Have you ever wondered why some countries are modern and prosperous while others remain poor and stagnant? There are obviously many factors to consider; but what is the defining pattern, the tipping point? In other words, what are the ingredients that are present without exception in developed nations, and missing without exception in developing nations?
Is it intelligence?
No. We know God to be just; this means that He distributes intelligence and other innate virtues equally between nations. Another rebuttal to this argument comes courtesy of individual immigrants who hail from stagnant nations only to earn Nobel prizes or other accolades once they are given opportunities in developed nations.
Is it wealth?
No. When we talk about wealth, what do we mean? America’s early settlers were not met with skyscrapers and investment banks when they landed on Plymouth Rock. They found a wilderness, no less intimidating than that still undeveloped or underdeveloped in many of the poorer nations. Generations of Americans built the wealth that is today’s America. Wealth is a consequence of development, not a cause. The only passable argument for pre-existing wealth is the presence of rich natural resources.
But the natural resources argument does not hold water either; it is quickly debunked when you consider Austria, a developed nation with little natural resources besides Salt. In fact, Austria is landlocked and so has a severe natural disadvantage that many other nations take for granted in their pursuit of wealth: access to the sea. On the other hand, Sudan is blessed with the most fertile soil on earth, valuable minerals, a long rich coastline, and many other natural virtues – yet it is relegated to the “third world.”
Is it favorable location and climate?
No. Dubai is flourishing in the least favorable climate imaginable, while Romania struggles in a favorable location and climate.
So what is it?
After much deliberation, I have come to the conclusion that three factors uniquely separate success and failure when it comes to nations. In fact, they apply to any organized entity of human beings including companies and institutions.
The three variables: work ethic, rule of Law, and communication between the parts.
You would be hard pressed to name a single developed nation or entity that lacks a healthy work ethic: industriousness, quality control, high productivity, etc. (Sure, some developed nations may lack certain moral virtues, but not so when it comes to work ethics.) You will find none that are subject to lawlessness or whimsical application of the laws. And you will find that all enjoy effective and efficient communication between their parts.
On the other hand, every “third world” entity suffers from a lackadaisical work ethic, subjective application of the law, and porous, inefficient communication between the various actors it comprises.
Go ahead, apply this litmus test to any country or organization; you will be hard pressed to find exceptions in either direction.
More importantly, use this formula to make strategic amends to your company, organization, or Mosque and see the results for yourself.