In this forward-looking debut, a former CEO and business coach promotes a plan to transform traditionally run businesses into “virtual” organizations.
Some CEOs may balk at Russo’s premise that any company could essentially abandon traditional physical boundaries and run with greater efficiency and higher profitability. But the author’s own experience doing so warrants a serious look: as a CEO, Russo says that he operated a $25 million business with 300 home-based employees and thousands of clients from “my spare bedroom converted to a workspace.” Still, he recognizes that many readers are likely to have a great deal of skepticism about this idea, so in this intriguing book, he appropriately bolsters his argument with a section titled “Myths, Realities and Outcomes.” Here, the author addresses objections head-on (such as “I’ll Lose Control of My Company” or “I Can’t Transition Now. I’ve Just Invested a Fortune”) and tells how to develop leadership skills and spawn a company culture in an “invisible” organization without a central, physical office. He lays out a rationale for the transition, offering positive outcomes, such as encouraging “a new way of thinking” among home-based employees while also making them happier and more productive. A significant portion of the book deals with the logistics of how to build a virtual organization; not surprisingly, at the heart of this corporate structure are excellent systems. The details that Russo offers about customer-relationship management, automated training, and project management systems are especially useful. Perhaps most valuable is the in-depth discussion of how to optimize marketing and sales; it delves into strategy and tactics, includes a convincing pitch for the use of radio advertising, and outlines specific ways to recruit and compensate top salespeople. It also offers an ingenious plan for implementing an “expert network” of certified consultants—a concept that could be adapted by most any service company, virtual or not. Russo’s passion for his subject is infectious, and he sees virtuality as a pathway for the CEO who wants to “live the dream of freedom and have more of what you want.”
A visionary, engaging book that offers real insight into an exciting alternative method for operating a business.