How to suc­ceed in busi­ness

Is­rael’s econ­omy is boom­ing, thanks to its en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit. That’s some­thing you can’t teach. Or can you?

The Jewish Chronicle - - Features -

to change the world, of do­ing some­thing that no one has done be­fore. These are the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the Is­raeli en­tre­pre­neur. They don’t set out to make money, although they like the money. What they want to do is to change the world. They start com­pany af­ter com­pany.

“It helps that we are a non-hi­er­ar­chi­cal so­ci­ety. There is less dis­tance be­tween peo­ple in Is­rael. You­canap­proachthe­ceo of a com­pany who might be your mate from the army. You would talk to him on a first-name ba­sis and­shoutwith­himif you didn’t agree with him.”

Whether it is the stu­dents, the in­sti­tu­tion it­self or per­haps the Is­raeli air, clearly the at­mos­phere is one which en­cour­age­sachieve­ment. The Tech­nion can boast three No­bel prizes, the lat­est of which was won by chemist Daniel Shecht­man in 2011. And at the end of last year, Lavie dis­cov­ered that the univer­sity had beaten 40 oth­ers in a com­pe­ti­tion to build a high-tech re­search in­sti­tute in New York to ri­val Sil­i­con Val­ley.

Not ev­ery­thing is in the gar­den is rosy, how­ever. The Is­raeligov­ern­men­thas­dropped­fund­ing­by30per­cent over the past decade, mean­ing that fac­ulty staff have had to be re­duced by 100. Mean­while, Lavie has needed to keep up a cam­paign over­seas for funds to se­cure de­vel­op­ments. He gives the ex­am­ple of the Churchill au­di­to­rium on cam­pus which is 40 years old and badly in need of ren­o­va­tion. He is hop­ing that, given the name, a Bri­tish donor might be found. “Our friends around the world are very gen­er­ous . For us it is life­sav­ing.”

Lavie has plenty of plans for the fu­ture. Not all of them will suc­ceed, but that is not some­thing that con­cerns him. In fact, he sees fail­ure as a cru­cial com­po­nent of suc­cess. “In Is­rael, you are al­lowed to fail. It is not seen as the end of the world. This is the cli­mate that al­lows peo­ple to take risks and even­tu­ally suc­ceed.”


Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu vis­its the Tech­nion lab­o­ra­to­ries ear­lier this year. “We are a very de­mand­ing school,” says Peretz Lavie ( be­low)

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