rodrigo canales

rodrigo canales bw

The deadly genius of drug cartels

Up to 100,000 people died in drug-related violence in Mexico in the last 6 years. We might think this has nothing to do with us, but in fact we are all complicit, says Yale professor Rodrigo Canales in this unflinching talk that turns conventional wisdom about drug cartels on its head. The carnage is not about faceless, ignorant goons mindlessly killing each other but is rather the result of some seriously sophisticated brand management.

Rodrigo Canales wants to understand how individuals influence organizations or systems–even those as complex as the Mexican drug cartels.

TEDSalon NY2013

  1. drug violence is a result of a huge market demand
  2. these are soffisticated coherent organizations
  3. we are actually complices

the question is not whether these dynamics will continue..

the question is whether we are willing to continue our support of a failed strategy based on our stubborn, blissful voluntary ignorance at the cost of the deaths of thousands of our young


Published on Apr 17, 2013

yale school of management

tensions between standardization and social impact

very difficult to standardize for people who need a lot of customization

if you truly want to have a social impact, you really need to have a customized service

rational – the more efficient you are – the more people you reach.. actually – the more you automate, the less you can customize

have to be very aware that any dollar in profits – are coming from somewhere else..

the reason we need social enterprising in general is because the market hasn’t fixed this, there’s something that is non economic about this problem, if it was economic the market would have solve it long ago..

let’s be clear – the market hasn’t fixed this.. and the market can’t fix it by itself.. there is a trade off there.


Published on Aug 8, 2012

Rodrigo Canales is the Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior at Yale, where he researches the roles institutions play in entrepreneurship and economic development and teaches the Innovator Perspective Course. Canales is a member of the steering committee of the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT as well as an advisor for several Mexican startups seeking to improve the financing environment for small firms.

Rodrigo on Institutional Innovation

my specialty – how do individuals change complex – large scale – structures

we need a different kind of solution..  – problems evolving quicker than solutions

organizations are designed to protect something.. so when that something changes.. the organization is doing what it was expected to do by hampering that change.. – so you’ve got to make sure a system of remix/rejuvenation is in place 


find/follow Rodrigo:

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rodrigo canales site yale

Rodrigo sits on the board for the Dalai Lama center for ethics at mit:

dalai lama center

The Center was founded to honor the vision of the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and his call for a holistic education that includes the development of human and global ethics.



cure violence keri