"He who can improve others’ lives is lucky."
Did you ever meet a small-hold farmer?
If so, you surely understand that the current situation where their income is often less than 1.9 $/day is unsustainable, unwanted, not human, and must be immediately changed.
There are over 550 million smallholders living in poverty. Shifting so many people from poverty to prosperity is not a small task but a Biblical Exodus-type mission.
For the poor small-hold farmers, we don’t need “faster horses” or a bit higher income; we need to revolutionize the approaches, concepts, and sets of solutions to smallholders’ poverty.
We can’t wait another 15 years and invest $60B, like the AGRA program, only to find that nothing has changed.
We need scalable working solutions with visible dramatic changes, i.e., an income increase of hundreds of percent within months or a few years.
New skeptical readers may be thinking, “This is impossible,” while those who have followed me for a while know that it is doable with a properly designed AND executed plan.
Such innovative plans and solutions emerge from viewing a problem differently than the experts’ current approach.
That brings us to discuss the importance of perspective, angle, and point of view.
As we will see, people/industries/nations rarely solve their most critical problems by themselves.
Can you imagine the oil industry providing a solution to the global warming problem!?
Not in a million years. The global warming problem will be solved, but it will be by an "outsider" to the oil industry.
In the previous post, we discussed the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and shed light on the event from three points of view;
Israelites - the enslaved people.
God - the leader and Moses’s mentor, and
Moses - God’s messenger and operation manager.
Note the scope and angle/s each party views the situation -
* The slaves – care only for themselves. Like babies, they are aware and care only about their suffering (feelings).
* Moses – cares about his problems and, after seeing the enslaved people, also about their suffering.
* God – cares about a mission he must complete, for he promised Jacob “the promised land.”
Interestingly, it is lengthily described how well God understood inside out the thoughts and feelings of the enslaved people (i.e., saw and heard their sufferings), knew the heart and intentions of Pharaoh, and was aware of Moses’s inhibitions, fears, and “weak points.”
It seems that God accepts that this is the situation. Yet, he must create a plan to accommodate all parties' limitations, short sight, and resistance and immediately bring about the desired results – returning the Israelites to the Promised Land.
Conclusion: having a multi-perspective (macro, micro, and from several angles) is a superpower and an enabler to successfully executing grand changes, which today we call Grand Challenges. Solving farmers’ poverty is UN SDG #1 Grand Challenge.
Nowadays, many find refuge in complaining that solving farmers’ poverty is impossible because the leadership is _______, and the farmers are _______.
It is a fact that finding excuses for why not to do something is easier than doing it, mainly when the "it" is a Grand Challenge, transferring poor farmers to prosperity.
Instead of waiting for the situation to change so we can help, I suggest following God’s example in the Exodus story, “accepts that this is the situation…, and yet immediately bring about the desired results…”
The pre-requirement for quickly delivering a dramatic change is to have a multi-perspective. This explains why breakthroughs often originate from visionary people with little experience but different macro and micro perspectives on the entire issue. We call such people - entrepreneurs.
Think of recent social and business game-changer and entrepreneurs (e.g., Gandhi, Mandela, Martin L. King, J.F. Kennedy, Ford, Jobs, and Bezos); they all had a vision with the ability to view reality from many points of view and hence anticipating the feelings and thoughts of the parties involved, the expected challenges and solutions.
Many students and entrepreneurs from different countries contacted me after the IBMA 2023 conference, asking for advice and help in solving a problem they face, typically a technical or financial one.
Here is my advice to you;
In your life, you will face many challenges. To solve or overcome those, you will need different tools.
The greatest life asset you will ever have is gaining multiple viewpoints - macro, micro, and from as many angles as possible.
You achieve those assets by reading books, exchanging ideas, teamwork, using advisors, and, mostly, self-experiencing.
BE A STUDENT FOR LIFE
We understand the importance of having multi-perspective/points of view and broad experience in diverse fields if we want to lead a game-changing change.
But how does one get those?
If you are lucky, like I was, then you are born into a society that (for other reasons) encourages you to experience many types of professions.
Growing up on the Kibbutz, from elementary school, we worked twice a week, after school, in one of the many Kibbutz branches, e.g., agriculture (orchards, poultry, cows, and open crop fields), industry, education, food/kitchen/dining room, etc. This provided me with a broad understanding of many fields.
I highly recommend everyone experiment and participate in as many activities as possible. No age is too old for gaining new experiences, and the twenties and thirties are most suitable.
