I have been thinking about the regions Arc Solutions serves and how complex their problems can be. It can be overwhelming to consider the many facets that contribute to the crisis that face a nation in conflict. It often leaves me with more questions than answers as I hope to see nations flourish the way God intended. I have so much hope for the people that make these countries their home. I believe in them and I believe there are solutions. Recently, I was reminded of one of my favorite books that left me inspired to go and change the world.
The book Start Up Nation, written by Dan Senor and Saul Singer is a powerful story of the entrepreneurial culture of Israel and how their way of thinking has created prosperity and success in the midst of political unrest, transition and uncertainty. It addresses the question; “How is it that Israel—a country of 7.1 million people, only sixty years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources—produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada, and the United Kingdom?” It filled me with excitement and hope; if one country can thrive and experience success in the midst of conflict, why not other nations in conflict? Start Up Nation gives the testimony of a nation who finds success when the circumstances are seemingly desperate and bleak. Below are some of Israel’s keys to success. Those with the most hope always win!
Top Ten List of Israel’s victories
1. Consistently questioning everything, being okay with disagreement in order to improve.
The author noted that leaders in both the military and business sector want to know who disagrees and values an increased awareness of varying opinion and beliefs in order to consistently improve. Within the start up tech industry, fights within companies are about outsmarting the competition not self-preservation.
2. Empowering leadership.
Evident in their military, they empower junior officers to make life or death situations on the ground resulting in improved decision making on the ground, both improvisational and invaluable. There is an assertiveness, ambition, confidence and empowered critical thinking verses insubordination and arrogance.
3. Go for it culture
When they get an idea, they pursue it. If they have an idea for a business, they start it that week or if an Israeli man wants to ask a woman on a date he does it right then.
4. Ability to grow from failure
Defensiveness is not tolerated and a spirit of learning from your mistakes is vital. Reflected in their military; “Most militaries are willing to sacrifice flexibility for discipline and initiative for organization as well as innovation for predictability.” Israeli military value taking risks and celebrate failure as a learning experience. There is no social sigma for failure in the culture but it is constructively assessed and brought back into the system.
Israelis walk on the edge of chaos in order to have adaption, creativity, and complexity. The author gives insight into a new idea using Eucalyptus tress. Eucalyptus trees were innovatively used to drain swaps dry in order to mitigate Malaria in the region.
6. Experts in their field
They value excellence in everything they do. They learned quickly from being immigrants that if they wanted to succeed they had to do things with excellence in order to compete.
Israelis are assertive and confident. They have an attitude of persistence and they say yes during even the most extreme war situations. Chuptzpah is“ gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, incredible guts, presumption plus arrogance such as no other word an no other language can do justice to.”
Patriotism among Israelis is strong and people take ownership of what they build. In the technology industry, it separates those that take pride and ownership in their work from the ones who just want to make money. There is quite a contrast in the innovative culture of the Israeli way of thinking to the Arab beliefs such as views of women, the value of education, oil and political liberties. Furthermore, oil wealth and the reliance other countries have on it has cemented aristocratic governments way of politics.
9. Deep bonds and life-long friendship
Since most Israelis serve in the military, they form life long bonds that propel them into all future endeavors. Also, the quality of relationships they develop are strong and all things in the culture come from the place of community
10. All are welcome
The government values their immigrants and thus trains them in language and culture while they support them financially. In addition, Israelis are not afraid to work with cultures not their own. They have typically by the end of their twenties, travelled and are cultured in the ways of other countries. Most Israelis have visited over a dozen countries before age 35. They value those not like themselves. They value cultural diversity.
-Kelly Keith, Arc Solutions Projects Intern