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Image of Benny Gantz in uniform

“Fresh” example of ex-military officer filling leading position in the Israeli business arena

Image of Benny Gantz in uniform
Lt. Gen. (res.) Benny Gantz

Former IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. (res.) Benny Gantz has been appointed company chairman of Fifth Dimension.

In my book Israeli Business Culture, I describe how the militarization of the State of Israel greatly affects civilian business society, as strong ties often exist between military officers and the Israeli business community.

Globes magazine recently published an article stating that: “Former IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. (res.) Benny Gantz has been appointed as chairman of Fifth Dimension, an Israeli big data company working on “deep learning” artificial intelligence.”

Israeli military researchers O. Barak and G. Sheffer call these connections the “security network.” The term refers to present and retired military personnel who eventually integrate into roles in the political and business worlds thanks to knowing the “right” people in the Israeli elite. “Connected” individuals take advantage of this informal, non-hierarchical “old boys’ club” to facilitate each other’s often meteoric rise in various civilian realms.

It is true that having such connections is extremely helpful, especially in a small country like Israel. However, we must not ignore the fact that these smart and successful former officers bring their many years of vast military experience and “managerial” knowledge into the business world. As a result, many of the IDF’s norms and values have become part of the civilian business sphere:

  • Courage in confrontational situations (battle or business).
  • Ability to improvise (in the army we learn that every plan is subject to change at any moment).
  • Trust in one’s superior (commander or manager).
  • Ability to assume responsibility.
  • Teamwork: “One for all and all for one.”

If people from different cultures wish to share similar examples from other countries around the globe, I would be happy to receive them…

Anyone interested in better understanding Israeli business culture, its roots and characteristics, is invited to purchase the book Israeli Business Culture on Amazon.

This practical book combines background information with real-life anecdotes and recommendations for good cross-cultural communication.

Read more about the author of the book and the blog, Osnat Lautman, and the services offered by the company OLM Consulting, at the website

OLM Consulting Founder

Osnat Lautman is a well-known intercultural expert and the author of the Amazon bestselling book ‘Israeli Business Culture’. Osnat is passionate about cultures, connecting humans and breaking through culture barriers. She created the ISRAELI™ model of Israeli business characteristics (Informal, Straightforward, Risk-Taking, Ambitious, Entrepreneurial, Loud, Improvisational) to reveal the foundations of the Israeli innovative culture. Osnat supports many organizations and individuals to effectively connect and engage with Israelis, avoid misunderstanding and maximize the value of combining the innovative Israeli spirit into a multi culture environment.

Osnat is the founder of OLM Consulting and her customer include the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel, The Jewish Agency, Verint, NYU Tel Aviv, the British Embassy, the Swedish Embassy, the Belgium Embassy, FIDF, Israel Defense Ministry delegation in New York, JCC Association, National Bank of Australia, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 888 Holdings, Corning, SkyVision, ObserveIT, MX1, Israel Export Institute, StartApp, Tel Aviv Municipality, and many others.

Osnat lived in Hoboken, New Jersey, from 2009 to 2013. During this time, she started her extensive research on the differences between Israeli and non-Israeli business cultures, including video interviews with businesspeople from numerous origins. The recorded discussions are incorporated into her lectures and workshops for demonstration purposes.

Osnat holds:
M.A in Social Science and Communications, Bar Ilan University, Israel
Certificate in Organizational Development, New York University, New York
Coach License from Co-Active Training Institute, Israel

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