi ibadah kepada ALLAH dan kita akan diberi ganjaran pahala dariNya. 

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CEO / Consultant: http://ahmad-sanusi-husain.com 
Alfalah Consulting: http://alfalahconsulting.com 

SWOT: Assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your business with SWOT analysis

One of management's trustiest tools is the SWOT analysis. You take a calm, cool look at the organisation's Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Then you seek to capitalise on the Strengths, Eliminate the Weaknesses, seize the best Opportunities and counter the Threats. Could the magnificent success of Microsoft, with its 90% gross margin and $9 billion of cash, really be threatened? In a brilliant study in Worldlink magazine, Howard Anderson has shown that the answer is Yes - a dozen times over. Although the threats are specific to the software industry, they are also generic. Try them on your own firm:
1. Could newcomers (including breakaways from your own company) create damaging competition?
2. Is there an equally powerful force in the market which could muscle into your territory?
3. Is there a rival technology or other differentiator which could come out on top?
4. Are you weak compared to the competition in a key market segment?
5. Is the market developing in ways that favour competitors more than you?
6. Could your customers takes major sources of revenue away?
7. Is there a major area in the market where you lag rather than lead?
8. Does a competitor have a stronger hold on your biggest customers?
9. Is there a growing market where you are being left behind?
10. Are there environmental/regulatory threats?
11. Could unsuspected challenge arrive from outside the existing industry?
12. Is your market too broad for all threats to be safely covered?
AN INTIMIDATING LIST
The thirteenth question, of course, is whether, if any of the dozen apply to your business, you are doing anything effective to counter the Threat or, better still, to convert Threat into true Opportunity. It's an intimidating list, even for mighty Microsoft, especially when you see the names of its leading enemies: Sun Microsystems, the big banks, Cisco, Compaq, Netscape, Oracle, SAP and IBM. The latter giant provides Anderson with his starting point. Could what happened to IBM afflict Microsoft? His company, The Yankee Group, had been deeply impressed by the Strengths deployed by IBM in 1982 - and not surprisingly.
IBM led in every important market of the time: mainframes, communications, mainframe storage, mincomputers, and personal computers. It earned more profit than the next nine computer firms generated in total sales, spending more on R&D than they made in earnings. The Yankee Group concluded that IBM was therefore invulnerable - yet the giant was about to embark on a prolonged slide that, amazingly, leaves its market value lagging behind both Microsoft and Intel, and by no small margin, either. IBM's $86 billion of mid-1997 market capitalisation compares to $149 billion for Microsoft and $124 billion for Intel: IBM should plainly have held on to its old strategic investment in the latter. How could the Yankee Group's assessment be so spectacularly wrong?
In the first place, never concentrate just on your own or anybody else's Strengths. That's highly dangerous, partly because they can so easily turn into Weaknesses. Thus IBM's domination of mainframes, and dependence on them for the bulk of its profits, became an incubus as the market moved away to the PCs from which Intel and Microsoft drew their super-growth. The latter's similar domination and dependence in PC operating systems almost moved from Strength to Weakness as the Internet took off - and Gates was much nearer than his 'two years away from failure' when, with a mighty effort, he reversed engines and poured billions into Net, software probably just in time.
Second, market share and leadership by size are not strongpoints in themselves. In PCs, Compaq was able to exploit a world share of around 3% far more effectively than IBM, which had three times the market. The issue is how the market share, whether leading or not, has been achieved and sustained. Is the product or service perceived as superior? Is it cheaper? Is the distribution more effective? Is the cost level lower? Is speed-to-market faster? Are customer requirements met more accurately?
REACTION IN CRISIS
In the case of Compaq v IBM, curiously enough, the answers were all negative. Compaq had no significant advantage in product, distribution, costs, price, speed-to-market or customer satisfaction. But in the money-losing crisis into which Compaq suddenly plunged, it reacted radically on every point to create a stronger platform than its rival. The cost ratio, for instance, came down from 31% to 12.5% - an astonishing performance - as new products were launched at high speed, and the premium price policy was abandoned in favour of leading price levels downwards.
