To the world outside, the HCL Global Meet is our annual customer conference. However, to us, it is a celebration of ideas, big and small, for generating positive change in our companies, our world and our lives. This year, it was aptly titled: I have an idea. As I return from this celebration last week, I’d like to share with you here my inaugural presentation: ‘An idea takes off’.
I see a perfect storm brewing ahead with four elements coming together to change the world forever. First, the economy is moving to a ‘new normal’ with a complete absence of leadership to drive it. From the US to Europe, from India to China, Japan and the Middle East, we see leadership that is unable to take timely decision to solve the tumultuous problems ahead.
Second, competition has become more intense than ever before with ‘the emergence of the emerging’. Developed market companies focussed on emerging markets are being challenged by local companies in the market and even in their own backyards.
Third, the transformation of the consumer. With the arrival of Gen Y, everything from buying patterns to influence patterns to brand preferences has changed with an overriding role of the digital world and word of mouth.
And finally, the changing employee. Teenagers who have grown up in families, mentored and empowered by parents as friends, are suffocating under rigid command and control structures at work.
Within this storm, is the biggest opportunity that we have seen in our lifetime. As we encounter this bend on the racetrack, we can race ahead and increase our market share if we put our heads together and recognize the critical success factors.
As I see it, there are two imperatives that have the potential to transform the threat hanging above into a massive opportunity for growth: Making innovation centre stage and rejuvenating our employees, who in turn will drive this innovation.
Really, employees are the only solution we may have. And come to think of it, isn’t everybody an employee – from the President of America, to CEOs, customers and janitors? So, if everybody is an employee, why are we not celebrating being an employee?
I believe we can fix all our problems – the economy issues, innovation issues, emerging market issues – only if we can get the employees back to work and engaged in innovation. So let’s take that important step forward and celebrate everybody as an employee and make a world that becomes better to live in with every passing day.
former Vice Chairman & former Joint Managing Director
Our former CEO engages with stakeholders through his blog, ‘In Search of New Leaders’ at www.vineetnayar.com
His ideas and thoughts on sustainability, innovation, diversity and leadership are shared regularly through this platform.