Frontline Innovators
Change: Inevitable, Not Easy - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 13

Change: Inevitable, Not Easy - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 13

September 21, 2021

Blanca Nieto, Change Management Specialist, joins host Justin Lake on this episode of Frontline Innovators Change Management Leadership series. They discuss keeping up with the rapid pace of technology and how to facilitate these changes for employees with different levels of understanding and comfort.

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • We grow in community, we don’t grow in isolation.
  • Change is inevitable, but it’s not easy.
  • Don’t make assumptions. For you, one thing might be easy. For me, it might be hard. 
  • Use QR technology as a resource.
  • Don’t wait for customers to tell you what they need. Understand the future for them.
  • There will always be diversity in the level of adoption and comfort with technology.

 

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Making Change Work - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 12

Making Change Work - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 12

September 16, 2021

On this episode of Frontline Innovators Brett Broadrick, Senior Organizational Change Consultant at Cerner Corporation joins host Justin Lake to talk change management!

 

Change causes a lot of anxiety and frustration. But--just like gravity--we can’t fight it. We can leverage it, and we can know how to work with it, but we know that technology is ultimately going to change frontline workers’ experiences. Instead of glossing over this reality, what can we do with this reality? What can we do for the frontline worker? Change management doesn’t erase the transition a company goes through when implementing change, but it can shorten it and shallow the curve.  

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing the deskless workforce: sacrificing quality for efficiency
  • How a company can be a “change architect” 
  • Why you must not leave your frontline workers out of the planning process
  • Change management and the William Bridges transition model
  • What is ADKAR and where does training fall in this process
  • Pathways to recovery are numerous, but they all boil down to the same change management methodology in the way that our brains work

 

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Innovating for Successful Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 11

Innovating for Successful Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 11

August 17, 2021

Scott Kameron, President & COO of EVS, LLC, joins host Eugene Signorini to discuss how impactful having a change management system is when implementing new digital technology. Focusing on the people behind the process is crucial to the success of digital adoption.

 

Takeaways 

 

  • “People are struggling with software that was built to accommodate business processes but wasn't built to accommodate people.”- Scott
  • It's critical to comprehend the entire procedure and truly comprehend the ultimate objective and how you may accommodate that without having to add a macro level just by developing software and functionality to deal with each checkbox.
  • When it comes to bringing anything new, from a technology and process standpoint, a lot of the things holding firms back are just the complexity and the general organizational nervousness.
  • Organizational change management is a fantastic tool, and there is no substitute for being able to comprehend how technology will interact with people and process great technology, amazing user experience, screens, and hardware to solve organizational challenges.
  • “One of the things that we've seen in overcoming some of these challenges is the gamification metrics.” - Scott

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Creating Successful Teams - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 10

Creating Successful Teams - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 10

August 11, 2021

Chris Grubbs, Program Manager at Southwest Airlines, joins host Justin Lake to discuss how to bridge the gap between frontline workers and management. He also discusses how Southwest Airlines have adapted to technological changes and have created successful teams

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Engage frontline leaders by getting them to share feedback to bring to management which will in turn lower their frustration and stress levels.
  • Keep frontline workers involved by having mechanics and inspectors participate in pilot testing gathering their feedback electronically.
  • It's beneficial to have frontline employees become evangelists so that when returning to their team they feel that their feelings have been heard by the management.
  • “There's always multiple opportunities to enhance customer service to provide more capabilities to our operational team on the ground as they service those customers.” - Chris

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Sea of Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 9

Sea of Change - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 9

August 3, 2021

Sarah Nicastro, Vice President of Customer Advocacy at IFS, joins host Eugene Signorini to share her insight on technological advances that can affect company operations and business practices.

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The pace of change, whether in corporate strategy or technology, is one of the greatest challenges. 
  • “Change is not always easy, it can be very challenging even if it is a good change.” - Sarah
  • Technology and client expectations are mutually reinforcing. Technology evolves, shifting and changing the customer expectations. As a result, those expectations become more demanding, and the cycle continues.
  • Companies can set themselves up for success if they regard change management as a necessity and approach it in a different way.
  • “A little bit of reassurance in the form of articulating to those frontline workers, how they fit into this new world, and this new vision can make a world of difference.” - Sarah
  • The failure of a company to recognize how knowledgeable their frontline employees are, causes a sense of dissatisfaction, which is not conducive to change initiative.

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Solving Disconnects - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 8

Solving Disconnects - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 8

July 27, 2021

Shari Christofferson, President at Mobile Systems Intelligence by Connect Inc, shares her unique expertise as well as solutions to typical problems seen facing deskless workers.

 

Christofferson with host Eugene Signorini, discuss new technology and the disconnects between corporate workers and today's frontline workforce and how it can influence workflow.

