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Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down Hardcover – June 8, 2010
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modern classic” The Financial Times
From the Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Nayar's book has several suggestions that apparently worked well for his company, and look great on paper: Realize that your customer-facing employees are far more important than their pay grade indicates, Increase transparency, Admit when times are tough instead of denying the elephant in the room, Make management and service departments accountable to employees. He gives examples of how his company did these things, and most of those methods seem fairly portable. In all, i'd love to work at a company that even tried to do these things, and i'd love to work with companies that respected their employees by putting them first.
I have a two complaints, one substantive and one superficial.
First, the substantive: repeatedly through the course of the book, Mr. Nayar says something to the effect of 'we had many successes, and many failures.' He never once describes a failure, an initiative that flopped, a new policy that did more harm than good. All we see is the raging successes. For an executive trying to reform their company, knowing what worked for Mr.Read more ›
But this book isn't about theory. It's a case study told in first person. It's an interesting story, but there's not much of an attempt to illustrate how the concepts that worked for Mr. Nayar can work in other situations, too.
As others have pointed out, Mr. Nayar talks about his successes, but only alludes to his failures. That's understandable. We want to understand our failures, but not ncecessarily expose our weaknesses to the world. But it also gave the story of his company's transformation a one-dimensional quality.
I really was hoping for me. I was hoping not for just one company's experience, but some guidence on how a concept can be applied to other companies in other situations as well. I was over half done with the book before I realized that I wasn't going to find that if I just turned one more page.
For U.S. based businesses you'll still find some great ideas and thoughts about opening up the company culture, laying everything on the table. I like some of the other books better for company culture such as the one by Tony H. Zappos.
Nayar reluctantly took over as CEO for HCLT in 2005 after having successfully started and run one of its subsidiaries. While HCLT was making money, they were losing their position among their peers in India, and they were not touching the big 4 global companies in the IT services space. Nayar outlines the transformation process that he and his team implemented that has made them a true success and sustained them during the economic downturn of 2008-09.
Here are a couple of things that you won't gather from the TOC or the book description on the product page. HCLT implemented the concepts outlined by using catalysts rather than major change initiatives or programs. Nayar tapped into the HCLT employee base to come up with ideas and empowered the employees to implement them. The other key theme is that despite the success that HCLT has had since 2005, they have not become complacent or satisfied.
While things look different at my company, I think that there is much to learn from this book. Nayar also presents his thoughts in a way that can be scaled down to the department or team level so that it is meaningful to leaders at all levels of an organization. This to me is the mark of a well written leadership book. Anytime a book stimulates thought and contains patterns that can be applied in other contexts, I'm interested. I highly recommend this to anyone in leadership.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome ! Watch out for his recent motivating and though provoking speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCdu67s_C5EPublished 13 months ago by Maneesh Choudhary
Interesting to learn how an Indian based company managed to become such a main competitor in the IT Outsourcing space. However, I don't think there is anything really new...... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Henri Dura
Great read. Truly forces you to rethink your mindset at what a t is really important driver to create long term profit. Our people.Published 15 months ago by Mom
Mus read if you are looking at going into manager role or leadership.Published 19 months ago by Mindy Price