After some agonizing, Sarah recaps the top ten podcast episodes of 2022 so you can be sure you hit all of the highlights.
Sarah Nicastro: Welcome to the Future of Field Service podcast. I'm your host, Sarah Nicastro.
Today's episode is our annual look back, if you will, our top 10 of 2022. This is an exercise that for me, gets increasingly harder as the years go on. Looking back through the podcast episodes that we've released over the course of the year makes me really proud of the content that we're creating, and the variety of topics that we're covering. I'm incredibly grateful for the guests that are willing to come on and share their stories, their perspective, and their insights. So selecting 10 of all of the episodes of the year is no easy feat. And this doesn't necessarily mean that these are the 10 best podcasts or my favorites, I couldn't pick favorites. But they are what I think is a really good representation of what Future of Field Service is about.
And for folks that haven't been following along for a while, often I hear them say, "I love your podcast, but I never know which episodes to go back and listen to, because there are so many." So my hope is that doing a top 10 gives people a starting point if they want to go back and listen to some of the episodes that we've put out this year. All of that being said, these are in no particular order. These are just what I would list as the top 10 episodes of 2022. Okay, so here we go.
The first one on the list is Episode 150, and it is featuring Shannon Tymosko, who shares her story about transitioning to the trades in a pretty significant career change. Shannon's story is really, really cool. She in her late 20s, decided to become an apprentice electrician, and she talks a lot about why and how she made that decision, what that journey has been like.
She talks about some of the aspects of having a career in the trades that she just loves, and some of the challenges that she faces as well. One of the things she talks about is battling self-doubt. And so I think that this episode is really enlightening for folks that are pondering how to get more women into service, into the trades, to really listen to Shannon share her firsthand experiences and think about what some of the appeal is for women in a trade career. But also some of the challenges that are very real.
The next episode on the list is Episode 170. This episode is Why and How Service Should be Prioritizing Sustainability, Now, with Rainer Karcher who is formerly the global director of IT Sustainability at Siemens. Rainer actually joined me at the Frankfurt stop of the Future of Field Service Live Tour. And we had a chat there on this topic, but then later recorded a episode specifically as well.
I like this episode a lot because sustainability is a topic that we know is very important, that we need to be continuing to push ourselves to take action on. I've had some people ask questions about exactly what does service have to do with that? How does service factor into the sustainability discussion? And what are some of the ways that making changes in service operations can have an impact on a company's sustainability initiatives?
In this episode, Rainer and I talk about some of those different ways, and we also talk about some different motivations for putting more emphasis on sustainability. He is someone who is deeply, deeply passionate about the topic. And of course, hopes that many others are, for no reason other than caring about the world in which we live.
But we also talk about some of the other aspects, some of the other drivers of a focus on sustainability, which includes things like customer decision-making, and importance to customers who decide which brands to work with based on those companies sustainability goals and actions.
We talk about investment criteria, and how sustainability is becoming a bigger criteria in investors and which companies they decide to work with, and a number of other things. So it's a really good episode to reflect on, not only the importance of sustainability and creating better strategy, and taking more action in 2023, but also some of the examples of how service has an impact.
The next episode is actually a two-part episode, so this is cheating a little bit. It's episodes 149 and 151 on, Meeting the Demands of Modern Leadership with James Mylett, who is the SVP for U.S. Digital Buildings at Schneider Electric.
James is someone I've known for a number of years. He is someone who when you meet folks that work for or with him, you know he is genuinely and authentically a very good leader, and you get that sense from him. I was really interested to have this conversation with James about what it is that he feels makes a strong leader in today's world, and what are the things that he practices that he works on, that he prioritizes, et cetera? It became a two-part episode because the conversation was so good that I didn't want to cut it short, and luckily he was able to spend the time talking with me and sharing with me. So we made it a two-part episode.
We tackle a lot of different things in the two episodes, everything from empathy and authenticity. One of the points that James brings up that I really, really appreciated is his focus on root cause analysis. We had a conversation about how a lot of leaders, particularly in today's business climate feel a sense of urgency to make decisions quickly, and to react fast, and to follow their gut. There's nothing wrong with that, but James talks about some of the really important learnings that can be missed when you react so quickly that you don't first really understand what it is that you're reacting to, or making a decision on. So really great conversation on leadership. I definitely recommend taking a listen to both of those episodes.
Next on the list is Episode 155. This is on, The Fine Art of Problem Solving, with New York Times bestselling author, Amy Herman. I loved this conversation. It was different, and that is why it's on the list. Amy is an author and thought leader who works with clients to use art to help them solve problems, to think more creatively, to think outside of the box, to look at things differently, and understand different points and perspectives in a new and unique way.
I love this conversation because it is different. I think part of my job is to make sure that we're not sharing the same information over and over, telling the same stories. So I like being able to bring in different concepts like this to discuss. But I also think field service is at a point right now where generally speaking, we do really need to get a little bit more creative and think differently. There's a lot of change happening, and I think the companies that are reacting best to that change are forcing themselves to not stay tied to legacy thinking, legacy behaviors. And they're really getting comfortable being uncomfortable. And so this conversation with Amy is really interesting one, and one that I think could benefit a lot of organizations in broadening their minds on how to innovate and how to solve problems in a new way.
The next episode on the list is Episode 167 on Husky's Move to Predictive Service. This episode is with Tony Black, who is the president of Service for Husky Injection Molding Systems. This is also a really interesting conversation and one that I was impressed with, because the evolution that Tony talks about in this episode is one that quite frankly, a lot of companies are struggling to execute on. It is theoretically what many, many organizations are working towards. But in reality, a lot of companies, I think are struggling to see the progress that Husky has, and to make some of the organizational and fundamental changes that the business has made that have allowed it to really transition.
