Dr. Pero Mićić

What are your real opportunities in the crisis?

Crisis opportunity no. 06: Virtualize your company

Your future opportunities now in the crisis? Virtualize your company. For strategic reasons, for efficiency and flexibility at the same time and for cost reasons.

Example of a virtual company

eXp Realty is a real estate brokerage firm in the USA. It is one of the fastest growing companies in the industry with over 20,000 agents in North America. The unique thing about eXp Realty is: This brokerage firm, whose core business and reason for existence is the brokerage of buildings, does not have a single physical office. The whole company is virtual. It is not an experimental startup. They make over one billion dollars in annual sales.

It is operated on a platform called VirBELA. Which is now owned by eXp Realty. Some big organizations and schools already run such platforms. But seriously as a replacement for physical companies, this is still rare.

First steps to virtualize your company: Home office, video conferencing, virtual 3D worlds

In the public perception Working From Home is already a big innovation, which has confronted quite a few with big difficulties. The Corona crisis has forced millions of people to work from home and unlock the productivity reserves that have been there for a long time. We at the FutureManagementGroup AG needed just one decision and from then on the entire team worked from home. Yes, it is easy for us. Of course, it’s not that easy for employees in production, assembly or direct customer service. But even with these tasks, more is possible than you might think at first. Working from home is only the smallest step, as the example of eXp Realty shows.

Yes, of course a personal conversation is more impressive and effective. But if you know each other, a video conference delivers 70% of the effect of a personal conversation. But it only costs 10% of the personal conversation. And if you don’t know each other yet, you may have 50% of the communication quality. It is still more cost-effective.

It’s not just Work from Home, but Work from Anywhere to Anywhere. Not just Teams, Zoom and Skype, but virtual 3D worlds. No, that’s not just a gimmick anymore. Tesla has been selling its highly emotional cars only online since 2012. The next step will be totally virtual car dealerships. The possibilities to experiment playfully, to virtually self-assemble the car in all variants are fascinating. The world of computer games demonstrates what is already possible in computer graphics.

Of course we are sorry for the physical businesses. But if virtuality does not convince the customers, if it is not better, they will not accept it. Then the physical business models are better. The customers will decide. Like Amazon versus local retail.

You don’t have to develop your platform for your virtual business yourself with millions of dollars of investment. You can rent one from several offerings for a fraction of the cost of your offices.

Virtualize your company now!

Again, for strategic reasons, for efficiency and flexibility at the same time and for cost reasons. Now there is the opportunity to achieve more than ever before. What’s in it for you, you are asking?

You’ll find it easier to attract and retain good people because they’ll be better able to balance family and work. No, not work-life balance, but life-integrated work is the concept for the future.

You can overcome the much-lamented shortage of skilled workers by expanding your geographical area. You can hire employees all over the world. We should have conversation about shortage of skilled workers at some other time. After all, it is no different than the shortage of customers. It’s a question of strategy, your offer and price.

Like eXp Realty, you will save the biggest part of the costs for travel and offices.

Also, your employees spend less time on road and rail if they travel less to the office and less to customers.

You can have the headquarters of your company anywhere in the world. But please pay your taxes here.

You immunize yourself to a certain extent against disruptive competitors. Because if virtualization is possible in your business, someone will do it.

Sure, all this was possible long before the crisis. It has only failed because of notorious mental barriers, and of course because of long-established habits. Personally, I believe that a major factor was and is that managers need the visible presence of their subordinates as a booster for their self-esteem. Just saying.

I know, you’re right. Not everything is as easy as it seems, of course. But if it were easy, you know… Strong team energy still needs personal contact. The cocktail of neuro-transmitters in our heads has not changed, not in millennia and not because of the crisis. First of all, we are still social beings and secondly, videoconferencing and even virtual worlds do not provide 100 percent communication quality. And not all people feel comfortable working alone. The conscientious become more productive. The extraverts and neurotics rather not. In addition, IT is facing enormous challenges in terms of security.

Your concrete task:

Start with the obvious and simple: Take advantage of the momentum: Retain as much as possible of what has now been virtualized and rather expand it.

Take a look at offers for virtual platforms. VirBELA is a good starting point. In Germany there is TriCAT. And there are more.

Start with a function or a unit in your company. Why don’t you start in the board of directors or in the executive team. That would make a good role model.

It should be clear that you have to push virtualization with caution. In order not to overwhelm people. And that you should not completely eliminate physical resources before the virtual ones prove their effectiveness.

I am eager to know what you think about the opportunities for virtualization!

Have a bright future!


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Further crisis opportunities

Crisis opportunity no. 01: Lead! Accept your role as leader and “hero” in the crisis

Crisis opportunity no. 02: Create a credibly positive “future we” for your team

Crisis opportunity no. 03: Focus your business model on an eternal need

Crisis opportunity no. 04: Make social value the core of your mission

Crisis opportunity no. 05: Intelligentize your business model now

Crisis opportunity no. 07: Make your capability portfolio future-robust

Crisis opportunity no. 08: Use an opportunity radar