The Art of Moving the Needle
My desire to make a significant and distinct contribution to my society and to humanity is what drives me. Such contribution is often called “impact” and always requires “leadership.” My goal has been to drive “fundamental change” that is systemic and long-term, and to do so on multiple issues that I care about over an extended period of time. This ambition required me to build lasting institutions and to develop a replicable approach in order to repeatedly and systematically move the needle.
All of my initiatives were designed to have a big impact, and I have always tried to scale them. In this mold, the Reut Institute was designed to be a platform for creating and effectuating multiple policy efforts across a broad range of issues. For example, TOM was birthed by Reut to solve a challenge we encountered in Israel (see ISRAEL 15 Vision and 21st Century Tikkun Olam), but also to be a global humanitarian project for both developing and developed nations.
Reut: Substantive Impact
Reut has been my platform for creating and effectuating breakthrough ideas about the prosperity and wellbeing of Israel and the Jewish People. I wanted to be a shaper of future reality, and not a ‘commentator’ on the present. This required acquiring and developing a signature methodical approach, which was instilled in every member of our team and guided every effort of our organization.
The Reut Approach has two stages:
- In the first stage, we identify and diagnose a strategic challenge, envision a desired future and develop an approach for effectuating it. We call the coherent articulation of such diagnosis, vision and approach a Conceptual Framework. Since its inception, Reut has launched nearly twenty conceptual frameworks.
- In the second stage, Reut works to effectuate its vision. We either operate as ‘catalysts’ to lead on entire ecosystems through an “ecosystem approach” or we pilot a key element of our vision. For example, on Israel-World Jewry relations Reut operates as a catalyst, while TOM emerged from a pilot of our vision of 21st Century Tikkun Olam.
As mentioned, two teachers inspired my work: Dr. Zvi Lanir is my strategy guru. He taught our team and me to identify strategic challenges and opportunities through his Praxis Package. Prof. Ron Heifetz of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government is my leadership guru. His seminal book, Leadership Without Easy Answers about adaptive leadership shaped Reut’s theory of impact.
Altogether, I am very proud of the model that we developed at Reut. It is unique in Israel and around the world.
TOM: Tikkun Olam Makers
TOM is a global humanitarian venture, which was launched by Reut in Israel in July 2014. In launching TOM, we were inspired by two “big ideas:” One is moonshot thinking, which led us to envision helping 250 million people. Since its inception, TOM was designed for scale based on four pillars: a worldwide movement of TOM Communities; a TOM Portfolio of free open source solutions; a web-platform to house all communities and products; and the TOM Playbook that standardizes the work of our entire global movement.
TOM’s approach brings together a number of cutting edge ideas into a cohesive breakthrough strategy that offers a systemic solution to a systemic problem. We crowdsource neglected social challenges, the talent to solve them and the machines to manufacture our solutions, aka “distributed manufacturing.” We support global open innovation of open-source solutions. And we are ‘democratizing’ the ability to launch TOM Communities, join the TOM Movement and contribute to it. The best book to read about the approach of TOM is Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World. It is a tremendous validation to TOM’s approach.
The second source of inspiration for TOM was the famous saying of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks: “The best way to heal a broken society is to build things together.” Hence, we envisioned TOM as a platform for humanitarian diplomacy across national, religious and political lines. We are proud of our having operated across Israeli society, as well as in dozens of countries, including across the Middle East in Bahrain, UAE, Morocco, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.
My even-longer-term goal has been to groom a cadre of leaders, who will assume positions of leadership, influence and authority and make Israel, the Jewish world and humanity better. Their ‘secret sauce’ will be the approach that they learned at Reut or TOM and their formative personal and professional leadership experiences with us.
This vision is also part of TOM. The TOM Leadership Program launches our TOM Fellows into a lifelong journey of contribution to society at the intersection of technology and social challenges. Our approach combines the mind-expanding exposure to the global vision of TOM, critical skills, and formative leadership experience.
Together, we learned extensive theories, methodologies and technical skills and honed our management and leadership capabilities by working on key challenges facing our society. Dozens of Reutniks and TOMiks – graduates of the Reut Institute and TOM – are now scattered in leadership positions across the Israeli and Jewish public sphere.