Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down

Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down

by Vineet Nayar


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One small idea can ignite a revolution just as a single matchstick can start a fire.

One such idea—putting employees first and customers second—sparked a revolution at HCL Technologies, the IT services giant.

In this candid and personal account, Vineet Nayar—HCLT’s celebrated CEO—recounts how he defied the conventional wisdom that companies must put customers first, then turned the hierarchical pyramid upside down by making management accountable to the employees, and not the other way around.

By doing so, Nayar fired the imagination of both employees and customers and set HCLT on a journey of transformation that has made it one of the fastest-growing and profitable global IT services companies and, according to BusinessWeek, one of the twenty most influential companies in the world.
Chapter by chapter, Nayar recounts the exciting journey of how he and his team implemented the employee first philosophy by:

• Creating a sense of urgency by enabling the employees to see the truth of the company’s current state as well as feel the “romance” of its possible future state

• Creating a culture of trust by pushing the envelope of transparency in communication and information sharing

• Inverting the organizational hierarchy by making the management and the enabling functions accountable to the employee in the value zone

• Unlocking the potential of the employees by fostering an entrepreneurial mind-set, decentralizing decision making, and transferring the ownership of “change” to the employee in the value zone

Refreshingly honest and practical, this book offers valuable insights for managers seeking to realize their aspirations to grow faster and become self-propelled engines of change.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781422139066
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date: 06/08/2010
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 623,000
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

Vineet Nayar is the CEO of HCL Technologies Ltd., India’s leading global IT Services Company. Fortune called his leadership style “The World’s Most Modern Management,” and the London Business School labeled him “the leader of organizational innovation.” IDC recognized him as having “the most cohesive and articulate vision” in the IT services sector.

Table of Contents


About Vineet Nayar
Chapter 1: Mirror-Mirror— Creating the Need for Change
Learning to Face Reality
Rising Through the Ranks
Looking in the Rear View Mirror
Intriguing Conversations
The Clue of Gen Y
Inverting the Pyramid
The Romance of Tomorrow
Walking the Roads of Three Heroes

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