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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why Business People (and those working with them) Go To Heaven

This is the transcript of my TEDxKL Talk this afternoon for those who did not managed to be there. Will upload the video once available

Why Business People (and those working with them) Go To Heaven

Peace, I am Anas Zubedy.

Question ...Why do Business People and those working with them, Go To Heaven?

Let’s start with a conceptual framework.

This entire talk is based upon the premise that there is a Merciful God.

There is One MERCIFUL GOD ...

When I was a little boy I was constantly taught that there is a God who is Most Gracious and Most Merciful. Each time before I eat, I was asked to say,

“Bismillahirrahmanirrahim,”

that is, “In the name of God, Most Gracious, and Most Merciful”.

I was to say this as I step out of the house, as I step on the bus, step into class, and ride my bicycle and everything else right to nightfall as I close my eyes to sleep.

I was to say, “Bismillahirrahmanirrahim”, In the name of God Most Gracious, and Most Merciful.

In fact, it is a norm to see my late grand dad even say it as he was simply getting up from a chair! It is like our lives are interwoven with a Merciful and Gracious God.

But, when I became a teenager, I got confused.

I was told by some that to make God happy, I have a set of specific tasks, specific rituals that I must do, or the promise is Hell.

The action that is needed to get a ticket to Heaven is very definite and very clear-cut. If you fail to follow these, they say,... too bad for you and those like you.

You simply have to kiss Heaven goodbye.

And, these definite and clear-cut rituals are the monopoly of a certain group of people, none else have the formula, none else can book a place in Heaven.

None...it is an exclusive club.

Suddenly, the promise of Hell is more real than the promise of Heaven.

I got truly worried. Terribly, terribly worried.

For many of those who are dear to me will fail the task.

What will happen to Uncle Ali Rahman my Dad’s good friend who was a wonderful person but did not practice those rituals?

How about Uncle Veerasingam who treated me kindly?

What will happen to Apek Lim the ice cream man who was kind enough to cut me a piece of ice cream potong for free, knowing that I could not afford to buy one on my own?

What will happen to all these wonderful souls?

So, in my late teens at high school and early twenties at Universiti Malaya, I spent many silent moments talking and communicating with my Merciful God and reading his scriptures.

And behold, I discovered a Secret.

And today, I want to share with you this Secret.

WHAT IS THIS SECRET?

The Secret is that a merciful God will make things easy for us.

Whatever which is important to us, he will give us easy access, both for life on earth and including the ticket to Heaven.

If not, how could He be Merciful? Put us here and make it difficult? What? A God with a mischievous twist, laughing to himself, hehehe ... placing billions of souls on earth with the idea of sending them to HELL anyway?

C’mon ?

A merciful God will make it easy for us. So that His billions of creation will make it to Heaven.

I am not saying there will be no tests ...there will be tests on a daily basis, if not life will not be exciting, and we would all be robots ... no challenge, life would be so boring...

But, to make it easy, his tests must be connected to those things that we would do everyday anyway, to live in this world call earth. The rituals of daily living. Those are the rituals that count.

I repeat, the test must be connected to those things that we would do everyday anyway.

Like caring for your loved ones, engaging with people, attending TED Talks, keeping the garden trimmed, working, cycling to keep fit, etc etc etc.

Mind you, many are not aware of this secret.

Many are not aware... so they fail to see the significance and benefits from it.

Let me explain by using a simple example. Keeping Fit.

It is important that we keep fit. So he makes it easy. He gave us the best Gymnasium in the world.

It has enough exercise mechanisms and tools that can keep us in shape and healthy; our own body weight and our callisthenic abilities – working out using your own weight.

So...you and I can work out anywhere, anytime.

But many are blind to this gift thus complain and complain that we cannot afford to go to the gym, or we have no time to exercise or ... something like that.

As the more perceptive among you ...would have noticed by now, I do not belong to this group of lost souls.

This brings us to another important understanding. That WHATEVER WE HAVE TODAY IS ENOUGH.

Let me repeat, WHATEVER WE HAVE TODAY IS ENOUGH.

Yes, the here and the now, the present – WHATEVER WE HAVE IS ENOUGH. Your job, your home, your friends, your husband, your wife.. yes your salary too is enough to take you very far.