My children didn't grow up on a Kibbutz, so I encourage them to search for and practice various jobs.
A wide range of experience is essential, but you should also foster particular professional expertise.
Working many years in a particular field doesn't turn you automatically into an expert, but it is the extra effort that you must invest.
As for myself, I see several distinctive periods where I purchased professional expertise that helped me afterward.
Agriculture – practicing professional agriculture and gaining experience before and after my army service remained the anchor of my life activity and interest. Everything that came later revolved around it.
Army – study and practice the art of strategic and tactical planning while learning about my physical, mental, and emotional abilities and limits. Though I had to learn those to practice my primary job as a soldier, they remained with me in everything I did since then.
Academy – provided me with formal knowledge and real expertise in some agro-related fields and gave me systematic tools to research and develop in any area I wish. I learned to ask questions and search for solutions and answers using tools, information, and knowledge, which I had to find or develop.
Entrepreneurship, industry, and commerce – this period, which continues to this day, enables me to bring the change I have been dreaming about, as a farmer, to many other farmers, ultimately making the world a better place.
While it happened, I didn’t see how the things life made me practice and experience would serve and be helpful in the long run; it is looking back that I see that without those, I couldn’t achieve my goals and serve my purpose.
LEADERSHIP WITH EMPATHY
In the Exodus story, thanks to his infinite wisdom and seeing the secrets of the heart, God understands the type of change needed for those who didn't want to change (the enslaved people). God then performed the Exodus (i.e., change) with the help of Moses, who was not excited to help, and Pharaoh, who resisted any change.
The Exodus mission was completed thanks to the leader's multi-layer depth of understanding of the problem and the involved parties (i.e., the enslaved people, Moses, and Pharaoh) feelings and motivations, which through correct maneuvering, resulted in the desired outcome.
Exodus was possible thanks to understanding all stakeholders and the involved parties.
Today, over 3,000 years later, our mission is to release millions of farmers, not from slavery but from poverty (UN SDG #1), and set them free to economic prosperity.
Like then, it is now; the change will happen thanks to progressive leadership, while technology supports the change (not causing it).
Leadership having various perspectives, points of view, and an ability to zoom in and out on cases, was and is a critical ingredient to leaders wishing to create impactful changes.
Therefore, leaders must adopt a multi-discipline and multi-layer approach to solve poverty and other global challenges.
However, even the most outstanding leader, God, asked Moses to help return the enslaved Israelites to freedom in the Promised Land. A fortiori, flesh and blood leaders should use the help of others to transform farmers from poverty to prosperity.
Suppose you are a leader or decision-maker with good intentions and high execution capabilities. In that case, it is time to build your dream team to execute your vision and cement your legacy as the one who brought the change.
If you don’t have all the above abilities, ask others to help. After all, success results from teamwork, e.g., (the people/slave, Moses, and God).
Send me a message if your intentions align with shifting farmers from poverty to prosperity as part of a long-term strategic change plan.
The Dream Valley team and I will be glad to assist with planning, designing, and executing a dedicated solution, tailor-made to your demands, according to your limitations, challenges, and vision.
Contact me to transform the agro sector from poverty to prosperity (email@example.com).
Ø FARMERS’ POVERTY is not the problem but a reflection of the leadership’s misunderstanding of the related parties’ thoughts, motivations, and feelings.
Ø POOR FARMERS, like the Exodus slaves, are not the problem but the reason for our activity to change.
Ø A SELF-CONSCIENCE LEADERSHIP using a multi-discipline and multi-layer attitude is the kind that will transform farmers from poverty to prosperity.
* If you enjoyed the column, share it with friends/colleagues and share your insights with me.
*** Mental and Economic Freedom Are Interconnected. ***
See you soon,
Text me: at +972-54-2523425 (WhatsApp), or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you missed it, here is a link to last week's blog, "How Can The Biblical Exodus Story Help Transform Farmers From Poverty To Prosperity?"
Link to recent columns.
Dream Valley is a field-proven disruptive business model based on the successful Israeli model. Contact me if you view yourself as a potential investor, business partner, or client. Email, +972-542523425 (WhatsApp/Text)
Please look at the video series “The Agricultural Gap." I explain the historical roots of the agricultural gap between African and Western countries with short videos.
I see this video series as "uncompleted," as I am waiting to gain more confidence before completing the chapters with The Solution, as I perceive it.
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Change Begins With A Decision
That The Existing Reality Is A Choice
And Not A Decree of Fate