How Covid-19 Has Changed Leadership Forever: Tiger Tyagarajan, CEO of Genpact
Tiger Tyagarajan is CEO of Genpact, a global professional services firm with 100,000 employees. Prior to Genpact, Tiger worked for several well-known companies including Unilever, Citibank, and GE. He pioneered a new global business model and transformed a division of GE into Genpact in 2005. Right now, the way we work looks a lot different than it did even just six months ago. The question is, once we get past the Covid-19 pandemic, what will work look like? Will it be changed forever, or will some things go back to normal?
Tiger says that assuming that 50% or more of the work going forward will be done from home is too simple. Some roles make more sense to do from home. For example, some Genpact employees at certain times of the year have to work for five days straight without a break and through the night. For that type of work, it makes sense to be in the comfort of your own home.
But there are a lot of roles where it doesn’t make sense to work from home long term. There are a lot of people who are just itching to go back into the office. Some people thrive on in-person interaction and collaboration, which is missing right now.
Tiger believes that post-Covid there will be more flexibility in the way we work. At certain times of the year or certain days of the week, people will be able to work from home, but there will be times when it’s necessary to be in the office. He also suggests the idea of companies possibly acquiring more office space than they have now. Instead of having one office building with 10,000 people, it might make more sense to have 10 offices with 1,000 people in each one. This could bring offices closer to people, bring down commute times, and potentially cut down on air pollution.
The current situation is also impacting the speed at which organizations go through digital transformation. Some companies who have talked about digital transformation for years have been forced to act on it quickly. Companies who were resisting change in the past can no longer wait, even if they wanted to. Could problems like climate change be solved if we put our own constraints on it and forced ourselves to solve the problem? Tiger thinks it’s possible, but just like Covid is affecting everyone in the world, solving climate change would require everyone coming together. It couldn’t just be a small group of people.
Tiger says, “What Covid-19 has done is create a couple of constraints that have forced innovation and experimentation. It’s the single biggest experiment humans have done considering the time frame. And, I wonder whether other intractable problems in the world are actually solvable by actually deliberately putting constraints on.”
Could problems like climate change be solved if we put our own constraints on it and forced ourselves to solve the problem? Tiger thinks it’s possible, but just like Covid is affecting everyone in the world, solving climate change would require everyone coming together. It couldn’t just be a small group of people.
Over the last 15 years, I’ve had the privilege of speaking and working with some of the world’s top leaders. Here are 15 of the best leadership lessons that I learned from the CEOs of organizations like Netflix, Honeywell, Volvo, Best Buy, The Home Depot, and others. I hope they inspire you and give you things you can try in your work and life. Get the PDF here.