Tony talks a lot about why this move was necessary, but then the how? How has Husky evolved? What technologies have they put in place? What new skills are required? What does it change with how they work with customers? There's a lot of really valuable insights in this episode for organizations that are looking to evolve to a more predictive or outcomes based service model. I definitely recommend having a listen.
The next episode on the list is Episode 172. This is on Scaling Innovation to Drive Business Impact with Top 10 Global Thought leader Frank Mattes. Frank also joined me at the Frankfurt Future of Field Service Live Tour, and then we recorded this podcast after his session at the event. And the points that he makes in this podcast discussion are so incredibly helpful in really thinking about how organizations need to structure themselves, and operate to meet the demands of the day-to-day business, but also ensure they are putting enough emphasis on innovation.
There are some points that Frank brings up that I think break some common myths around what it takes to innovate as an organization. There are some analogies he uses that really just make the concepts very easy to understand, and think about really good insights that I think could help a lot of organizations, that again, are knowing they need to evolve, but really struggling to figure out how to get the wheels in motion.
The next episode on the list is Episode 186 on DELL Eliminates Siloes for an End-to-End Service Approach. This episode is with Bob Feiner, who is the senior vice president of Dell Technologies Services. This is a conversation about how Dell Technologies has restructured its services organization to be commonly aligned around the customer experience, and around customer satisfaction. In doing so, there was the elimination of silos, and really the reduction of risk of an individual function within service doing extremely well. But ultimately a negative customer experience because another function or the handoff in between those functions wasn't cohesive and consistent. So again, this is an issue that a lot of companies face, which is restructuring the business to embrace customer centricity truly. And to ensure that from a service perspective, the customer is having a very unified and cohesive experience with the business, which means setting common goals around what that looks like, making sure that insights are shared, and readily available across teams and functions. Again, there's some really good practical insights within this conversation for organizations that need to work on eliminating those silos and creating a more cohesive customer approach.
The next episode on the list is Episode 181. This is on, 6 Ways to Address Employee Burnout with Darcy Gruttadaro, former director of the Center for Workplace Mental Health.
So Darcy came on to speak about burnout specifically because it is an area that the Center for Workplace Mental Health is focusing a lot on. It's obviously something we see in here in the news, it's something that our team's may be struggling with, something that we as individuals may be struggling with. It's something that is universally challenging at the moment. I appreciated her coming to this episode, not just to talk about the topic theoretically, but to provide these six very practical ways that companies can dig in and make a positive impact. We talk a lot about how some of the focus on mental health that needs to happen. It doesn't need to be these ornate programs, or these costly initiatives. It can be things that are quite simple, that have a really big impact.
Those of you that listen to this podcast regularly know that mental health is a conversation that I think is very, very important. I selected this episode because it is one that focuses on a specific area, burnout, and gives some really, really tactical advice for companies to go away and make changes that will have a positive impact. So, have a listen and also keep in mind that the Center for Workplace Mental Health has a lot of resources that are free for organizations and individual leaders to use, and those are resources that everyone should be taking advantage of. You can find all of those workplacementalhealth.org.
The next episode on the list is Episode 184. This episode is on Koolmill's Cool As-a-Service Story, probably the corniest headline that I wrote all year, but I just couldn't resist. This episode is with Alec Anderson, who is the managing director of Koolmill, founded the company. And this is such a neat story on so many levels. So first of all, I admire Alec's passion about what he does, so, so much.
Koolmill is a piece of equipment for rice milling that is unique and differentiated in its industry. Not just on the machine itself, but also the business model which is, As-a-Service. I never thought that I would find rice milling such an interesting topic. But Alec’s passion for what they do and how to overcome some of the challenges in the industry, it's just super cool.
Now, what makes this episode interesting though isn't just Alec’s passion. There are some really valid points to this story about the benefits of an As-a-Service model. Some of the challenges in going to market that way especially in industries that traditionally have been very CapEx focused, some of the benefits that As-a-Service brings in terms of making innovation more accessible to customers, and a positive environmental impact. And also one of the things that we get into in this episode is really the democratization of innovation, that choosing to leverage this business model allows Koolmill to take part in. So very, very interesting episode and a lot of really good insights to glean related to advanced services and As-a-Service models.
And last but not least, rounding out the top 10 is Episode 173 which is on, Why the Future of Service Depends on Putting People First. This is an episode from the Paris Live Tour with Jean de Kergorlay, who is the digital buildings service director for Europe at Schneider Electric.
Jean has been with Schneider, I think over 30 years, and in services, I think all of if not the majority of that time. I love that being in a digital business, and having a lot of experience in the industry, he will summarize his thoughts on where we need to go next, related to making sure we continue to put people first. I think that's a really important reminder. He gives some really good specific examples on why that is and how he's looking at that.
But a really good reminder for everyone that digital is important. Technology is an incredible enabler. But at the end of the day, service is a people business and we need to keep that in mind and make sure that we are prioritizing the humanity and the human centricity in this space. That's the top 10. I hope you will go back and have a listen to any that you missed.
A huge thank you to not just these 10 guests, but all of the guests that have been a part of the Future Field Service podcast this year and been willing to share their stories. I genuinely appreciate each and every one of you. And also a big thank you to you, the listeners for joining us and taking part in our community. We appreciate you as well.
You can find any of these episodes by visiting us at futureoffieldservice.com, or on your favorite podcast platform. As always, the Future of Field Service podcast is published in partnership with IFS, and you can learn more at ifs.com. Thank you for listening.