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For the good of society – 18 leadership lessons from organised crime

Preface

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

 

(2) Customer Service 

What this means to the Shadow Industry

The Shadow Industry operates with relative impunity around the world and like many organisations is heavily reliant on repeat business, relationship management and the quality and efficiency of their supply chain. Being able to manage and control these tangibles effectively means that they have to interact and collaborate with both business partners and end users alike up and down the chain.

Here unhappy customers sometimes not only ‘vote with their feet’ but they can turn murderously violent. Imagine the reaction of the Mexican Narco syndicate and their customers when they found that their Cocaine had been cut at source in South America with Levamisole, a veterinary deworming drug which in 2011 was responsible for rotting people’s flesh… Not only was this extraordinarily bad for their business but it also caused significant damage to the syndicates reputation and initiated a turf war when rival syndicates sensed an opportunity to grab customers and territory. As we see in the real world a happy customer is a repeat customer and an unhappy customer, well… sometimes they can really hate you.

Today syndicates, particularly those dealing with consumers go out of their way to ensure customer satisfaction and as the capabilities of the regional security agencies to intercept and decrypt digital communications increases over time we continue to see syndicates increasingly relying on face to face interactions. There are no call centers packed with customer service clerks here, this is real person to person contact and while this might seem unnecessarily resource intensive it brings with it a variety of tangible benefits. Satisfaction rates remain high, problems are discovered, escalated instantly and resolved swiftly but more than that the local Street Crews are able to use these interactions to form intimate, empathetic relationships with their customers and neighborhoods and witness the conditions on the ground for themselves, all of which can then be fed back into the syndicate to improve their services, discover new market opportunities and uncover competitive threats. The upside of course to all of this is that now customers remain more loyal and violence is commonly a last, not first resort.

 

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What this means to Normalized Industries

Customer Satisfaction – or to give it its true friendly organisational acronym ‘CSAT’ is a KPI that organisations use to measure customer loyalty and is an important indicator in helping organisations provide accurate future projections to the Street. All too often though it’s degraded to nothing more than a simple ranking questionnaire that organisations and departments pay little attention to and which eventually gets filed and perhaps this goes someway to explain why many of today’s customers feel neglected and why so many companies miss their financial projections.

Customers are the foundation of your business, with them on board you have a chance of being successful and without them you’re history and it’s often said that it’s ten times harder to win a new customer than it is to service an existing one so with figures like this it’s a mystery why many senior executives within companies don’t listen more intently to their customers frustrations. That said however there is one group of individuals who listen to their customers frustrations on a daily basis and those are the people at the front line – the account managers, the customer service clerks, the technical architects and project managers to name but a few and this laudable situation is often made worse by the fact that not only are these same executives not listening to their customers feedback but they’re also not listening to their own employees feedback. The net result of this is not only dissatisfied customers but also dissatisfied employees and whichever way you try to spin it there’s no way that you can say that that’s a Win Win.

There are many reasons why the individual officers of an organisation can’t resolve the issues and overall it has to be said that despite outward appearances many of them want to help but the fact is that they just simply don’t have either the power or the remit to instigate the necessary changes because the larger the organisation the more vertically integrated and process bound it typically becomes. This said though there some problems, such as a customer’s frustration about recurring changes of account management that can be resolved simply by regional managers so why is it then that even these simpler problems go unresolved?

Any researcher or analyst looking at this set of circumstances logically would have to say that neither the board, nor the middle management teams genuinely care about these complaints because if they did they would work to resolve them, no matter what barriers they faced.

Takeaway

Keeping customers satisfied is one of the easiest ways to not only guarantee repeat business but grow net new business as well but your organisation needs to engage customers in meaningful, empathetic dialogue and resolve their problems quickly and efficiently.

The key takeaways are:

  • Make Customer Satisfaction everyone’s responsibility and remunerate accordingly
  • Put systems in place that help managers resolve issues quickly at a local level
  • Schedule regular meetings with your customers to understand their issues
  • Ask satisfied customers to sponsor you into new accounts
About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, CNBC, Discovery, RT, and Viacom, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.