Today, Cube Network hosted a day of mini lectures and introductions centred around the running and leading of Muslim networks in the workplace. Judging by the audience, "workplace" in this context meant the professional and corporate type, although the lessons learned would actually be applicable to different workplaces and even other aspects of life. Briefly, the topics were:
- Influencing without authority - where we learned about the mechanisms available to empower opinions which may not otherwise find representation, so things like lobbying, media influence, key groups.
- Leadership in the face of adversity - where it was explained that in an Islamic context, leadership doesn't necessarily have to be overt or even about the results, but can be about the effort and journey.
- Facilitation - more of a workshop where we brainstormed about the steps we could take to promote change in the workplace.
- Legal rights and the Equality Act 2010 - where we learned about our rights as minority employees, and what recourse we could have if these rights were ever infringed upon
- The Islamic case for leadership - where a frank and pragmatic explanation was given as to why leadership is required in the context of Muslim networks in the city
- The Islamic Workplace Index - the attempt to create an authoritative ranking of the 100 most Islamic friendly places to work in the UK
Now, full qualification: I know some of the guys who are involved in the Cube Network relatively personally. But any personal bias aside, it was refreshing to see a corporate aimed and structured series of presentations that were at all times pivoted around our duty to God and our struggle to get to heaven. I felt that as a result a lot of what was said was to-the-point, honest, credible and transparent, something which is usually missing from other leadership programmes (be they labelled with an Islam prefix or not).
Of course whether there are any longer term changes remains to be seen. But as an introduction or start to a larger context it was quite fun, and I look forward to seeing what else comes out of this series.