Whatever we have today is enough to propel us forward. Another gift from the Merciful God.

From where we are, we can realise our potentials. Be you a clerk in a big organization, a business owner, a salesman or an executive.

Whether you work for Mr TED or Mr TOAD, it does not matter.

Whether you are in a third world, a developing nation or an advanced economy; Yes, the here and the now, the present – WHATEVER WE HAVE IS ENOUGH.

In short, from where we are, we can definitely design a better future.

If only ... we learn and know how to reorganise what we already have, our thoughts, our actions and our spirit.

Our THOUGHTS, Our Action and Our Spirit, the most neglected resources in the world, because many do not recognise the Merciful God and fail to realise that, HE HAS GIVEN US ENOUGH.

Let me continue ...

When I graduated I joined a multinational and five years later I set up my own business. Since then, each day I can see clearly that The Merciful God’s invisible hands is making it easy for us all to go to heaven.

Let me unpack this for you.

How many of you here are working for a business organization?

How many of you here are business owners?

Do I have good news for you?

Peter Drucker nailed it right by suggesting that the one and only one purpose of business is to CREATE A CUSTOMER.

Our job in the business world is to CREATE CUSTOMERS.

You and I, our job as we step out to work, rest on one and only one purpose, to create a customer.

It is through the creation of customers that we in business ADD VALUE to society. When we create a customer we set out a chain reaction that provide jobs, organise resources, and make the world go round.

We generate salaries to take home to our families and when we spend our money, we start the ball rolling again as customers to others.

The multiplier effect is beyond calculation, it is mindboggling, and it is in the infinite. Each time we create customers, the system creates more customers; we put more money and as such more power of purchase for families to buy food, beverages, homes, education, holidays, ice creams and toys for children.

We create laughter... we create hope ... and we create the joy of living.

Now ... can you see where I am getting at? Why we are going to heaven?

Drucker suggests a business organisation creates customers through four main activities; INNOVATION, SELLING, ADVERTISING and CREDIT.

Take this hand-phone that I am holding.

In the 80s someone innovated the mass production of mobile phones. In the early 90s only a few people’s life were dependent on this device we call the hand-phone.

Today, millions and millions of livelihoods are directly or indirectly connected to this device. The person who innovated this hand-phone will go to Heaven.

You may clap now...

Please understand it is not just this hand-phone innovation which creates a mobile phone user. To make this hand-phone we created jobs for those who produce metal, plastic, circuitry, chip, wires, software, distribution, marketing, manufacturing, warehousing and God knows what not in a million series of interrelated events.

Now you tell me, will a Merciful God not take into account the ‘amal’ or ‘the deed’, the contribution of this innovator and others alike?

What about SELLING?

A salesperson’s job from morning till night is to create a customer. They go house to house, organisation to organisation, walk in the hot sun, talk, convince, get pushed away, and they persist and persist and persist until they make a new customer.

Once they close a sale, they create a customer. And, the chain reaction starts all over again.

How many of you here are in sales?

Every moment of your sales life, every single second you work hard to bring in those sales, you are getting the best incentives that MONEY CANNOT BUY.

You are buying an ETERNAL INCENTIVE TRIP to heaven!!!

ADVERTISING

Now, you wake up on a lazy Saturday morning ... or for some of us, lazy Saturday afternoon... and you have no plans at hand. You flip the newspapers and voila you saw an advertisement about a good movie.

You dress up, get into your car and go see the movie.

That advertisement created a customer. And, the chain effect takes place again.

Anyone here working in advertising? Can you please stop bitching about your job and the advertising industry? I know you guys love to bitch about your job...and your customers too. Stop it. Stop it immediately. Your job ... this industry... is helping you go to heaven!!!!

Drucker’s 4th engine of customer’s creation is CREDIT.

Can you imagine a world without credit? How many of us here can afford a car or a home without credit? How many? Can we have a show of hands?

How many businesses could start and maintain their activities without credit?

Take housing, can you imagine the kind of activities and multiplier effect just one house can generate? How many customers can one house create and recreate and recreate, recreate and recreate ... ( Echo effect) ?

Any of you here work in a financial institution?

