Drawing on examples from the country’s foremost inventors and investors, foreign policy insiders Dan Senor and Saul Singer describe how the country’s adversity-driven culture, flattened hierarchies, and government policies create a society that uniquely combines both innovative and entrepreneurial intensity. As the authors argue, Israel is not just a country, but a comprehensive state of mind. At the geopolitical level, Senor and Singer dig in deeper to show why Israel’s policies on immigration, R&D, and military service have been key factors in the country’s rise. “No college experience disciplines you to think like [the military does], with high stakes and intense pressure,” one veteran notes, explaining how state service preps Israelis to communicate, to forge teams, and to improvise at work.
At a time when innovation has become the key to driving global economic recovery and growth, the authors show the myriad ways the world’s most dynamic “start-up nation” can inform successes of other countries. But there are lessons in Israel’s example that apply not only to other nations, but also to individuals seeking to build a thriving organization. As this country reboots its can-do spirit, there’s never been a better time to look at a remarkable and resilient nation for some impressive, surprising clues.