About a year ago, I had the pleasure of hearing a presentation by Marc Goodman, a security guru who works with the FBI, CIA and more.  The insights he shared about how organized crime is leveraging technology was truly mind-bending and in some cases, downright scary.

Recently, I stumbled across an article by Mr. Goodman in the Harvard Business Review titled “What Business Can Learn From Organized Crime” (November 2011 issue).  He did an excellent job of analyzing real-world criminal activities and extracting 5 lessons that all businesses can learn from.  His main points were:


  • Create business opportunities by capitalizing on the news
  • Expand your capabilities by outsourcing to specialists
  • Incent your employees by tapping into their needs for recognition, challenge and belonging
  • Consider the benefit of many small transactions instead of the single big hit
  • Partnerships, even with competitors can be beneficial.

It was also interesting to note that criminal enterprises are becoming the ones pushing the frontiers of knowledge and innovation.  Why you ask?  As organized crime has increased its reliance on technology for competitive advantage, they have started to more closely resemble law-abiding businesses.  My take-away, it’s more important than ever to pay attention and be vigilant but also, never stop learning even from sources that you might not typically expect.   

I encourage you to check out the full article to better understand his points and how they could benefit your business.  Next up, I’ll share some tips on protecting your business from information theft.