"We are born with an internal love and need for order and community life.”
PROSPERITY & ADVERSITIES
Typically, small rural communities suffer more from poverty than (much bigger) urban communities.
Yet, for over 100 years, even before Israel became a state, the Kibbutz and the Moshav, rural small communities ranging from 100 to 1,000 people, prospered.
Furthermore, they prospered though they were, and still are, situated in remote places, often in regions with nearby hostile populations and harsh environments (e.g., along the borders or in the desert).
What began as “against all odds” communities with low survival horizons turned out to be a huge success; nearly 100% of those rural communities survived and flourished throughout most of their existence.
Nearly 100% success for small and young rural communities!?
It is unheard of.
It couldn't be sheer luck; there must be something more fundamental than “good people, hard work, and ingenuity”.
But what was that secret sauce that turns Luck into Success?
The time to learn about an organization's uniqueness is not when all is well but when things go sour.
Adversities constantly challenged the rural communities of Israel, but none can be compared to the October 7th, 2023, genocide in south Israel.
In a single day, 28 civilian communities were attacked, out of which 26 were rural, i.e., Kibbutz and Moshav.
One of the attacked communities is that of Kibbutz Be’eri, whose 115 of its members were murdered or abducted.
The October 7th events made it plain and clear: the rural communities performed better than the urban communities during and after the massacre.
But why did the Israeli rural communities perform better vs. urban ones?
This is counter-intuitive, as small rural communities vs. large urban communities are more fragile and less resistant to adversities in most of the world.
The answer to that question came from the residents of those communities, which pointed to many forms of community-shared values.
Historically, Israeli rural communities were founded in the late 19th century, each based on the shared community values of their members.
A high level of internal order, trust, personal and group commitment, and cooperation characterized those communities; they thrived, prospered, and presented high resilience when faced with adversities.
As suggested above and in the previous column (link at the end), communities based on shared values promoting organizational order, trust, and cooperation presented higher prosperity (i.e., Success) and resilience when faced with adversities.
But how would we know if this phenomenon is the result of a Pattern reflecting on a historical Israeli temporary situation or a reflection of a deep-rooted mechanism that can be explained by a Theoretical Model (Model) or a Universal Natural Law (Law)?
This question and how we answer it may be fateful to the future of impoverished rural communities worldwide.
You see, if the link between “Community shared values” and “Community success” is no more than a local Israeli Pattern, then it can’t help those outside Israel.
But what if we could trace this pattern to its origin and explain it using a Model or a Law? We would hold the key to a global poverty solution in such a case.
Hence, we embark on a journey to find the mechanism, if at all exists, that explains why rural communities based on shared values are more organized, present a higher level of community order and cooperation, and enjoy a high Success level and improved resilience when dark times arrive.
THE BIBLICAL STORIES OF CREATION
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty…” (Bible, Genesis, 1:1-2)
The Bible begins by telling the story of the world's creation, a world in a constant chaotic state but, thanks to God's intervention, gets into order and becomes a place humans can inhabit.
According to the story, the creation of a physical world internally contains the seven-day-a-week order.
The order of seven days is, for a particular reason, to rest, thus reflecting social and equality values, even before the creation of man.
When God finally creates man, the first thing that man does is call names to the creatures he sees. Naming is a way of “creation” through increased order, as Carl Linnaeus did in the 18th century with the "binomial nomenclature" used today to name organisms.
In the Mount Sinai event, God created his nation, the Israelites. The nation is created by making order in the moral world through values manifested in laws, rules, and the Ten Commands. Values create organizations. We will soon return to that critical point.
THE BIBLICAL PATTERN OF CREATION
When we look at the above acts of Biblical creations, regardless of whether it is God or Man, the following three steps pattern emerges:
(1) Pre-X is in Chaos (i.e., disorder/disintegration)
(2) Pre-X is actively put into Order
(3) X is Created
Note that X could be dead, alive, or imagined concepts such as time or organizations, practically anything.
Physical matters – The pre-world is in Chaos; God put an order in it and thus "created the heavens and the earth.”
Time – After God created the heavens and the earth, there was Space, but Time was in Chaos. By dividing seven cycles of day and night into a week, God created the concept of Time.
Ownership – God formed the animals, but their creation is completed after Man puts order by naming them.
