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Hardcover Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down Book

ISBN: 1422139069

ISBN13: 9781422139066

Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down

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Book Overview

MORE THAN 100,000 COPIES SOLD 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...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Change in the Paradigm of Management

This is a book that reinforces my type of leadership style. By digging down and talking to your employees, you find out what motivates them and compels them to excel. If you are without a high level of morale, your business will fail miserably. The methods of empowering your team will only lead to success that is more powerful as a whole unit, rather than the sum of its parts. This method works, since I apply it every day. It is through transforming your operations in a more efficient method that will guarantee your success. If you want to succeed, this book will elevate your game. If you like mediocrity and are willing to fail, don't read it. I highly recommend this book.

I want to work for Vineet Nayar!

I loved this book as much or more than any business/management book I've read in the past few years. This is a first hand account of how Nayar transformed his company by focusing where value is truly created or lost - at the interface between employees and customers. This is the service-profit chain in action, something I've been teaching for years. In order to grow his company, Nayar first had to change his assumptions, then change the organizational systems in which those assumptions were embedded and driving the behavior of his employees. By first changing his mind, the minds of others, and the systems they worked with, he changed the behavior of his employees and even some of his customers with spectacular results. Get this book!

A very good read for any business

This is a very good example of how business can change for the better. Vineet Nayar became the CEO of HCLT in 2005 and took the company to the top of its field. How? By asking the hard questions and actually listening to the answers he got. He made the changes that needed to be made and stayed a part of the solution, start to finish. The most important aspect of his book is that he recognized the value of happy and content employees. People who hate coming to work every day are not going to give their all and those that have been beaten down by company policies have nothing left to give. I especially liked the chapters where he had to deal with middle and upper management and how his policies put a spotlight on how useless or even disruptive they had become. And yet, he was able to not only bring them aboard, he was able to make them a positive part of his new vision. If you are a company leader, then this book is a must read! But even if you are just one of the cogs in the machine, it is still very informative and you can lend it to your company's CEO when you are done reading it,

Innovative, Radical, and Worth Trying!

As a member of Generation Y (or at least close), Nayar's ideas resonate with me, and are needed badly in today's workplaces. Research shows that many Americans hate their jobs and have no respect for their employers. Why? This could be in part because employees feel undervalued, voiceless, and expendable. My experience is mostly in the non-profit and education sectors, but the idea that a technology company would put employees over clients intrigued me, and I wanted to see if Nayar's company was really different from other businesses that Americans seem to disdain. While most people wouldn't call a book like this a "page-turner," I viewed it this way. I couldn't wait to see what Nayar and his company did next. The basic content of the book is Nayar explaining the various ideas he implemented, which were designed to put "employees first." By putting employees first, he increased productivity, creativity, and revenue. He accomplished this in part by giving employees in the "value zone" more control. Value zone employees are those that actually provide the most value to clients, i.e. those doing the work and generating the ideas that attract and keep clients. One idea Nayar explains is "Mirror Mirror," where he challenges employees at all levels (including himself) to "look in the mirror" and truthfully describe what they see. This exercise keeps employees fresh and innovative because they are regularly assessing the reality that they - and the business - find themselves in. When Nayar's company used this exercise, they found that management was often detached from the value zone, and hindered the work of the employees there. This was an "a-ha" moment for me, having witnessed disconnected managers trample innovation among lower level employees. Another of Nayar's ideas is to increase transparency so that employees at all levels know what is going on within the company. One way is making financial information open to all employees. Another that Nayar has established is an online forum where employees ask questions, to which the leadership team responds. Others can join in on the discussion as well. This forum has allowed open discussion, promoted innovation, and reduced gossip and speculation. Nayar also has taken steps to invert the traditional hierarchy, making managers accountable to employees. Bosses often believe that they should make decisions that affect the entire company, even if they are virtually disconnected from the value zone. Such an approach makes no sense, but is taken for granted in many settings. One solution Nayar has developed is the "Smart Service Desk," a system where employees open a "ticket" on a work-related issue, and the issue is investigated and dealt with; only when an employee is satisfied with the answer is the ticket closed. Another tool to increase transparency is the "360 degree survey," in which managers are reviewed not by a select group of other managers, but by everyone a manager might affect or influence. T

Employees First, something every employer and professional should read

Vineet Nayar's Employees First, Customers Second (EFCS) is a first person CEO account of the transformation of their enterprise. The book is a refreshing and frank look at the challenges facing leaders looking to transform their company, culture and employees. Nayar discusses his experience leading HCLT and its transformation from a $700 million dollar company that was losing market share to a $2 billion dollar company at the front of their market. Nayar provides a clear, well-written and frank discussion of the issues he faced and his personal thought process and learning journey during the transformation. It is rare that a sitting CEO provides such a frank and honest discussion of the company and personal journey. At 185 pages in a small format, the book is an excellent size and length for executives to read, reflect on and consider how it fits into their strategies and plans. Recommended reading for executives who are frustrated with the current structure and culture of the modern organization. CEO and BU executives will gain an understanding of new views on leveraging the talent, knowledge and passion of their people both internally and more importantly with customers. HR and Staff Executives will be exposed to a different view of their role. This is not a direct focus of the book, but reading it will help you think differently about what you do and how it creates/connects to value. Individuals will see an example of the actions and evolution involved in realizing a new way of working. Just about everyone wants to work this way and this book provides an example that can help crystallize your thoughts and how you communicate with your peers and management. It is particularly recommended to read now or at a minimum have read during the summer months so these ideas can influence their strategic planning and initiatives for 2011. This book will provide fresh views and a new configuration of approaches to create a new style of organization. A list of strengths and challenges are at the end of this review. The book covers a number of `tools' and ideas that are particularly helpful for understanding what you can do to change your enterprise. Many of these ideas are based on existing thoughts, but Nayar presents them in a fresh view integrated around the idea of putting employees first. Some of the tools included in the book include: Value Zone - the place in the organization where the company creates value with the customer. This zone is at the bottom of the enterprise not the top and that reality shapes much of the thinking in the book. You may recognize this in other words as the `moment of value' Mirror/Mirror - a process where the company and individuals confront the truth of their situation, strengths and weaknesses, and what they need to do about it. This is a direct descendent of confronting reality in the TQM movement. Transparent House - the role and change created by making traditional management information, pl
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