There is a famous tale about a village that invited an important rabbi to visit them. For days before the visitor’s arrival the villages anxiously asked each other “what questions shall we ask him?”

Since he would only be in the village for one night, the villages worried how they could pick the right question to ask their important and wise visitor. Despite all the discussion though, no single question emerged that seemed to be significant enough.

At last the rabbi arrived. He was ushered into the packed hall where all the villagers had assembled. Looking around carefully he absorbed the mood and suddenly he started dancing.

Soon everyone was up and dancing, dancing madly. They had a wonderful time until at last they came to a happy and exhausted halt. In the long silence that followed the rabbi looked around smiled as said quietly: “And are there any more questions?

Vineet Nayar, the new CEO of HCL technologies a major Indian IT concern with many thousands of employees, met 4000 of his employees for the first time. He walked onto the stage and said nothing. A Bollywood number suddenly blared out from the speakers and he started to dance.

He danced in the aisles and pulled people from their chairs and danced with them. When the music ended he says “I went back on stage to make my remarks. Those words sounded very differently coming from a sweaty man who had just proved in public that he couldn’t dance than they would have coming from the emperor at the podium. Two hours of purposeful and animated discussion followed."

Nayar danced his way around the company’s global locations. He danced 25 times and it altered the way his company pursued a major change initiative.

Maybe the rabbi story is apocryphal, but Vineet Nayar is entirely real, so is his company.

 

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