WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Why do iconic brands like Sears, Kodak, and Blockbuster succumb to new rivals like Amazon and Netflix, while criminal organizations from drug cartels to street gangs execute seemingly seamless transformations to reinvent themselves and thrive? As entire lawful industries are disrupted out of existence, how have some organized criminal syndicates endured and grown for nearly a century – despite billions of dollars of law enforcement opposition and ruthless rivals seeking to drive them out of existence?
For-profit, not-for-profit, lawful, and unlawful, all types of organizations must be relentless in highly competitive and constantly evolving environments. But how do criminal enterprises seem to demonstrate so much resiliency? Violence and fraud aside, what can legal businesses and law-abiding leaders learn from observing these “mobsters” and their organizations?
Relentless, a new book from authors Jerold L. Zimmerman, Ph.D., and Daniel P. Forrester combines seventy-five years of Nobel Prize-winning economics research with insights from criminal prosecutors to examine how the Sinaloa Cartel, the American Mafia, the Hells Angels, the Crips, and the Bloods approach everything from employee engagement and growth incentives to corporate culture and talent management.
The authors connect learnings from these longstanding criminal organizations to the “Four Pillars” concept that can help leaders better assign tasks, measure outcomes, reward performance, and cultivate corporate culture. Successful criminal enterprises construct their four pillars to create high-performance teams with a long-term focus, enduring corporate cultures, and strong brands. They attract the “right” people while purging “vampires” – individuals that take more from, rather than contribute to, an organization. Lawful managers cannot merely copy mobsters’ four pillars, but they can follow the underlying economic principles to construct similar relentless organizations.
“In war, the better led, more effectively run team wins, regardless of moral right or wrong. In Relentless, we get a fascinating window into the murky world of organized crime – from the Mafia to drug cartels – and find that the same holds true. As mundane as it sounds, the frightening bosses who orchestrate the wrongdoing that simultaneously terrorizes and mesmerizes us are, in the end, talented leaders and managers. There’s much we can learn from them.”
-General (Ret.) Stanley McChrystal, former commander of the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command.
“This intriguing and thoughtful book illustrates the power of sound economic thinking in understanding organizations. It takes the concepts that help us understand successful business enterprises and shows that the same concepts are at work in successful criminal enterprises. In so doing, it validates the power of the underlying economic concepts while offering a fascinating window into some of the most long-lived criminal organizations.”
-Charles Plosser, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
About the Authors
Jerold L. Zimmerman, Ph.D., is a globally recognized microeconomist and author of seven books and has taught organizational economics, accounting, and finance at the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School for more than forty years. He has consulted with numerous clients, including Fortune 500 companies and management advisory firms, to demonstrate how organizational economics principles can improve a firm’s culture and, eventually, its performance. Zimmerman is also a founding editor of the Journal of Accounting and Economics, one of the most highly referenced peer-reviewed journals in economics, and has served on several public company boards of directors. His fifty published studies and books include textbooks on economics and accounting and a trade book about designing organizations that create value.
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Daniel P. Forrester is the founder of THRUUE, Inc, an expert consultancy that assists leaders in bridging the gap between corporate culture and corporate strategy. He works with CEOs, boards of directors, and C-suite leaders, helping them align around a clear strategy while understanding reputational and cultural risk. Daniel has spent the past twenty-five years successfully building consulting practices in the financial services, telecommunications, health, and public services sectors, utilizing his entrepreneurial approach to strategy. His previous book, Consider: Harnessing the Power of Reflective Thinking in Your Organization, examines how leaders responded to the explosion of data and hyper-connectivity impacting organizations and the role reflection can play in dramatically changing corporate outcomes.