The Golden Circle explained with the transformation of Israel
Von Bruno Benedetti, November 29, 2022
I had the chance to visit Israel on a study tour in spring 2022. We got the possibility to learn about the reasons of Israel’s success as a start-up nation looking at the following three main aspects: business, technology and culture.
Let me start with what is meant by the Golden Circle. It is a leadership concept for inspiring leaders by Simon Sinek. To get the logic of it in a few minutes, I strongly advise watching the following YouTube video:
Alternatively, I herewith shortly describe the concept.
The concept is illustrated by three circles where the inner circle is the “Why”, the middle circle the “How” and the outer circle the “What”. Sinek is saying that the most meaningful way of tackling a given problem or challenge is to start with the inner circle, the “Why” and moving outwards.
Herewith a short description of what is meant by the three circles.
This is the purpose, cause and believe of doing something and try to answer the question of why something is important.
This stands for the process and the values of how a goal can be achieved.
This represents the product and the result and tries to answer the question of what is needed to achieve the goal.
In Simon Sinek’s YouTube video, he explains examples how to market products and services with the help of the Golden Circle concept. He refers to inside-out communication in sales, communication and branding, meaning to say from the “Why” to the “How” to the “What”. The beauty of the concept is that it is very simple, easy to understand and useful in many different areas. I personally believe that the Golden Circle concept is especially strong to support change and transformation management. This is now the point of where I like to make the relation to the transformation of the state of Israel.
To start, we need to turn the wheel back to when the State of Israel was declared in 1948 post 2nd World War. What Israel got is basically desert land and lots of hostile countries around them. Meaning to say, there was a need to defend their state as Egypt, Saudi-Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria declared war the very same day when the State of Israel was declared. This was the start of the first Independence War of Israel. The second challenge was to build up an economy starting from desert land.
The Haganah was the Jewish paramilitary organization of the Jewish population prior 1948. Then it became the core of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in 1948. It was the start of an amazing transformation. Everybody was very clear, it was crucial to defend the state. This is what I would consider the “Why”. The state invested a lot into building a strong IDF and in parallel developed the army into the backbone of the economy. Lots of young men were motivated to join the IDF, not only to defend their own country, but also to get great education in leadership and technology. This is what I would consider the “How”. Then, what I would consider the “What” is to foster and incentivize an entrepreneurial ecosystem, which profits from the excellent military education. Most of the CEOs from the start-up companies we visited, mentioned how important the pool of talents from the military is for the country and business, hence the military service is seen as the basis for Israel being by far the number one start-up nation per capita.
To wrap it up and conclude, below is how the Golden Circle can be seen in Israel’s history:
Everybody understood that a strong defense force was crucial having hostile countries around.
The strong defense force was used as the means to defend to country, but also to offer great leadership and technology education.
The state has been incentivizing an entrepreneurial ecosystem which profits from the excellent military education.