Of Brand Islam and Transformational Leaders

INCEIF students and guests had the pleasure of listening to Dr Jonathan A.J. Wilson, an academic, consultant, speaker, and journalist with 20 years of industry experience, talk about `Brand Islam’ and transformational leaders at three INCEIF events.

CIMG8948Talk at INCEIF Campus.

Over three days, Dr Wilson spoke on `Brand Islam is the new black in marketing’ and `The Quest for Transformational Leadership & Brand Singularity’ on three subsequent days. The events were held at Sasana Kijang Bank Negara Malaysia and on campus.

Dr Wilson, who has published over 125 pieces of work, is an Academic in the Business School, at the University of Greenwich, London; Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Islamic Marketing; and is an Associate Member of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Islamic Finance and Diversity in Financial Markets.

During his talk on ‘Brand Islam’, Dr Wilson elaborated on the fact that business, culture, and societal issues linked to Muslims and Islam have continued to grab headlines inside and outside of the Muslim world. He termed the more recent phenomenon spearheaded by halal and Islamic finance as ‘Brand Islam’ because it appears to be a lot to do with claiming and labeling various ideas, commodities, geographies and people.

By using the word ‘Brand’, Dr Wilson shared his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities with labeling and commoditising Islam, much in the same way as many do with other branding practices.

His next talk focused on transformational leaders and brand singularly. He observed that in everyday conversations, the terms Manager and Leader seem to be used interchangeably. Also, over the past thirty years or so the term Transformational has crept into our vocabulary as a concept, which is moving thinking away from economic transactions – towards collaborative and emotional transactions that bring change.

“A challenge occurs when attempting to galvanise several streams of leadership and innovation, whilst looking to achieve compelling brand singularity across all functions,” said Dr Wilson who shared key findings from his research on the field, with a consideration given to the Muslim context.

He also posed the question whether transformational leader is a person, brand, organisation or nation. “I argue that the same blueprint applies to all. A further challenge occurs when trying to widen the net in order to galvanise several streams of leadership and innovation to achieve collective singularity.”

INCEIF students who missed Dr Wilson’s talk on `Brand Islam’ also had the opportunity to listen to it when a session was specially held on campus for them on the third day.

INCEIF series of talk, which featuring luminaries and experts from a varied background, hopes to create a platform for sharing of ideas and experience among scholars and practitioners on current issues pertaining to the development of Islamic finance. 


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