The Italian Job

The Italian Job | Saleem Mughal, OrgShakers 05/08/2020


The pandemic lockdown has been a great opportunity to revisit some of my all-time favorite movies, and it was 30-mins into “The Italian Job” that something struck me … these guys are creating THE textbook organization.

In fact, I would challenge you to find any organization that’s better than the one set up by the fictional criminal gang in your favorite heist movie.

Think about it …

  • Talent Management: Leadership assemble the best team from a broad ecosystem of talent.
  • Goal Setting: They know what they’re setting out to achieve. Expectations on both the technical and soft skills to be deployed and the required outcomes are clear. They understand the consequences if they fail to perform as well as the rewards if they do.
  • Decision Making: There’s clarity on who’s the ultimate decision maker – with equal clarity on who’s contributing to those decisions.
  • Teamwork: They’re loyal to each other and committed to achieving their shared objective. They know who’s doing what and who reports to whom.
  • Organizational Agility: They’ve planned for a range of operational scenarios and can flex their strategy and structure to respond promptly to issues and opportunities.

OK, they’re (pretend) crooks, but you have to admit they clearly know how to run a far from crooked organization by perfecting their target operating models, demonstrating the utmost professionalism, and being obsessively ruthless and efficient in pursuit of a decent cash profit.

And as lovers of a cash profit themselves, I’m sure that’s why Hollywood, Bollywood, Nollywood, and all the other “woods” have taken them to their hearts.

So when you’re reviewing your own organization, for a few moments imagine you’re planning a heist of your own and ask:

  • Have we got the right teams in place – and do we have the rich ecosystem of talent to ensure we have access to the best people when we need them?
  • Is our organizational vision clear – and do our people know what’s expected of them?
  • Are our decision-making processes quick and decisive?
  • Is collaboration as focused and purposeful as it needs to be?
  • How agile are we? and can we respond quickly enough to seize future opportunities?

Who says crime doesn’t pay?


Read More from Saleem and the Brilliant Team at OrgShakers

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