Frontline Innovators

Driving Change Forward - Frontline Innovators - Episode # 089

August 19, 2022

Today’s guest is a computer science graduate, but she quickly discovered that it wasn’t the technology that got her pumped about her job but how people use that technology to make their work and personal lives easier and more creative. Debbie Jackson is the Director of Learning and Development at Ciena. Debbie joins host Justin Lake to talk about how the advancement in technology can help to make the lives of frontline workers easier and better.




  • The biggest challenge facing frontline workers today is the issue of fatigue. In the last few years, frontline workers have gone through a lot of changes in guidelines and rules.
  • A lot of frontline workers haven’t been given the luxury of time and during the pandemic, they were putting their lives on the line to show up to work.
  • Learning needs to be about enabling individuals to do something in a better fashion. Learning should not be treated like a checkbox item. 
  • It’s important to enable frontline workers so that they can be successful. A mentorship is a good idea as people want to connect with others at a new company but don’t know how.
  • Many projects look at just the start date and the go-live date but there’s more that goes on in between those phases that needs equal attention.
  • You want to have communication between different departments at a company in order to make everything run smoothly.
  • Implementation teams should not disappear after a product or service has gone live. They can still be of use by providing a helpful service to fix any issues with the product.


Quote of the show

2:54 “So when I look at our frontline workers, I have to wonder how much fatigue are they carrying? It's that emotional, physiological, mental fatigue of the change, the weight that they've been carrying while showing up every day to do their job.”




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