Some of you regular readers may not know about another role I have and love, which is running a customer community group for service at IFS. Over the course of 2021, the group has met twice a month for an hour to share insights, discuss challenges, and provide feedback. The power of community is an amazing thing, and it’s been an honor for me to get to know these folks better and to see them helping one another in so many ways. Moreover, in a second year of Covid strain, being able to come together with peers has provided a sense of camaraderie I think we’ve all benefited from. 

We recently held our last session of the year, where we discussed lessons learned in 2021. I thought it would be interesting to share some of those lessons with you. Maybe you, too, can find a bit of solidarity. 

  • “I’ve learned that remote software implementation is really hard. Employee engagement plays such a huge role and trying to ensure enough of that virtually is challenging.”
  • “I’ve learned that some leaders are very comfortable with excuses. They turn a blind eye to the need for or opportunity of change because they don’t want to have to make the effort to do things differently.”
  • “I’ve learned I need to spend more time on the business, and less time in the business. I need to prioritize conserving time for more strategic thinking and initiatives instead of always getting pulled in to the day-to-day.”
  • “I’ve been reminded how valuable face-to-face meetings with customers are. Zoom and Teams can be exhausting, and you simply cannot ignore the power of human interaction.”
  • “2021 was a good reminder that the strength of the organization is in its people. In a remote environment, it became clear which managers were succeeding and which were struggling by how their teams performed.”
  • “I was reminded that you can’t assume the way you do something is the right way. You have to be prepared to shake up your thinking and throw out processes, tools, anything that isn’t serving you. It can be tough to do, but it’s so worth it.”
  • “My lesson in 2021 was to find the right balance of speed and stability.”
  • “I’ve learned that collaboration at the strategic level is very hard in a remote environment. From scheduling to dropped connections and so much more, gathering the right people to make decisions virtually is cumbersome.”
  • “Despite technology, service will always be a people business.”
  • “2021 brought the opportunity – and need – to try new things, which helped us learn that we can change faster and farther than we may have thought.”

What was your biggest lesson learned in 2021? I’d love to hear from you. Thank you for being a part of the Future of Field Service community this year. I’m wishing you all a wonderful holiday season and looking forward to 2022!

Sarah Nicastro
Author

Creator, Future of Field Service