The key Strengths at Compaq were therefore intangibles, as were the Weaknesses at IBM. The smaller company was able to react and reform at speed; the larger could only react slowly and reluctantly. So the Yankee Group's second error was to concentrate on static Strengths, which are the results of past performance, rather than analysing the factors which will govern performance in the future. Even IBM's massively higher R&D spending was irrelevant in this context - the quantum of expenditure was less important than the uses to which its results were being put. The Yankee research consequently missed the low rate of conversion of R&D into saleable products - clearly shown, for example, by the strange RISC saga.
IBM's discovery of Reduced Instruction Set Computing, primarily the work of a technologist named John Cooke, was potentially a big winner, since it much enhances the performance of smaller computers. IBM, though, didn't use its own discovery in a work-station until 1990 - three years after Sun Microsystems and twice as long after RISC's availability. How could such absurdity be allowed? The explanation is that RISC was resisted by people who were dedicated to extending the 360-370 mainframe architecture. That's a perfect (or imperfect) example of how Strength turns into Weakness. Exactly the same mindset also allowed Compaq to seize the advantage, and a market share of nearly one third. in client-servers, powerful PCs which serve networks.
The resilience which IBM's rivals have shown, compared to their opponent's fateful conservatism, rests on people. In any industry today, the brighest and best employees are aware that their own SWOT analysis could lead to breakaway. They could stay with the company and develop their ideas within its embrace. But fragmented markets and booming stock prices, coupled with increasingly plentiful venture capital, offer a constant temptation.
Keeping people one by one, buying them off, so to speak, is no solution. The company has to create a culture that's so attractive, so hard to leave, that the retention rate will remain very high. In other words, Putting People First has to be the base strategy. An unhappy workforce is both a Weakness and a Threat - as British Airways has recently found. Its resurgence was founded on a programme actually called Putting People First - but, after a pilots' strike threat last year, in late June cabin crew and ground staff were equally alienated.
Look at what Fortune magazine calls the 'four-pronged approach' adopted by chief executive Bob Ayling, and the missing element is immediately obvious:
1. Develop a marketing plan with universal appeal
2. Help employees understand the company's global vision
3. Benchmark off mistakes that others have made in the past
4. Select the right partners for joint ventures overseas.
MISSION STATEMENT
The wording of the only reference to people is curious. So long as they 'understand' that BA wants to be seen as a global airline, not a national carrier, that's fine. But consider this quotation: 'At a recent employee gathering in New York, none of the 75 people in the audience could remember the company's... mission statement' - which was only a single sentence. To put it mildly, there's not much point in a mission that everybody has forgotten.
The massive facelift on which BA is engaged went down well with the same audience ('there were audible oohs and ahs when images of the new planes and tocket jackets flashed up on a big screen.') The author's conclusion was that; 'If you give somebody a product they can be proud of and tell them why it's changing, you stand a good chance of helping them sell it better.' That is far from the truth. There are some key questions that need to be answered:
1. Have the people helped to create the new product?
2. Did they contribute to the thought processes that led to change?
3. Are they constructively involved in deciding how to sell the product better?
The answers at BA appear to be negative. One report accuses Ayling of being someone who 'may not have grasped the finer points of dealing with real people, as opposed to numbers on a page.' The curious issue here, though, is that BA has confronted similar problems before. Some of its managers have learned the powerful lesson that change accomplished through people is far more effective than change forced upon them. In the last 1980s, the troubles with its engineering division became so acute that management was forced to take a strike, keeping the airline going with white-collar labour, until the unions capitulated.
Alastair Cumming, the manager in charge, concluded that 'very determined management' could only go so far. Unless the employees could be positively involved and their willing support obtained, further progress would be impossible. The results of changing the management culture - from order and obey to cooperation - were spectacular. Cumming sold off its engineering overhaul business to GE, cut staff numbers by 500, and took £38 million out of costs in the first year - without any dispute. Once improvement had become the shared objective, and the necessary tools had been provided, examples soon abounded of employees taking the initiative in raising quality and reducing cost.
