Gangster Management 2.0

A week ago I wrote the Gangsters Guide to Business, in it I discussed the pros and cons of a traditional hierarchical business model with an almighty CEO at the top (the Godfather). This is the follow up.

Imagine that Michael Corleone is alive and kicking today, he is sitting at his impressive mahogany desk gazing out the window contemplating the state of his empire. In a moment of rare clarity he realises that he has created a hierarchical organisation with two fundamental problems:Godfather1 highcontrast Gangster Management 2.0

1. One way flow of information – The intimidating nature of authority combined with numerous layers of management mean that the men at the bottom are kept separate from the “made men” at the top. Therefore information about what’s happening on the street can rarely be relied on.

2. Suppressed innovation – In any hierarchical organisation (such as the mob) employees are assigned a place within that hierarchy, the effect of this is that new ideas are often given weight based on the rank of the person with the idea rather than the inherent merit of idea itself.

Social Media Solutions


Imagine that Michael and all his cronies are into twitter in a big way (using private status updates for obvious reasons), asides from enabling the bottom of the hierarchy to DM and@reply Michael, it also enables Michael to use a few simple tricks effectively follow thousands of his men to gain greater insight into what they’re doing.Godfather Tweetdeck Gangster Management 2.0

  1. The Cloud button – shows the most commonly used words by Michael’s following.
  2. Filter for links – using the filter button type http:// to show all the links that have been tweeted
  3. Filter for RT’s – using the filter button type @ RT to show all retweets
  4. Filter for Hash tags - using the filter button type # followed by a relevant topic
  5. Groups – create groups followers for each section of the family Made Men, Captains & Dealers.

For more info on Tweetdeck tricks check out @JesseNewhart‘s screencast, if you’re new to the terms used above click here for an explanation.

Internal Blogs

An internal blog, is generally accessed through the corporation’s Intranet. Internal blogs have had a reasonable amount written about them, they can take many forms. From a broadcast from the top level execs to a communal blogging effort which allows anyone to post.

CEO blogs are often used in the public arena but can also be used internally to help sell ideas and lead change. Jonathan Schwartz CEO of Sun Mircosystems (now owned by Oracle) writes Jonathan’s Blog which one of the top ranked CEO blogs (according to@mariosundar). In it he shares news about products as well as his own inspiration and personal opinion.

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IBM is a great example of a huge corporation which uses an communal blog to interact it’s employees.

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Both internal CEO blogs and communal blogs would provide a leader such as Michael with;

  1. A repository for news that affects the ‘family’
  2. A platform to promote ideas and motivate his men
  3. A sounding board to refine new initiatives
  4. A catalyst for discussion and interaction


Imagine if  on the Mafia’s internal blog a feedback button like the one on the side of this page was used to collect ideas from all levels of the Corleone empire. The anonymity of submitting an idea would cut out the hierarchical politics and let the idea stand on it’s own merit. Michael could assess an idea based on how many votes it had received from his men, and then further investigate it’s viability.

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The ultimate aim of using a an internal feedback forum is to allow the best ideas to rise to the top. Regardless of the quality of ideas posted the use of such an internal forum exposes Michael (and his lieutenants) to thinking from all levels of the organisation and dismantles that boundaries separating top level management and his foot soldiers.

So what’s the end result?

With Web 2.0 the idea of involving the customers in the production of a good or service has gained strong momentum as some of the movers and shakers in the web world acknowledging the fact that their consumers know what they want better than anyone therefore should be involved in the creation process. With Government 2.0 the idea everyday people submitting their policy ideas has been seen as a natural progression in the growth of democracy. Similarly, empowering employees to directly influence the running of the organistaion to which they dedicate the majority of their days is an obvious way forward for management. Some of the benefits of Management 2.0 are:

Who could say no to all those benefits.

If you have any thoughts regardeding Management 2.0 or using social meida internally please don’t be shy.

 Gangster Management 2.0

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4 Responses to “Gangster Management 2.0”

  1. Lyndon Lawrence
    August 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm #


  2. Lyndon Lawrence
    August 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm #


  3. Lyndon Lawrence
    August 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm #


  4. Lyndon Lawrence
    August 23, 2009 at 9:55 pm #