 

Takeaways 

  • Both decision-makers and front-line workers are trying to improve mobile adoption and digital transformation as it occurs in the field.
  • There is a disconnect, certain gaps that prevent the front-line workers from having a voice and expressing themselves and this is a bit of a mismatch for both ends.
  • “There's a space there where the users have something they're trying to use and when it's breaking down, it is referred to as a disconnect.” - Shari
  • Frontline workers are often hesitant to embrace technology due to frustration, nervousness, or a lack of understanding of how to use it.
  • Understanding what frontline staff are going through and being able to provide support so they can fulfil their obligations and jobs more efficiently is critical.
  • “There are so many far reaching implications of this disconnect between what the users are experiencing with the technology and what the intention is.” - shari
  • The challenge is to develop a feedback loop between the user, the support team, and the IT team that needs to assist them.

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Putting it Together - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 7

Putting it Together - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 7

July 20, 2021

John Wirthlin, Industry Principal of Manufacturing, Transportation & Logistics at Zebra Technology, shares with host Eugene Signorini that how to empower the frontline workforce is about getting them the most information where they are, in the field. These frontline workers rely on their mobile devices for the most up to date, real time information as possible. 

 

Takeaways 

  • Providing as much real time information as you can from a mobile device into that workers hands is key
  • There is a need to marry silo data sources such as an order management system, transportation management system & other factors into one system for ease of access
  • Increase in demand, but decrease in labor post-COVID
  • Use new technology (such as augmented reality) to train new employees quickly especially in warehouses, which simplifies and cuts down on nonproductive hours
  • “Solution first - and the right hardware is there that will fit into the right solution,” John Wirthlin
  • People make projects successful, not technology; involving the frontline workers in the process of creating new technology will help increase adaptation and pride 
  • Automation can take on less productive work to make room for workers to leverage their time in more productive ways 

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Thinking Outside Four Walls - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 6

Thinking Outside Four Walls - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 6

July 13, 2021

Mike Smola, Vice President of Strategic Mobility Team at Panasonic, is a leading advocate for helping frontline workers grasp mobile technology. Mike shares with host Gene Signorini his take on the greatest challenge facing the frontline workers and how it’s changed in a post pandemic world. 

 

 

Takeaways 

 

  • The biggest challenge facing frontline workers is enabling the frontline worker to be productive in the environment in which they work
  • Being outside of the 4-walls of the corporate building creates an obstacle for frontline workers, they can’t access tech support by walking down the hall
  • When developing any product it’s critical to understand the use case and where the product is being used - take a walk in the customer's shoes, understand what they are doing so the product can be built to support that
  • There is an expectation/requirement from millennials that technology be small, smart and simple
  • Deployment of technology increased exponentially during the pandemic which had a drastic effect on the frontline workforce
  • With Artificial Intelligence (AI), 5G, high data throughput through the cloud gives frontline workers tremendous insight, better functionality to do their job and empowers them to make better decisions at a job site
  • “One day is different from the next… There is always a new challenge. There are so many great things you learn listening to the customer,” Mike Smola

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The Other Side of Modern - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 5

The Other Side of Modern - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 5

July 6, 2021

On this episode of Frontline Innovators we talk with Daniel Schumacher - the Director of Global IT Applications and Digital Innovations. Daniel talks about how important the wellbeing of the frontline workers is and how to familiarize them with modern, innovative technology.

 

Daniel Schumacher shares his unique insights gained by putting himself in the shoes of frontline workers to investigate the issues they encounter with technology.

Takeaways 

 

  • “... The challenge is the fundamental shift of thinking of the frontline workforce first and foremost, when it comes to technology enablement.” - Daniel
  • Only once you have a thorough understanding of how the work is done, what is working and what isn't, can you begin to address the issues.
  • When firm executives involve frontline workers in the process, a positive relationship develops between them and the headquarters, increasing the adoption of technology once it is available.
  • It is only when you talk to the frontline workers that you can understand what could have been done differently if they had the appropriate tools.
  • “I think the biggest challenge is getting the technology that we put in their [frontline workers] hands to work the exact same way as any other tool that they pick up.” - Daniel
  • You can have the most advanced technologies available. However, if you don't know how to make it relevant to the person, you won't be effective.

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Understanding the Frontline Workforce - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 4

Understanding the Frontline Workforce - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 4

July 2, 2021

On this episode of Frontline Innovators, Eric McKinney, Enterprise Infrastructure Director at G & J Pepsi-Cola Bottlers, joins host Justin Lake. Together they discuss how important it is to make frontline workers feel heard and to understand the issues they encounter from their perspective.

 

Eric McKinney shares his valuable experience as he stepped into the shoes of the frontline workforce to explore the problems they face with technology.

 

Takeaways 

 

  • Covid has transformed the way the world looks at work, but the frontline staff has been left out because they have direct touch with customers. As a result, frontline workers are unaware of the concept of working from home.
  • You gain a better feel of technology if you listen to the frontline workers, then take this information and report to the back office teams; example: accounting, about inventories and where items are and how you can accommodate them.
  • Engaging frontline workers so that they can contribute to the process rather than just be on the receiving end is a great way to show them that they are being heard.
  • You need to be a salesperson to understand your frontline workers, but don't do it because you work for the same firm. If you do, your change management strategy will face resistance.
  • There's also that fear that comes that the frontline workforce is going to be replaced or outsourced by some robot or technology. - Eric
  • There is a gap between when we plan these tech investments and innovation plans and how frontline employees feel about them.

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