The BA engineering exercise rubs in the point that the SWOT exercise needs to be in two parts: internal and external. The first category includes matters like R&D strengths, engineering know-how, the cash in the bank, and so on. But these are passive. The second category is what actively turns the physical assets into achievements in the external world. This was brought home to me forcefully by reading Ryuzaburo Kaku's account of how he devised the two plans - in 1972 and 1982 - which converted Canon into, first, a premier Japanese company and, second, the world technology leader that it is today.
INTERNAL DEFECTS
The process, according to Kaku's article in the July-August Harvard Business Review, began with a meeting at which the young Kaku argued that Canon's obvious weakness of the time (a cash shortage so severe that it couldn't pay dividends) resulted from internal defects: 'poor decision-making and bureaucratic organisation'. Given his chance, Kaku 'radically decentralised decision-making, redesigned the organisation' and 'poured resources into R&D'. As the fruits poured forth, Kaku developed his ideas on 'kyosei' or 'a spirit of cooperation'.
He describes kyosei as a five-stage journey, starting with economic survival. That's where the vast majority of companies stop - making reliable profits from strong market positions: just like IBM or BA, in other words. But Kaku argues that this stage is not enough - the company must move on to cooperation between management and labour. Salaries, bonuses and training are all involved in this process: 'The two sides are in the same boat...sharing the same fate'. Plainly, this is the stage where BA has fallen short. Instead of emulating his own engineering side's later enlightenment, Ayling is adopting the strong-arm methods of its former, unhappier days.
Even cooperation is still not enough - 'this stage of kyosei can become so inwardly focused that it does little to solve problems outside the company'. Kaku goes on to call for cooperation with both suppliers and customers and with communities. Suppliers, for instance, are 'provided with technical support and in turn deliver high-quality materials on time'. But even that's not enough. In this third stage, 'companies often focus so much on local and national problems that they neglect global problems' - which leads on to Kaku's next two stages, globalism and partnership with governments.
Now, for most businesses these two stages seem infinitely remote - though globalism, thanks partly to the Internet, is a rising force in many markets today, and may well become decisive. But Kaku's five stages raise a crucial point: nothing is ever enough. No matter how great your Strengths, how limited your Weaknesses, how minimal the Threats and well-taken the Opportunities, there is always a next stage. The organisation must continually challenge itself and move onwards and upwards. An encouraging internal and external SWOT analysis is simply a foundation - an encouragement to do better still, and then more.
Nevertheless, the foundations laid by Kaku, together with the principles of employee cooperation which he used, make an instructive guide and form a penetrating two-part questionnaire:
1. Have you formed a large overall ambition? (Canon's was to join the top ranks of global companies and move from cameras to all-round high-technology manufacturer).
2. Have you set aggressive, long-term performance targets for every part of the organisation?
3. Have you got the right set-up? (Canon formed a matrix with three main product lines as vertical pillars, linked by three horizontal activities - manufacturing, marketing and R&D).
4. Are you investing heavily in all the horizontal activities?
Turn from Canon to BA, and the four questions would reveal similar foundation strengths, starting with the fact that it carries more passengers than any other airline. Its planned alliance with American Airlines should create a dominant force in an industry where BA already boasts the highest profitability. Its plans to cut costs and employment by radical reorganisation, including the outsourcing or disposal of services, will add to the Strengths and ward off any Threats. But the whole edifice (including those plans) rests on the next four questions based on the Canon experience:
5. Have you eliminated all distinctions between different types of employee?
6. Have you based excellent employee relations on investing in high salaries, extensive training programmes, generous vacations., etc?
7. Do you dislike and seek to avoid lay-offs, early retirements,etc.?
8. Do you make it a prime objective never to engage in confrontation with your employees?
Here BA's answers are far less satisfactory. Yet the two parts, the strategic exploitation of commercial assets and the creation of a one-company, cooperative culture go hand-in-hand. You can see the fruits of Canon's two-part octet in a decade of growth in net profits by 20% annually, with sales rising at 9%, and the return on both sales and equity more than doubling. In copiers and desktop printers, its main products, too, Canon is world leader. To take today's abundant Opportunities in like style, against multiplying Threats, never forget that Strengths can become Weaknesses - but, equally important, Weakness can be turned into Strength.
(by Robert Heller/Thinking Managers)


