Out of the box management 2 – Israeli model

I have previously written that part of the strength of Israeli management psyche is  out-of-the -box thinking. It is why Israelis are renowned for bringing through new technologies against the odds into the marketplace.

So what happens when the company is up and running? What happens when Mr Israeli CEO has to start selling? Where does this creative thinking lead him or her?

Here comes the down side of Israeli character. In Hebrew, it is called “magi’a lee”. A rough translation is: “I deserve it”.

What do I mean? For much of the pre state period and for 3 decades afterwards, Israel was run by socialists. The state looked after you. You could rely on the state, because..well, because you deserved it for all those taxes you paid.

On top of which, Israel faces a constant existential threat. Israeli is in danger, “so at least buy our great goods”, we shout to everyone.

In commercial terms, this has a naive and childish parallel. So many new start ups outsource their sales efforts. It is mostly paid for on the basis of “success fee”. The contractor sells the products and services, which deserve to sell well, and the client will pay a large commission. In other words, work for us for several months, fork out all the expenses for that period, and then we can make you rich…maybe.

As I learnt way back at university, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. The so-called success fee provides no commitment to the sales team, which invariably gives up after a while.

The result – everyone is a loser!

And this is one prime reason that for all of Israel’s wonderful tech, so much stays in the country.

As for Israeli management psyche, it becomes a double-edged sword. Great for getting you going, but potentially a mother of company-destroyers. And only when Israeli CEOs resolve this conundrum will the economy’s structure take a major leap forward.

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