Is Vineet Nayar, CEO of HCL Technologies, an IT Services firm based out of India.
This is what Tom Peters claims!.
One of the key challenges facing the organization these days is not just to make their IT systems agile, but to make their Organization Structure and Culture more agile and adaptive to the ever changing market needs. This is very much applicable to knowledge industries, like IT services.
When the same talent who used to work for one company can be easily poached by any other company by offering more compensation or designation/role, the only thing that could differentiate the incumbent company and increase its influence over the individual is its organization structure and culture. In the longer term, its the org. structure and culture that defines the DNA of the company and it would persist for a longer time, while the projects can come and go.
Having said that, the traditional 'command-and-control' model of organization structure is being challenged. The companies that adopt these hierarchial model are not able to be innovative or leading the industry in specific areas. And in a Knowledge industry like IT services, as Management Guru Peter Drucker says, the employees are well informed and knowledgeable than their bosses. This makes the problem much more complicated.
Now, what would be alternative? - Vineet Nayar has come out with a new book called - Employee First, Customer Second. The title of the book can be counter-intuitive to our traditional management philosophies. But, some of the principles what Vineet articulates are just radical and challenges the status-quo.
Some of the interesting thoughts from his book, as quoted here
- Its time to switch from the traditional pyramid model to 'Inverted' Pyramid model of organization. In a company that is over hundreds of employees, the top management will not really have a clue on the ground realities and hence the company could be dis-oriented or driving in the wrong direction. Hence, its time to retire the centralized, command-control model to decentralized, collaborative model, where each network node is self-empowered. The leadership will only be guardians of corporate principles, adovates and encouragers
- Making enabling functions like Quality / General Management to be accountable for the employees, not the other way round. This would improve the effectiveness of the organization. [I still need to get into the details of this point. Am curious to know more on his thoughts on the enabling functions.]
- By renewing the Organization structure and culture, we would be unleashing the power, passion and talent of 'value-zone' employees. This would lead to the Growth of the company.
Am not sure whether HCL Technologies practices what Vineet has talked about in the Book. Neverthess, its a timely thought!. And any company that wants to be leading and growing needs to consider these thoughts.