Organizations – God creates his nation by providing values that make order in the moral world.
According to the Bible, creation results from increasing order.
Keep this in mind if you are a teacher, entrepreneur, leader, etc., helping to increase order.
We saw what the Bible said about creation. Now, let’s see how science views it.
From the early 19th century to the early 20th century, physicists developed and articulated the Second Law of Thermodynamics, a universal natural law.
This law is particularly interesting since it tells us that Chaos is the “normal” state of the world where everything strives to be in Chaos, i.e., its lowest possible energetic state.
For example, a cup will fall off a table and break into many pieces but never go the other way around.
To make or fix a cup, we must go through the three creation steps, i.e., Chaos, Order (actions), and Creation.
The second law of thermodynamics explains well the critical importance of Order in anything we wish to create.
Like the Bible, the Second Law of Thermodynamics agrees that Creation results from increased Order.
If so, what is the place of Order in the Success of the human race and that of some organizations over others?
Prof. Yuval Noah Harari, the renowned expert in human evolution, explains the Homo sapiens overwhelming Success over its rival -
“What really made us successful, what made us the rulers of the planet, and not Chimps and not the Neanderthals, is not any individual ability, but our collective ability; our ability to cooperate flexibly in very large numbers… And this is our secret of Success." (source)
Prof. Harari directly connects human Success with the ability to cooperate in large groups flexibly.
If Success and Cooperation are indeed interlinked, we must ask what enables Cooperation in large groups and why Cooperation at all, and more so in large groups, is needed.
Dr. Ichak Adizes, an expert in human organization management, bridges the gap between the second law of thermodynamics, human evolution studies, and human social behavior with the Law of Success -
Success = Organization's External Integration / Internal Disintegration.
Adizes directly connects Success with Integration.
It is time to realize that Order is a precursor of Cooperation and both precursors of Integration. It means that Adizes connects Success with Order.
Furthermore, the essence of Order, Cooperation, and Integration manifests a human concept that creation requires individuals to be part of a group willingly and in harmony.
We see four stories agreeing that Creation (Success) results from increased Order – the Biblical story, the second law of thermodynamics, the human evolution story, and human organizations’ story.
Those stories share the same cornerstones, interlinking Creation and Success with Order, Cooperation, and Integration to improve a current (undesired) state.
Beginning (current state): Chaos / Disintegration
Action: Order => Cooperation => Integration
Result (reaching the goal): Creation / Success
Intuitively, we understand the need for Cooperation and Integration in an Orderly manner to reach desired results.
Those properties are imperative for human achievement; without those, we can't imagine human Success in manufacturing a car or a computer, developing medicines, or reaching the moon.
Similarly, can you imagine overcoming poverty, hunger, global warming, wars, and other global challenges without Order, Cooperation, and Integration of many people who willingly advance those issues together?
But wait, if everybody says they support fighting poverty and global warming, then why are things not advancing as fast as they could and should?
Here, we get to a critical issue called – free will.
For best results, Order, Cooperation, and Integration must be achieved based on free will, on the willingness of people to become part of such setup, out of consent.
In dictatorship regimes, it is common to impose on people to do things against their will, based solely on orders and laws. As we know, the results in such cases are less than perfect.
Take Korea for an example; once one nation, now two countries, one promotes free will, and the other doesn't.
In North Korea, people living under strict Order participate in large-scale Cooperation and Integration schemes – it is done Orderly, by law and force, but without the people's willingness.
Meanwhile, in South Korea, Order is somewhat less. Still, people willingly Cooperate and Integrate, thus making South Korea home to some of the largest global corporations and building a leading competitive and diversified global economy.
Doing things in Cooperation and Integration, in an Orderly manner in large groups, out of a free will, is critical to creating complex human societies, e.g., countries, corporations, and prosperous rural communities.
But wait, free will doesn’t stop at the rural community level; it goes down to the smallest particles: atoms and molecules.
There are some atoms called "noble elements”, e.g., Helium (HE) and Neon (NE), that wouldn’t bind to other atoms, not even their kind. Hence, they will never be part of any complex molecule.
In contrast, atoms like Carbon (C) willingly Cooperate and Integrate with other atoms and molecules by exchanging electrons with other atoms.
Hence, Carbon atoms immerse themselves into complex molecules like the ones building plants, our bodies, and diamonds.
