Geeks, Mush Heads and the IT Revolution: How SRA International Achieved Success over Nearly Four Decades by Ernst Volgenau, PDF 1442242809

Geeks, Mush Heads and the IT Revolution: How SRA International Achieved Success over Nearly Four Decades

  • Title: Geeks, Mush Heads and the IT Revolution: How SRA International Achieved Success over Nearly Four Decades
  • Autor: Ernst Volgenau
  • Publisher (Publication Date): Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (November 14, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: | 1442242809
  • ISBN-13: | 978-1442242807
  • File Format: EPUB, PDF

SRA International grew from one person in his home basement to more than 7,000 people and nearly $2 billion in revenue in thirty years. The firm was profitable, revenue increased every year, and it became highly admired for its values and culture. SRA was on the Fortune list of 100 Best Places to Work in America for ten consecutive years. The company’s initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange was the sixth most successful in 2002, and the price of its stock soared. Then, at the height of success, the top management team changed twice, growth declined, the firm made a bad acquisition, and the market it served began to decrease.

SRA was sold to a private equity firm. The new owners (including the founder and author of this book) hired a dynamic young CEO who implemented changes designed to restore values, culture, and business success. As this account ends, the market was challenging, but the outlook was promising.

This book describes the lessons learned through varied phases: startup, rapid growth, changes in leadership, business problems, privatization; and it explains how high ethics and a sense of service to customers, employees, and society led to a very special company. Its intended audience is business professionals in emerging and established companies and for current and former employees and friends.

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I spent 16 years at SRA from 1983 to 1999 and this was such a great trip down memory lane. This is a good tale of how a small studies company bloomed into a technical powerhouse, lost it’s way for a time and then got back on track. I was always proud of our company’s ethics and high standards and that comes through pretty strongly in the book. It’s why people stayed for as long as they did. Other company’s had much higher turnover rates at the time but SRA’s focus on people and doing important work for important clients made work something to look forward to. Dr. Volegnau’s very candid discussions of errors made is refreshing to say the least.

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