March 12, 2011
Learn to Walk With Beggars and Kings
By ADAM BRYANT
This interview with
, president and C.E.O. of PRGX, a data mining and audit recovery firm, was conducted and
In reading some of your company’s materials, I came across this phrase: “tactful audacity.” Can you talk about what
I heard it from one of our senior executives in Europe. But it was so powerful to me because it said in two words
what I have found to be very effective in 20 years of client work — that you can’t give feedback to clients in anything
but a constructive fashion. You can’t sort of just push back willy-nilly, and you don’t win arguments with clients,
Now, having said that, if you aren’t being audacious, if you aren’t challenging, if you aren’t pushing back, you’re on
your way out the door, right? You’re done as the trusted adviser and partner. So now it’s in our value set. It’s about
tone and how you pass along a difficult message. You sort of flip that around and say, “How do I like to hear advice
and how do I not like to hear it?” You’re doing it because you’re trying to help.
Can you talk about the culture you try to create, and how you do it?
It probably sounds like an exaggeration, but in some way, shape or form, I spend about 50 percent of my time
communicating, whether that’s externally or internally. You’ve got to be able to do it consistently, and with passion.
On my first day with the company, I wrote an e-mail, and put “From Romil’s Desk” in the subject line. Almost two years
later, once a month, a “From Romil’s Desk” e-mail goes out. If it’s a day later than it’s supposed to be, I’ll actually get a
couple of e-mails from people saying, “Was there one this time? Because I might not have received it.” It’s expected.
What did you want to change about the culture when you took over?