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Pt. 7 of 18. Local touch, leadership lessons from organised crime


For the good of society – [inlinetweet prefix=”@mgriffin_uk” tweeter=”@mgriffin_uk” suffix=”null”]18 leadership lessons from organised crime[/inlinetweet]


In Part 1, “Ambition” we set the scene.

According to Interpol, the UN and WTO the organised crime industry is one of the worlds largest with quantifiable revenues of at least $3 Trillion per year and despite trillions of dollars worth of investment to counter act their growth the industry is growing faster than ever leaving a trail of devastation in its wake.

In a world first we reveal how Syndicates, some of whose annual revenues top $200 Billion use influence, resources, technology and vision to build global empires and translate it into a business language that philanthropists can use to build prosperous companies that can help repair some of the societal damage by creating new jobs, simplifying international expansion, building engaged workforces and creating new, selfless collaborative cultures.

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During our investigation we uncovered 18 categories, to read them just click on the link below:

  1. Ambition
  2. Customer Service
  3. Bribery and Corruption
  4. Devolved decision making
  5. External Problem Resolution
  6. Internal Problem Resolution
  7. Local Touch
  8. The Lean Team
  9. Consistency
  10. Loyalty
  11. Perks
  12. Disruptive Innovation
  13. The Flight to Favourable Jurisdictions
  14. React to Real Time Events
  15. Process as the Enemy
  16. Spying on the Competition
  17. Emigres Clusters
  18. Trust, Faith and Openness


(7) Local Touch

What this means to the Shadow Industry

As the world continues its relentless march towards technology utopia the Shadow industry remains stubbornly resistive to technological change in its core business. When we discuss technology within the boundaries of the Shadow Industry two things are true – firstly they are experts at finding new and innovative ways to exploit all manner of bleeding edge technologies, such as Additive Manufacturing to their advantage and secondly they are experts in counter intelligence and hiding their activities in the Dark Web – continually one upping the security agencies in their war to avoid detection.

As a consequence there is a third truth – they know that technology and the digital shadows it leaves behind increasingly have the capacity to expose them and their operations to the regional and national security agencies whose capabilities to find, intercept and decrypt digital communications and information are increasing over time.  The result is an uncomfortable relationship with technology but just as many organisations would see the removal of their organisations technology layer as a disaster the Shadow Industry embraces it. Subsequently a lot of the interactions that take place are face to face and this means that people know – really know, each other, can observe and hear what’s going on and be more intimately involved in their neighborhoods and market places. Overall the removal of this digital layer actually serves to increase the quality of communication, boost social interaction and helps syndicates develop better quality insights into their territory’s buying patterns and future trends.

What this means to legitimate industries

To many organisations the words ‘Local Touch’ are either taken to mean Community Outreach programs or better contextualized regional marketing initiatives. Over the years we’ve seen countless numbers of organisations, for example banks, close their regional branches and replace them with more cost effective digital, web enabled on demand systems and while this strategy has helped those organisations reduce costs it’s been at the expense of one of your organisations most valuable assets – the customer experience.

As customers ourselves we all know how fast unhappy customers vote with their feet so it’s with some irony that in today’s digital world organisations spend billions of dollars creating personalized digital experiences for their customers but forget the last meter – the personal touch. Is it any wonder therefore that the industries with the lowest customer satisfaction scores are banks, social media and utility companies and that the industries with the highest scores include estate agents, restaurants and premium retailers?

The customer experience should be central to your organisations strategy but it very rarely appears on any organisations Annual Report and it’s a shame that as the world gets ever more connected we seem to be getting more and more disconnected from the organisations we deal with and in the future this will likely only get worse as organisations like IBM begin rolling out cognitive computing technologies like ‘Watson’ which will completely automate our customer service experience, replacing a live person with nothing more than a Cognitive Computer system. Imagine the customer experience you’ll have talking to a cognitive machine…


A comprehensive digital strategy is no substitute for the personal touch and organisations should examine how they can blend the two to improve their customer experience.

The key takeaways are:

  • Use technology to compliment your employees real world customer relationships
  • Ensure you maintain a bold physical presence in all of your territories
  • Maximise customer face time by optimising your employee coverage

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