May 31, 2007

"Remote leadership doesn't work"

VC Rick Segal post on how he hasn't found remote management (as against remote workers) to be successful at companies he has worked with (including as an investor).
..virtual companies are tough to manage and, in almost no set of circumstances will it work when the core team is in place A and the senior manager (or managers) are remote. When we've hired senior managers for various portfolio companies, we've insisted they be with the team and not commuting in from another remote location.

Coming in and working 3 days a week, for example, and then working from a home office the other time, has not worked well in the various situations I've witnessed. One CEO was doing it via every other week in Vancouver while living in Portland, OR. Another VP of Marketing lived in Ottawa and came to the Toronto office 2 days a week. In almost all the cases I've looked over the years, rarely does it work.

He has also provided the following extract from Jack Welch's column which is along similar lines:

Arun Natarajan is the Founder & CEO of Venture Intelligence, the leading provider of information and networking services to the Private Equity and Venture Capital ecosystem in India. View sample issues of Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.