But how do atoms “bind” with one another and create strong, complex structures if their vast majority of volume is empty Space and their particles (electrons, protons, neutrons, etc.) occupy a tiny part?
Surprisingly, what holds the firm structure of a tree, our body, and a diamond is not physical contact between atoms and molecules but forces we can’t see, such as the "strong nuclear force" ("strong force") and the “weak force”.
Those powerful forces act like gravity but for a short distance, enough to hold and bind an atom with others and eventually construct immense structures.
Ultimately, what we can’t see is responsible for the beautiful and complex structure we see, touch, and feel (i.e., the wind).
Now, let’s replace an atom with a person and a molecule with a community or an organization and ask - if gravitational forces hold the molecule, what forces hold human organizations and communities?
In the Biblical story of Exodus, the enslaved Israelites escaped Egypt as weak and poor people.
Then, at Mount Sinai, God provided the Israelites with a long list of rules, laws, and the famous Ten Commandments, all of which represent the values that, from this point on, will bond God and the Israelites.
The bond between God and his people is willingly confirmed and sealed when each party states its will to be part of it and do what it takes.
Values delivered by spoken words turn a collection of enslaved people into a nation that can effectively coordinate meaningful, organized actions, such as getting back to the Promised Land.
Following the Mount Sinai event, the Israelites reorganized and became a nation only based on and thanks to agreed values. Some of those values serve today as agreed global values.
Values are not a long list of commitments on the office wall. Values are about what makes you who you are, makes you do things in one way and not another, and maybe even dedicates or sacrifices your life for a cause greater than yourself.
This is the chain of events in a community (or any organization) when initiated by Values:
=> A community formed based on agreed shared values
=> Laws and rules agreed and practiced
=> Order is practiced and increased
=> Cooperation and Integration are increased
=> Prosperity and resilience to adversities are increased.
We can’t see or touch Values or Gravity, though those forces hold all physical and organizational structures around us.
As we had to understand the fundamentals of physics at the atomic level to reach the moon, we now must understand the fundamentals of society and organizations to eradicate poverty and replace it with prosperity and resilience.
Consider those names that shaped and improved the 20th century: Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., and J.F. Kennedy. Those people excelled in delivering Values.
Community and organizations with agreed-shared values initiate a chain reaction that eventually leads to their members' and communities' prosperity and resilience when practiced well.
We can’t see or measure values, but we can see and measure community or organization laws and rules and those communities’ Success.
If you ever lived on a Kibbutz or Moshav, you would know that each rural community has members' meetings, where they agree on community internal regulations.
This ongoing routine of agreeing on new regulations is driven by and related to the community's shared values.
Hence, Order, Organization, and Cooperation in a Kibbutz and Moshav are highly developed, more than most rural communities worldwide. This leads to their higher-than-normal community prosperity and resilience.
UNIVERSAL NATURAL LAW
We began this column by asking if the Israeli link between “(agreed) community shared Values” and “community Success” reflects a local Pattern or is the result of a more fundamental cause, one we can explain and predict accurately with a Model or a Universal Natural Law.
Let us note that Patterns are unreliable for predicting futures and results.
The answer seemed to present itself wherever we looked: the Bible, the second law of thermodynamics, human evolution studies by Prof. Harari, and Adizes’s organization Law of Success; those pointed out that the phenomenon studied was not a result of a pattern but is related and stem from a Universal Natural Law, the second law of thermodynamics.
Nothing is more predictable than actions based on universal natural laws.
Pre-agreed shared values contribute to and support community success.
It is a fact communities based on agreed shared values are more successful. Period. It is not a unique Israeli thing but a universal phenomenon.
It means that we can copy-paste the principles of the Kibbutz and Moshav and expect similar Success in places outside Israel.
Yes, agreed community shared values contribute to and support community success.
It is not a unique Israeli thing but a universal phenomenon.
It means that we can copy-paste the principles of the Kibbutz and Moshav and expect similar Success in places outside Israel.
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Ø VALUES HOLD TOGETHER organizations at any size and stronger than anything else.
Ø AGREED SHARED VALUES fuel successful organizations.
Ø VALUES ARE MANIFESTED in rules, laws, and regulations, and when those cause the community to increase its internal Order, Cooperation, and Integration, the community will prosper.
More on the October 7th genocide in South Israel:
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