Author

Sarah Nicastro

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It isn’t my nature to do much reflecting – I am more the type who quickly moves on to the next thing, usually at lightning speed. My husband always jokingly asks me if we’ll ever take just one year off of doing “major” things (he knows that, with me, the answer is no). There are a lot of reasons why this is my norm, but this isn’t that type of self-reflection piece.  On October 15th,…

The discussion around sustainability is increasing in urgency based on a variety of factors – the observance of environmental necessity, regulatory pressures to force progress toward a more sustainable future, and the impact on certain business models and processes that don’t align with sustainable standards. It’s a conversation about more than just the environment, though

When I interview someone and ask, “what would you say the secret to your success is?” The most common answer is the people. When I ask someone, “what is the biggest challenge you’ve faced?” The most common answer is the people. Our success and failure in service, while spurred by strategy and enabled by technology, lies with our people. As such, many leaders are focusing more on soft skills than ever before. But what if…

Let me start by admitting a few things. I’ve been struggling lately – not every day, but a good amount of the time. I feel overwhelmed by inputs and decisions and stresses and underwhelmed at my options for turning any of it “off.” I feel a bit numb, almost like I’m watching myself do all of these things from a distance. Don’t get me wrong, I am not unhappy – I love my family, I…

Last week I boarded a flight to Chicago for my first in-person conference in more than 18 months. When I walked into the Smarter Services Symposium at the Loew’s Hotel, it was quite honestly surreal at first. Greeting others with masks and the uncertainty of whether or not to shake hands or bump elbows felt awkward and almost had me wishing for the home-office comfort zone of my leggings and Teams meetings. Almost. It didn’t…

I wrote an article not long ago on the need to build your digital “dream team,” but what exactly is the responsibility of leaders in our digital age? I spoke with Russell Masters, director of IT and analytics at DHU, a provider to the UK National Health Service, for this week’s podcast about the degree to which all leaders must develop digital capabilities. Does everyone need to be a digital expert? No, but all leaders…

On this week’s podcast, I welcome Dr. Andreas Schroeder, Digital Lead of The Advanced Services Group at Aston Business School back to discuss the ways in which Servitization and sustainability are linked. The Advanced Services Group is preparing for its Servitization Live event, which runs October 4-6 in a hybrid format, and sustainability is one of the major themes being covered. According to Dr. Schroeder, sustainability and Servitization are closely linked and companies with interest…

Throughout my career I’ve been asked countless times about how companies can master the complexities of technology and I’ve always answered the same way: “Actually, technology is the easy part.” When I first gave this answer, it had a different meaning than it does today – but nonetheless, it holds true. As we find ourselves surrounded by disruption and working hard to innovate and adapt, we must acknowledge that people are the crux of our…

I wrote an article a couple of years ago about the dichotomy of service leadership, discussing how – as the need for innovation in service has increased – we have put unfair expectations on our service leaders to be masters at both operational excellence and innovation. Now, I do believe that innovation is everyone’s responsibility – but only to a degree. What I mean is that the expectation for a service leader to contribute to…

Let’s be clear – no one is suggesting that continual improvement isn’t a good thing. However, what deserves some real exploring is whether incremental improvement is killing true innovation within your business. There are a number of reasons this can happen – incremental improvement can feel like “enough” if your business is achieving success; even as opportunity for true innovation abounds. Incremental improvement feels safe, whereas innovation can be scary. And, perhaps worst of all,…