I thank you, thank you, thank you!

Now...how about those who are not in innovation, not in sales, not advertising or credit?

Are you worried now? Will you have a place in heaven?

Oh my God, Oh my God, I need to ask for transfer tomorrow I need to jump into sales or something... I should have taken that sales job last year...

Nope. Not to worry. Anyone who works for a business organization has a good chance to go to heaven ... let me explain.

At zubedy, my organization, we suggest that to be efficient in creating customers, a business organization must do four vital functions well – INNOVATION, MARKETING, DUPLICATION and GENERAL MANAGEMENT, in short I.M.D.G.

INNOVATION is the act of translating new ideas into usable products, services and practices that create wealth and adds value to society.

Innovation is the first step that makes a business organization different, special and competitive in the market place. We have dealt with INNOVATION earlier.

The second vital function is MARKETING ...

Marketing satisfies your customers’ wants and creates a profit for your organization. This is the heart of your business, the function that makes your organization succeed in the market place. Without marketing, innovation is immaterial.

Marketing ensures that only innovative offerings that customers WANT... go to market. So that we do, create customers.

When we allow creative innovators to run wild with their ideas they may create products or services that satisfy their intellectual desires but not create customers; that is a no go!

So innovators work with marketers. Marketers go to heaven too...Thank God I am a Marketing man ... phew !

The third vital function is DUPLICATION.

Duplication is reproducing innovative offering efficiently and consistently.

This ensures that we provide opportunity for more to become customers. Making products and services affordable. One of the most obvious acts of innovation is manufacturing.

Having an innovative proto-type hand-phone is not enough. We need to duplicate and duplicate and duplicate.

Through manufacturing, a business organization help make a simple production worker an extraordinary human being. ...

Take Mrs Agnes Medona, a retiree who worked for a multinational producing chips in Malaysia.

Her simple job not only,

1. Provides income to bring up her child – those in the picture are her grandchildren. She becomes a customer and by so doing she creates other customers.

2. The chips that she helps to produced are used by fellow humans from all over the world.

3. Through her dedication and those like her, her organization makes a profit and pays taxes. Through the taxes, the government builds schools, hospitals, roads and other things that the public needs.

4. While she may be a simple worker in an organization of 5000 people, through her job, she becomes extraordinary… touching the lives of millions and booking a ticket to heaven.

Yes millions in manufacturing in Asia, Europe and across the globe are heaven bound too...

Finally, MANAGEMENT.

Management is the backbone of your business.

Management puts innovation, marketing and duplication together and makes things happen.

Management clarifies goals and defines performance, allocating resources, talent and time accordingly.

It plans, organizes, directs and measures innovation, marketing and duplication.

Human resources, legal people, people in operations, quality controllers, admin people, Top management, Middle managers, executives and supervisors...yes we all who play a role in customer creation can earn a place in heaven too..

Yes, fortunately or unfortunately, your bosses are likely going to heaven too! You may bump into them in the corridors of heaven or at the gate.

It is only fair for me to say a little about those who will have a hard time going to heaven.

Those of you who are lazy bastards, and those who earn a dishonest living, come to work late and laze around and make it difficult for companies to create a customer – you guys are in trouble, I suggest you guys repent ....

I want to end by sharing, one of the verses that inspires me to reach this conclusion, that a Merciful God will make it easy for us, and help the billions in the business world purchase a ticket to heaven ...

He that doeth good shall have ten times as much to his credit: He that doeth evil shall only be recompensed according to his evil: no wrong shall be done unto (any of) them.

Quran chapter 6, verse 160

Brothers and sisters, please ponder how your job is connected to people, to society and to God.

Know that you are touching people’s lives, that whatever you have is enough to make you special, and that there is a merciful God, ....Be motivated, do a good honest day’s job, and book your ticket to Heaven.

In The Name of God Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Thank you.


4 comments:

Majid Ali said...

Please for Christ sake help this poor boy from Haiti.

Just Ju said...

Kudos! Agree 100%! You don't have to look very far to find your own feet :) I work in advertising haha

ruzila said...

As-Salam,
Good one. Liked it so much!

hak55 said...

Sorry seems to be the hardest word!

Elton John.