Employees First is not a “Revolutionary” Management Practice

I got a PR pitch to review a book written by an IT CEO. The PR person claims the management practice is "revolutionary" 

Well, obviously she hasn't read this article which shows that service companies like Southwest Airlines and Marriott already practicing it from some time before 🙂

Here's the pitch..

From: xxxxxt <xxxx@xxxxxx.com>
Date: Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 5:06 PM
Subject: Employees First, Customers Second
To: gautam@xxxxx.com

Dear Gautam,


I write to you on behalf of HCL Technologies (xxxxxxxx is the image management consultancy working with HCL).


I wish to introduce you to Employees First, Customers Second (EFCS), an employee-focused, democratic philosophy—an interesting new concept for both international and national companies.


The relevance of the 'Employees First Customer Second’ philosophy lies in the fact that it is considered as the next big management innovation idea originating from India and being recognized globally, stirring debates in the media (NYT, Sunday Times as examples), analysts (Gartner), Harvard Business School.


Employees First, Customers Second (EFCS) practices are catalysts for fundamental change—ideas, big and small, that create unstoppable momentum for an organization – A spray of blue ocean droplets can create an ocean of change.


EFCS practices—things like making management accountable to the employees in the “value zone” and recasting the role of the CEO—originate from ideas whose genesis lies with employees throughout the organization.


About the Book:


Authored by Vineet Nayar (CEO – HCL Technologies), the book Employees First, Customers Second: Turning Conventional Management Upside Down (Harvard Business Press, February 2010), argues that the best way for companies to meet their customers’ needs is to stop making customers their top priority. Instead, companies should shift focus to empowering employees to solve customer problems—in part by making management accountable to employees who are the real creators of value.


The book raises important philosophical questions. Is there inherent value in every employee—in his or her knowledge, creativity, commitment to tasks and capacity to collaborate? To create the most value for customers, should we focus on how employees are empowered? Do employees, in short, make a difference?


Conventional wisdom says companies must always put the customer first. But in many businesses—particularly services businesses—true value is created in the interface between the customer and the employee in the value zone. By putting employees first—and by making management accountable to them—companies can engender a fundamental change in the way they create and deliver unique value for their customers. Customers actually understand the value of an Employees First, Customers Second (EFCS) approach before—and better—than a company’s own management (especially at first), because it’s the customers who benefit the most.


The author has detailed every step – ‘Mirror, Mirror’, Trust through Transparency, Inverting the Organizational Pyramid, Recasting the Office of the CEO, that was used to transform the company.

 Would the topic be of interest to write about on your blog? Enclosed is a summary of the book.

Should you need any information on the book or a copy of the book, do get in touch with me.


Look forward to knowing your thoughts.


Kind Regards,


Posted via email from Gautam’s Miscellanous Posts


About Gautam

Gautam is a HR professional interested in how emerging technologies are impacting work, careers and organizations.

Posted on June 23, 2010, in blogging. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Employees First is not a “Revolutionary” Management Practice.

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