– Shura means participatory consultation.
– Organizations, teams, associations, etc. from time to time have course to consult members or staff to solicit for ideas concerning the work they do. Members and staff are usually forth-coming with such ideas as solicited. The ideas come in the form of the good the not so good and the totally off mark ones. The person collating the ideas has to manage such ideas in such a way that those who offered them do not feel slighted or unappreciated for what they may think were brilliant suggestions made to help reach good decisions, but treated shabbily.
– This write up deals with the Management of ideas in da’wah work- how we manage the good and the apparently not so good ideas as we work towards improving society.
We will be learning about the thinking tools that allow us to harness ideas and transform them to become useful.
WHAT IS THINKING?
– Thinking is what you do when you are trying to answer the question: “What is thinking?”
WHAT IS AN IDEA?
An idea is a mental representation of something, be it an object or an abstract thing.
– Most of the things around us are products of yesterday’s ideas
– As leaders of our organizations we have to manage ideas such that they converge to transform into making a great organization.
– How we manage ideas that people share with us depends on whether they will be willing to share more of such ideas with us in the future.
-How we manage ideas also influence the quality of ideas that are given to you in future.
– Our organization’s progress is tied to the quality of ideas that we allow to drive our deeds/moves
– Our most useful resource as humans is our intellect
– It is the intellect that drives the human resource because it organizes, manages and harnesses the other resources
– Thinking = Driver
– Intelligence = The Car
-Thinking is like driving while intelligence is the car ie the horse power
– Intelligence is natural/fixed genetically and we can not improve or expand on it. Whatever one is endowed is he has to make do with.
– Intelligence is what helps us to get out of a problem, while wisdom is what helps us not to get into a problem.
– Thinking as a skill can be learned and improved upon.
-Improving our thinking ability is one of the maqasid (higher intents) of shari’ah hence prohibition of anything that will disturb/numb our thinking capabilities.
WHAT KILLS THINKING? OR WHAT IS THE ENEMY OF THINKING?
For example, when we try to tie the person suggesting an idea to an association, ethnicity, race, tendency, we will be killing thinking.
This is when countering answers are attempted from two or more sides leading to loosing the chance for a constructive thinking process, just like a debate. This is not helpful for organizations since it is usually more of ego trips that are not based on concrete problem solving processes.
WE’VE ARRIVED SYNDROME
Suppose someone states he wants to start a dog rearing farm, what would his listeners’ reaction likely be? Likely reaction could be. They would ask:
“Whose idea is it, the boss or an ordinary member team?”
In a carpentner’s toolbox, which is the most important tool?
What is the fastest way of moving from one place to another?
WHITE HAT THINKING
YELLOW HAT THINKING
BLACK HAT THINKING
GREEN HAT THINKING
RED HAT THINKING
BLUE HAT THINKING
Each of the hats has its own uses and limitations.
Gray Hat? – for consequences?
Golden Hat? – for a golden rule? Ethics? Quality? Standards?
Too much White hat = leads to skepticism, information overload, and it dissuades.
Too much of Black hat = Will prevent, others from contributing to the thinking process.
Too much of Red hat = Will be interpreted as seeing the contributor’s idea as being funny or silly.
Too much of Green hat = Will gives an impression that you (the Chairman) don’t like the idea and that you are therefore trying to shoot it down prematurely.
ISSUES IN RELATIONSHIPS
Complaint (as district from nagging) is when one states how he feels, how he hurts, and how frustrated he is. On this, it is easier for people to empathize with you because you are not accusing anybody. Whoever you are complaining to will know instinctively, where the problem is coming from. It is the green light, in that it is accepted by everybody as a way of trying to look for a way to douse the tension, and resolve the conflict.
Here, you mention what you know (which is the wrong done to you and who did the wrong). It could be that you feel unneeded. Here, you are pointing a finger, using hikmah (wisdom), but at the end you state that you feel something wrong was done to you. It is the orange light, in that it puts people on the defensive.
CONTEMPT (AND DISRESPECTFUL MEANS)
On putting this across you roll your eyes. It is disrespectful, you tell people they are stupid, you insult/hurt them or make them look small or humiliated.
The problem with contempt is that though in the course of presenting the problem you are able to state what your grouse is, the manner of your presentation provokes the ego of the person being complained to, to feel insulted. The insult becomes the issue not really the complaint itself which might be genuine. This is the red light. This spoils relationships. As a Muslim, you should not insult, hate, or disrespect another person.
As we work with organizations, volunteers, or teams, we should know that if we elicit or solicit for black hat or negativity, we will get it. And if we ask for the positive, we will also get it. Therefore, be careful what you ask for. As people give opinions, don’t get stuck on their initial judgment. Take cognisance of the fact that what they are suggesting is just one way of thinking but that there are other ways of thinking beside theirs.
You have graduated me, how do I know my standard in the eyes of others?
-A drawing of flower almost 3d in beauty
-“If anyone has any problem with any part of this piece of art work, please use the brush in the paint container and put a black dot on that part of the drawing”
-The whole picture was black and the graduand was dejected.
-Another drawing nearly as beautiful as the one before was done .
-“If anybody likes something in this drawing please put a white dot on the part of the drawing you liked”.
-The whole drawing was painted white. And the graduand was confused as to whether he was a good artist or a bad one.
Nobody touched the blank canvass.
This shows that if you ask people for the negative, people will give enough negative that will demoralize you. If you ask them to look for the positive they will look for enough positive things to elate you. Don’t let the positives or the negatives prevent you from looking for alternatives. It is easy for people to criticize. It is also easy for them to praise. But it is very difficult for them to wear the green hat and be creative or come up with a better alternative. When nobody can give you a better alternative, then you know you have gotten your best idea.
As we conclude on this topic, let us appreciate the need for shura i.e. the need for consultation, the black and yellow hats. They are needed. They might sometimes be too dark or two bright, but we need them. So, let us get others in communicating with us, and we communicating with them. Let us manage ideas. Avoid contempt, disrespect, or violence. In short, any negative side/type of communication that makes other people react in the opposite way.
Thank you very much for attention.