HC Summit Spotlight: Don't Miss Vineet Nayar!

Author: Katherine Ratkiewicz | Source: HCI | Published: February 17, 2011

As we’re gearing up for the big 2011 HCI Human Capital Summit– coming to Atlanta in just under three weeks, I wanted to profile one of the most exciting keynotes we’ll have at the conference – Vineet Nayar, Vice Chairman and CEO, of HCL Technologies. In many ways, Nayar epitomizes the themes of this year’s summit– Reactivating Your Workforce to Meet the Challenges of Tomorrow through Rethinking Your Workforce, Reengaging that Workforce, and finally, Rethinking Management. 


Nayar represents a new type of leadership thinking – one focused on accelerating and sustaining growth and innovation using breakthrough talent management. His philosophy, called, “Employees First, Customers Second”, is an unorthodox approach leveraged to unleash the passion of employees in order to spur innovation, increased engagement with customers, and to drive revenue growth – even in the depths of the latest global recession. 

If you’re not already familiar with HCL Technologies, it's time to get to know them - they are definitely one organization to keep your eyes on! HCLT is a global IT services company with a largely 20-something workforce. Nayar recognized the need for his organization (as well as the majority of today’s companies) to be built on the foundation of trust and transparency in order to create a culture of innovation and accountability. In Nayar’s philosophy – the managers are as accountable to their employees as the employees are to their bosses. Nayar found that with this bottom-up approach – responsibility for change and innovation was actually pushed down to the bottom of the organizational pyramid and resulted in true success.

Perhaps one of the reasons I’m so thrilled about Nayar’s session at the conference is his approach to the management and inclusion of Generation Y employees. He brings a fresh perspective to the types of questions we’ve all been asking about this new generation that is rapidly becoming a central fixture in the modern workforce. In recent HBR blog posts, Nayar has examined the power of this generation and their ability to contribute in new and necessary ways. He characterizes them in a more positive light than many of his contemporaries and it is clear that he is pushing himself and his organization to find ways to leverage the true power they can bring, “This new generation is driven by the unwillingness to inherit some of the negative features of traditional management; indeed, by a sense of indignation that corporate citizens haven’t already demanded better for themselves”. 
Nayar’s bestselling book “Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down” is a candid personal account of how he defied the conventional wisdom that companies must put customers first. You can be sure we’ll hear many of the highlights of his organization’s journey during his keynote.  His concept of inclusive leadership – that shifts the power away from the office of the CEO and into the hands of the employees –is certainly a modern management and leadership technique that is important for all of us to understand and incorporate into our own thinking. As we scratch our heads thinking about how to bring about the next big thing, how we can compete with the “Googles” or “Apples” of the world – we can’t ignore Nayar’s lessons along the way. 
Join us for this compelling keynote session as well as lots of others! We kick off the conference by hearing from Robert Kennedy Jr., followed by a "real-life Jerry Maguire" – Molly Fletcher,  
Elaine Chao brings us an economic forecast and the implications for the world of work, and that’s just the first day! Other highlights include Dan Pink, Gary Hamel, and other cutting-edge corporate practitioners like Liane Hornsey VP of People Operations at Google, and Molly Anderson co-author of Deloitte’s Corporate Lattice.
If there’s one Human Capital event to be at this year, it’s this one – so make every effort to attend! I hope to see you there.