Transforming Organizations by Putting Employees First, Customers Second [Audio Podcast with Vineet Nayar]


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When Vineet Nayar joined HCL Technologies as the new CEO in 2005, the organization was not in a great position – it was losing ground to its competitors and not performing close to its peak potential. In order to re-invent the fortunes of the organization, Nayar began to survey opinions from senior leaders and employees to help form a new vision for the company. As the new CEO, Nayar once said that “I knew as leaders, we have done nothing to win the trust of our employees” and without that trust, the company’s performance potential would remain shackled, despite the best efforts and intentions of senior leaders.

With the promise of turning the organization into a market-leader that was also a great place to work, Nayar instigated a revolution. He defied conventional wisdom and turned the hierarchical pyramid upside-down, placing employees first and customers second. In this process, Nayar made managers accountable to employees, and in doing so, endeavored to create an environment where the imagination of employees was set free. This fundamentally enabled a more agile flow of ideas across the entire organization and created essentially a democratic organization. The result? HCLT became one of the fastest growing IT services companies in the world, and according to BusinessWeek, one of the top 20 most influential organizations in the world.

The HR Congress recently spoke with Nayar about a range of topics – from leadership vs management, to the re-invention of organizations, and why it’s important to nurture the “value zone” – a place where employees and customers meet to help each other grow. Nayar will present a Keynote at The HR Congress this November in Brussels on this transformation story and much, much more.

[Listen to the full podcast here: 28 minutes]


The Sampark Foundation was started in 2005 by Vineet Nayar, Former CEO of HCL Technologies, and his wife Anupama Nayar, an expert in Special Education. The Sampark Smart Shala Program today impacts 7 million children studying in 76,000 schools across India. With Frugal Innovation led large scale social change as central idea, the foundation aims to improve the literacy and numeracy skills for millions of children and is one of the world’s largest primary school transformation initiatives. For more information and and ways to contribute, contact Vineet and his team through the Foundation website!

The 3rd HR Congress Brussels will be taking place on November 27-28 and will feature 50+ speakers as well as a selection of sessions that will explore a huge range of topics! Make sure you follow the HR Congress blog and social media channels to stay up to date with the latest information, and for more interesting ideas and content from around the world of work!

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