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CEO / Consultant: http://ahmad-sanusi-husain.com
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25 Duas (supplications) from the Holy Quran



And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.  (Quran 2:186)


1. Our Lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the life to come and keep us safe from the torment of the Fire (2:201) 


2. Our Lord! Bestow on us endurance and make our foothold sure and give us help against those who reject faith. (2:250) 

3. Our Lord! Take us not to task if we forget or fall into error. (2:286) 

4. Our Lord! Lay not upon us such a burden as You did lay upon those before us. (2:286) 

5. Our Lord! Impose not on us that which we have not the strength to bear, grant us forgiveness and have mercy on us. You are our Protector. Help us against those who deny the truth. (2:286) 

6. Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate from the truth after You have guided us, and bestow upon us mercy from Your grace. Verily You are the Giver of bounties without measure. (3:8) 

7. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and the lack of moderation in our doings, and make firm our steps and succour us against those who deny the truth. (3:147) 

8. Our Lord! Whomsoever You shall commit to the Fire, truly You have brought [him] to disgrace, and never will wrongdoers find any helpers (3:192) 

9. Our Lord! Behold we have heard a voice calling us unto faith: "Believe in your Lord" and we have believed. (3:193) 

10. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and efface our bad deeds and take our souls in the company of the righteous. (3:193) 

11. Our Lord! And grant us that which you have promised to us by Your messengers and save us from shame on the Day of Judgement. Verily You never fail to fulfill Your promise. (3:194) 

12. Our Lord! We have sinned against ourselves, and unless You grant us forgiveness and bestow Your mercy upon us, we shall most certainly be lost! (7:23) 

13. Our Lord! Place us not among the people who have been guilty of evildoing. (7:47) 

14. Our Lord! Lay open the truth between us and our people, for You are the best of all to lay open the truth. (7:89) 

15. Our Lord! Pour out on us patience and constancy, and make us die as those who have surrendered themselves unto You. (7:126) 

16. Our Lord! Make us not a trial for the evildoing folk, and save as by Your mercy from people who deny the truth (10:85-86) 

17. Our Lord! You truly know all that we may hide [in our hearts] as well as all that we bring into the open, for nothing whatever, be it on earth or in heaven, remains hidden from Allah (14:38) 

18. Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Your presence and dispose of our affairs for us in the right way. (18:10) 

19. Our Lord! Grant that our spouses and our offspring be a comfort to our eyes, and give us the grace to lead those who are conscious of You. (25:74) 

20. Our Lord! You embrace all things within Your Grace and Knowledge, forgive those who repent and follow Your path, and ward off from them the punishment of Hell. (40:7) 

21. Our Lord! Make them enter the Garden of Eden which You have promised to them, and to the righteous from among their fathers, their wives and their offspring, for verily You are alone the Almighty and the truly Wise. (40:8) 

22. Our Lord! Relieve us of the torment, for we do really believe. (44:12) 

23. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins as well as those of our brethren who proceeded us in faith and let not our hearts entertain any unworthy thoughts or feelings against [any of] those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness and Most Merciful (59:10) 

24. Our Lord! In You we have placed our trust, and to You do we turn in repentance, for unto You is the end of all journeys. (60:4) 

25. Our Lord! Perfect our light for us and forgive us our sins, for verily You have power over all things. (66:8)

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CEO / Consultant: www.ahmad-sanusi-husain.com 
Alfalah Consulting: www.alfalahconsulting.com 
Islamic investment: www.islamic-invest-malaysia.com 
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