For HCL chief executive Vineet Nayar success means employees first, customers second

11. October 2010

Vineet Nayar is head of India’s largest IT services company, HCL, and he starts from the premise: the boss doesn’t have the answers.

By Richard Tyler, Enterprise Editor, The Telegraph
Published: 9:00PM BST 09 Oct 2010

For HCL chief executive Vineet Nayar success means employees first, customers second

Vineet Nayar said he had to get HCL’s staff to see the company’s faults while maintaing their pride in what they had achieved. Photo: AFP

Vineet Nayar is a purveyor of rare herbs and heretical management narcotics that will send the average power-crazed chief executive to an early grave. As the chief executive of HCL, India’s largest IT services company, employing 70,000 people around the world, he is also a far safer source of mind-altering ideas than your typical late-night street vendor.

And for business owners struggling to re-engage staff after the emotionally-draining nightmare of the recession, he may just have the answer. Not that Nayar would admit it. The first insight from his book, Employees First, Customers Second, is the boss doesn’t have the answers. The best are just good at forming the right questions. Read the rest of this entry »


Peter Drucker and A.G. Lafley Want You to Be Curious

11. October 2010

 08. Oktober 2010, 18:50:55 | Karen Dillon

What will you decide to be curious about Monday morning?

That’s a question that former Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley routinely asks himself. For him, the willful decision to get curious about something new has led him to some amazing insights. For example, a few years ago Lafley wanted to get Peter Drucker‘s thoughts on the work of the CEO. So he decided to call the legendary management thinker out of the blue and see if he would be willing to meet. Drucker, Lafley recalls, answered his own phone and invited the relatively new P&G CEO to his home for a brief chat.

That livingroom chat ended up extending for hours and was the beginning of Lafley and Drucker doing some meaningful work together trying to define the work of the CEO. As Lafley recounted that first call when I interviewed him this week for the World Business Forum’s New York conference, he was still ebullient remembering how much time and thought Drucker was prepared to share with him — a stranger until Lafley picked up the phone. Lafley’s only regret was that he hadn’t dared to call Drucker sooner in his career because their work, which continued over future sessions in Drucker’s livingroom, was never fully complete in Drucker’s life. Lafley would finish that thinking with an article in Harvard Business Review after Drucker’s death, but he has wondered what else their collaboration might have produced had he called him sooner. Read the rest of this entry »