Frontline Innovators


This is Frontline Innovators. Hosts Justin Lake and Gene Signorini speak with experts who are leading the way and driving digital transformation to the frontlines. We explore how to overcome challenges and achieve success when we empower our essential workers.

This podcast is sponsored by Skyllful, on a mission to help frontline workers learn and use the technology needed to succeed in their jobs.

All Episodes

The pandemic has had an effect on all frontline workers that we are still trying to understand today. That’s what today’s guest sees as one of the major issues that frontline workers face. Cristina Rivera, the Manager of Future Ready Workforce at PepsiCo, has a passion for finding new ways to make others lives easier. She joins host Justin Lake to sit down and talk about how not only the pandemic, but the speed of change are some of the issues that currently plague today’s deskless workforce.  Takeaways    The biggest challenge facing the frontline workers today is the speed in change of skills. Learning new skills while being a frontline worker is a multi-generational issue. It doesn’t only affect the older workers in the position.  Those on the frontline often feel overworked, feeling like they are doing more work with less people. A way to combat this is to make sure those on the frontline are up to date on their skills and fully trained. Those in a position of change management need to take into account the fear that frontline workers have that technology will replace them, and help them understand that it won’t take their job away.  Frontline workers need to hear from other frontline workers who have gone through the changes to know what to expect, hearing it from someone in corporate isn’t as impactful to them.  You would use different strategies to communicate change in a typical corporate job than you would use with frontline workers.  The biggest question right now is how do we get more people back in the workforce and increase the amount of workers taking  frontline jobs. Quote of the show 15:34 “​Any time we want to roll out something with the intent to make their lives easier that with the intent to make things smoother or more effective, the fear comes in. I think that fear is one of the biggest things that people who are in charge of change management and any culture shift in an organization, those human elements are the pieces that we have to tend to the most because that's what is changing much more than my behaviors and me pushing whatever buttons.” Links   LinkedIn: Company Website: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube -

Nov 30

48 min 19 sec

Kristi Walker, Change Management Consultant at Arizona Public Service, joins host Justin Lake to discuss the constant changes that frontline workers are seeing and what tools are out there to make their lives easier. With over 20 years of experience in change management, she was also the assistant executive director at the Arizona Exposition and State Fair.     Takeaways    The biggest challenge facing the deskless worker today is the transfer of information between people. Always know your audience. If you are trying to sell change, you want to know what your selling can actually help those deskless workers. Promote the “desire” piece of change. Those on the frontline should have a desire to try the new change you are promoting, and it makes it harder to accept if they don’t look forward to it. Working from home was a difficult task for frontline workers. They still have to go out everyday while others don’t have to, so making sure they are acknowledged and rewarded for their hard work is a key to keeping them happy. Having field workers on your change champion network is a great idea. Not only do the frontline workers feel more valued in that case, but there might be an issue they are having that upper management might not have known otherwise. Face-to-face communication is always better than electronic communication. Quote of the show:   0:43 “The biggest challenge for them right now is communications. We have such a hard time making sure that they get the information they need to be successful. We've worked with their leadership to get involved, they have these tailgate meetings before the start of every shift. You really have to get in front of them, kind of face-to-face if you can, to get the information across. So that's our main way of working with them, but we're always exploring new ways to really reach out and make sure they have what they need.” Links   LinkedIn: Company Website: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube -

Nov 23

53 min 27 sec

Listening to deskless workers can provide valuable feedback for those in the management position. On this episode of Frontline Innovators, host Justin Lake is joined by Shelby Matzell, Manager, Gas Transformation Change Office at National Grid. Together they talk about how utilizing feedback from the frontline workers can make those hard workers feel heard and understood, while also answering questions that management may not have known where being asked.      Takeaways    The biggest challenge facing deskless workers today is being able to reach them with communication.  With frontline workers not being in the office, it’s important to stay in touch with them. All teams should be on the same app to make that easier.  Repetition is key. You can’t expect people to understand new technologies or new plans on the first try, so it’s important to have a process and plan in place to explain it all. Listen to those on the frontline. They might need a refresher on an app or a tool, whatever it may be, as long as you listen to them and help it only makes everyone’s job easier.  Video presentations are an easier way of learning to use technology rather than just sharing screenshots. Drip-feed learning is when you provide information to those on the frontline in a slow and methodical way, rather than overloading them with change. Quote of the show:   11:51 “I would say if we could just take their feedback from any form that we're able to get that from, whether it's a survey, live feedback, anything that they're requesting more info on, or just like we talked about a tool. If it's a tool that they need a refresher on, whatever it is that they're asking for. And if we have the ability to deliver that for them doing the best we can to meet them where they need to be. Because I do think if we were able to take their feedback or their suggestions and deliver, then they would be more receptive to anything else that we bring to them in terms of communication or in terms of what they need to know for their role, and being able to deliver that as well.”     Links   LinkedIn: Company Website: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube -

Nov 19

52 min 24 sec

Corbin Kimberling, the ITSM Change Manager at Sage Therapeutics, knows that the process in change management and being proactive is key to change management success. Along with host Justin Lake, they go over ways that successful change can help those on the frontline, as well as the role empathy plays in understanding the struggles of the deskless workers. Takeaways    The biggest issue facing the deskless workers today is the communication gap between those in upper management and the frontline workers themselves.  The people who create changes to new applications and infrastructure have the best intentions for helping those on the frontline but they don’t understand what they really need. Companies that don’t have a change management department are often being more reactive to change rather than being proactive.  Frontline workers greatly appreciate communication in the field. It makes their lives and jobs easier and better. You need to have processes in place to have successful change, but you also need a process in place in case of emergencies. Incomplete Testing is when a change in a product is tested but only to see if the change works, not how it interacts with the rest of the product.  Quote of the show:   4:33 “People that create these new changes to applications, new changes to infrastructure, their intention is to help out and to make it better. A lot of times what's causing these changes are the people that are on the frontline. They're sending in a ticket saying, ‘hey, it'd be better if it worked here.’ And I think the assumption is, well, if I go out there and change that everyone's going to celebrate me and I'm going to be great. It's gonna be awesome. And they forget exactly what they've asked for. But that was one person and that one person, may be in a specific place where they may not understand what all the other people are going through.” Links   LinkedIn: Company Website: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube -

Nov 16

50 min 45 sec

After working at companies like eBay and Sports Authority doing business and system analysis, Ashish Nangia, Program Manager II of Configuration and Change Management at Amazon, Inc. went back to school to learn about something he is passionate about; management information systems. Ashish, joins host Justin Lake to discuss ways that upper management can show their appreciation for deskless workers and come up with solutions for everyday issues that they face.      Takeaways    The biggest challenge facing the frontline workers right now is making sure they feel more valued and wanted.  Safety is the priority with frontline workers. You want to make sure they are able to do their job safely but you also don’t want to diminish their abilities for incentives with all the change. The pandemic has changed a lot for the frontline workers, but the biggest change is the mental aspect of it that is added to what is already a physically demanding job. One way to help frontline workers understand the technology better is to offer a daily learning session where they can spend a certain amount of time asking questions and trying out different things on the new technology. It’s better to explain why the process of new technology works rather than explaining how it works because everyone is at a different step with technology. Changing technology is good, but it is changing at such a rapid pace that those on the frontline are struggling to keep up with it.  Quote of the show:    1:06 “What has not been taken into consideration is the thought process and the feelings that somebody who's at the front end, who doesn't have that flexibility goes through. And I think as a leader and as bigger companies, I think those thought processes are now being thought of at the front end. And some of the changes are coming through. You see companies offering education, or funding, college tuition, and so on. So the biggest challenge is how do you make them feel more valued? So it's a level playing field for everybody in the organization.”   Links   LinkedIn: Twitter: Company Website: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube -

Nov 12

46 min 58 sec

On this episode of Frontline Innovators, Michelle Pacilli, the Change Adoption Manager at Echo Global Logistics, joins host Justin Lake to talk about the biggest challenges facing frontline workers today and how a sense of community amongst deskless workers and management can help those on the frontline get through issues they are facing.      Takeaways    The biggest challenge that frontline workers face today is how they can make working from home easier on themselves. The sense of community that has occurred during the pandemic is helpful for frontline workers. It helps them to feel connected to management and not alone. During the pandemic, many companies switched from making their typical products to help those in need, which influenced how those on the frontline do their work. The frontline workers are the ones that speak directly to the customers, so they need to be up to date on all the latest technology and information. Letting the stakeholders and frontline workers try out new technologies is a great way to get realistic feedback on what works and what doesn’t. TMS is a Transportation Management System; it’s how companies like Echo Global Logistics manage their day to day tasks such as billing and invoicing. Quote of the Show:    1:34 “The silver lining of everything that's happened over the last two years is that we've developed a community in a sense, in any aspect, whether that be at work or at home frontline workers.   We've developed this sense of 'got to get through this together and what are you doing to help you get through this?’ And so it's very interesting.”  Links   LinkedIn: Company Website: Twitter: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube -

Nov 9

41 min 26 sec

Maddie Neuman shares her admiration for the bravery and courage of frontline workers - particularly during the pandemic. Neauman, is the Manager, Learning & Development & Organizational Change Management Office within the Technology organization at T-Mobile. She joins host Justin Lake to give her insight on how upper management can show appreciation for those deskless workers. Takeaways    The biggest issue facing the deskless worker is the lack of communication. Sometimes communication can be like a game of telephone tag and the meaning of the message gets lost on the way to those on the frontline. There isn’t one certain way to do change management. There are plenty of different strategies and it’s worth trying a few different ones to get the one that works for you. Those on the frontline are the ones who have the best perspective of what the customers want or need. With everyone working remotely, it’s important to think of ways to have employees be engaged, and a great way of doing that is by listening to the questions deskless workers have. Frontline workers were the ones keeping the stores alive during the pandemic, going into the store everyday and answering the phone and providing anything customers need. Change fatigue is what happens when humans reach their limit of how much change they can handle. Quote of the show:   1:28  “I think sometimes even if communication is trickling down, it changes and morphes as it moves along. And so I think sometimes the issue is the lack of communication. And sometimes the issue is the changing of the communication as it makes its way through. So I think that's a really big challenge. And I would also say an opportunity for organizations to look at how to get that right, and how to make sure that employee voices and sentiment from the frontline is heard and taken seriously.” Links   LinkedIn: Company Website: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube -

Nov 5

52 min 25 sec

Today’s guest is a former frontline employee, and uses his past experience to help make life easier for other deskless workers. Lee Goldstein is a Change Manager at a major energy corporation, and he joins host Justin Lake to give his insight on how to help those frontline employees and make their lives easier through the use of new technology. Takeaways    The biggest challenge that deskless workers face today is communication. Often these employees are working odd hours, holidays, and weekends which makes it difficult for them to reach someone in management with any issues or questions. Those in management can go out in the field or ride in a truck with those frontline workers to understand what their daily life is like and the struggles they face, and have a better understanding of how to solve any issues they face.  It’s difficult to get frontline workers to adopt new technology. These employees are keeping the lights on and their job depends on understanding how the new technology works, if it’s too complicated there could be major issues.  If you leave the frontline workers out when thinking of new technology, that isn’t helpful. Their input is incredibly valuable as they are the ones that will be using the technology all the time. The buy-in for your organization starts with asking “why?”. Just asking why you are doing something can determine if it is something that is necessary or not.  Getting to know the frontline workers in your company is a valuable thing. They are people with their own hopes and dreams for the company, it’s worth listening to them. Quote of the show:   12:04 “There's two real parts to project management, change management, if you will. There's the technical side and then there's the people side. So I was on the technical side, so if you're creating a product or you're introducing something, building something, whatever, just call it technical. And then there's the people side of it.  So I really made that jump from the operations technical side over to the people side because I've tried to tell people, it's just that altruistic jump that you make at some point. You really want to help people. And it might not make sense, but it's a path to get to the people in a new and special and impactful way. And so for the past couple of years, I've been in a change management role and it's been incredible.” Links   LinkedIn: Company Website: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube -

Nov 2

57 min 43 sec

Making sure the lights and power stay on are often things that are taken for granted, but the men and women on the frontlines are hard at work every day keeping everything going. Kurt Kidwell, a continuous improvement manager for a major electric utility, joins the host Justin Lake to talk about ways that management can listen to those on the frontline and come up with helpful solutions to their problems.    Takeaways  The biggest challenge facing the deskless worker right now is how virtual meetings impact those frontline employees. Virtual meetings make it difficult to connect with those working outside on the frontline. The frontline workers are the most impacted and the most at risk when it comes to technology. It’s important to make sure the technology is easy enough to master and able to use it anywhere on the road. Give the deskless workers one device and have them do all their work from that one device and limit the amount of things they are asked to do. That will allow them to be freed up to do their job.  A common problem when creating a new app or a new way of doing work for those on the frontline is that people focus on what sounds good in an office, but that often doesn’t apply to those deskless workers and it isn’t good in the field. You can't build mobile technology solutions from a conference room. The worker is the solution, not the problem to be solved. Management often tries to find new technologies to help the frontline workers, and those workers are the most important part of the equation. Frontline workers have been through so much change that the older workers won’t be as surprised as the younger workers will be.   Quote of the show: 17:08 In terms of developing new technology... “what sounds good in an office - most times that isn't good in the field. And a lot of times we see a transfer of responsibility of gathering information down to the field and it's not intentional. I think it's something that as this technology develops and we're learning and I'm trying to get better. It's something that kind of just happens and we have to really be careful to be mindful and watch what responsibilities and what things that are we asking of our frontline employees to do.”   Links LinkedIn: Twitter: Company Website:   Ways to Tune In: Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube -

Oct 29

51 min 43 sec

With technology constantly evolving, it can be difficult for deskless workers to keep up with all the change. Nikki Tollefson, Principal Change Consultant, Human Resources at C.H. Robinson, joins host Gene Signorini to give her insight on how to properly execute changing technology for those on the frontline without overwhelming them at the same time.  Takeaways    Over the last 18 months, frontline workers have been faced with so much change to make their role more efficient but at the same time it creates a challenge of trying to avoid so much change at one time. There’s no need to make any new changes or projects overly complicated. Keeping it simple is the best way to go because that won’t overwhelm people, and it allows them the chance to ease into the change. It’s no longer about making change the “new shiny toy”, instead it’s important to be humble about it and be mindful of how you connect the dots. Change management is like a three legged stool. HR, Finance and Technology all need to work together in order to make sure the entire structure remains strong. Technology isn’t necessarily the solution, it is the impetus to change.  Really strong stakeholder management, strong partnerships with those deskless workers, and a strong dose of humility is incredibly important when it comes to change management.  Quote of the show:   5:15   “Our employees, whether they sit at a desk or they're on that frontline, they're that deskless worker, have more going on than they've ever had going on before. And how I think that's shifted my approach to how I think about the work that I do is I think how do I make it less about my change really in some ways.  Because again, I think if we can get really, really excited about the project that we're working on and how do I make it more about what's going to make sense for them. And really that is my guiding principle that I've tried to use over this last year specifically is don't over-engineer it right? Like, keep it as simple as possible for people.” Links LinkedIn: Twitter: Company Website: Peloton: MinneAppleMomma Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube -

Oct 26

48 min 21 sec

Sean Higgins, Organizational Change Manager for Insight Global, has empathy for the frontline workers after his time working at a grocery store. He uses this empathy to better relate to those deskless workers and the struggles that they face on a daily basis.  On this episode of Frontline Innovators, Sean and Justin discuss how the deskless worker can be better prepared for the changes in technology that they face.      Takeaways    The way in which the roles will be changing for frontline employees in terms of new technology being implemented is one of the biggest challenges they face.  Having empathy for those working on the frontline is extremely important. The struggles that they face are important to management and should be taken notice of.  When working for a grocery store, Sean noticed the positive change of introducing new technology into the store, such as being able to communicate with any other employee at a moment’s notice to answer any questions. Change saturation is about assessing the changes that are happening within the organization. Management doesn’t want to deflect you from anything that can make the frontline worker more successful. You need to be able to stand firm on your goals and know when they are not on track, and what to do to get them back on track. Quote of the show:   9:30 "​​When I went into some of the stores as part of the team to develop the training, update the communications and so forth - there was, I don't want to say equal group, but - there was a group of people, very excited about being able to use technology in their day-to-day work. So maybe they had been in a role in that store for a few years. They'd done different things, different departments. Now they're introducing this kind of new, fresh way of working. It's got a high profile, you get a different shirt than the rest of the employees. So you also want to leverage that too.” Links   LinkedIn: Company Website: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube -

Oct 19

54 min 59 sec

Jimmy Alyea, Senior Planner and Change Management Specialist at Oxiteno, is a demonstrated leader in both supply chain management and marketing. After working for an oil company where he saw that there were ways to speed up general processes and make them more efficient, he decided to get into change management. On this episode of Frontline Innovators, Jimmy and Justin discuss how the deskless worker can be better prepared for the changes in technology that they face.    Takeaways    Communication is the biggest challenge facing the deskless worker. Ever since the iPhone came out and we entered the digital age officially, we started migrating from old fashion in person meetings to phone calls, to text messages, video chatting. There are two ways to do any job; the easy way or the hard way. Jimmy got into change management as a way to get a job done in an easier way.  The frontline workers need to be more empowered. They are the ones who are using the technology on a daily basis, they deserve to have their voices heard on any changes. The men and women on the frontline represent 80% of the global workforce.  There are 5 outcomes for change to be successful: Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement (ADKAR Method) The change management process is a team process. You either move forward as a team or you move backward as a team. Quote of the show:   19:39  “Frontline workers are talking to upper management and saying, Hey, we should be doing it this way. And It's interesting to see how they sell their ideas to upper management, which tends to be more effective because they're not forcing it on them.   They're telling them, Hey, we want to be more efficient. This is a better idea. As, I guess you could say as a generation X-er, I'm having to learn. Okay. That is a good idea. How do I do it? And I'm having to go to them to get taught how to work their ideas with their technology. And they have a lot of great ideas.   And if you don't empower them and listen to them and give them that microphone to speak up, then you're going to see companies fail. And the upper managers, the older, more experienced workforce is going to get pushed out.” Links   LinkedIn: Company Website: Twitter: Personal website: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube -

Oct 12

58 min 55 sec

Jessica Sirico, Senior Training and Change Management Specialist at Suez, is here to help the deskless worker navigate an ever changing world. On this episode of Frontline Innovators, Justin and Jessica discuss how they can better prepare those on the frontline for rapid changes.      Takeaways    The amount of changes happening at one time is the biggest challenge facing deskless workers today.  It’s more critical now than ever for companies to have change management so employees can thoroughly understand how the changes coming up will impact them.  It’s important for the frontline workers to feel connected to the people who work in corporate. Going out to the field and seeing what a day in their life looks like can strengthen those relationships. In IT, the impact of new technology implementation often neglects the human side and how the change can make people feel.  Change management is really a collective effort. It’s not just the managers themselves that are leading it, but middle managers and frontline employees all need to be a part of it. When you are training frontline workers on new technology, the goal is to make the training as simple as possible and work your way up to the complicated steps.  Jessica’s favorite part of change management is when she can see the employees she has trained are comfortable and prepared for the changes they will soon face.  Quote of the show 50:15  “I always say that learning a new technology for work is like breaking in a new pair of workboots. You are very comfortable in your current pair but maybe they are falling apart, maybe they aren’t safe anymore, so you have to change, you have to get a new pair. It might take a week to break them, you might get some blisters, you might not feel comfortable but it’s going to get better. That’s the message I always have to portray.  It’s going to be rocky the first couple of days and that’s expected, no one expects you to come out of the gate perfect but you will get past all those bumps and all those hiccups and we are here to support you as well.” Links LinkedIn: Company Website:   Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube -    

Oct 5

55 min 33 sec

Andrea Johnson, Senior Manager of Change Management at Sprouts, is passionate about continuous learning and empowering change. She improves customer and employee experiences through human-centered design and technology enablement.  On this episode of Frontline Innovators, Andrea and Justin discuss how change management professionals can help deskless workers understand new changes and how it benefits them.      Takeaways    The speed of change is one of the biggest challenges facing deskless workers today. It’s a lot easier to digest change if you understand why it’s happening, but the message doesn’t always get down to frontline employees. Andrea started her career in digital product marketing with huge teams that developed products for customers, but the systems they used didn’t line up with what they needed You can invest millions of dollars into a system but at the end of the day if people aren’t using it then the residual income is zero. People still need to use the system to make it worthwhile. You need all hands on deck and everyone needs to have bought in so that they can tell you what can work and what might not work.  If leadership hasn’t bought in, that rolls down hill and eventually the end-user won’t buy-in. The fact that technology is always changing is something that is exciting to Andrea. It makes each day different.  There are many different learning styles in any given workplace that each span different generations, learning to teach to each one is beneficial. Quote of the show: 18:53 “You have 5 generations in the workforce. There’s not a one size fits all OCM plan, rinse and repeat. You have to, one, account for all the generations and learning styles, how readily they are to embrace technology and respond in different ways.  Some people want to get help in different ways. Some people don’t want to sit in an instructor-led training, they’d rather just have some bite-sized video online. It’s really understanding the audiences and their pain points with the current state and figuring out how to make that case for them that it might be a little painful at first, nothing is going to be without its hiccups but at the end of the day when we get through this.  We’re going to make your job easier, be more productive, whatever those benefits and they have to believe it.”      Links   LinkedIn: Company Website: Personal website: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube -

Sep 28

45 min 30 sec

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.   Links LinkedIn: Ways to Tune In: Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube - Full video -  

Sep 21

56 min 29 sec

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   Links   LinkedIn: brett broadrick 1 Company Website: Company LinkedIn: IBM Study - making-change-work Bridges Transition Model:   Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube - Full video -

Sep 16

51 min 24 sec

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 Links   LinkedIn: Company Website: Company LinkedIn: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube - Full video -

Aug 17

44 min 3 sec

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 Links   LinkedIn: Company Website: Company LinkedIn: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube - Full video -

Aug 11

1 hr 3 min

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. Links   LinkedIn: Company Website: Company LinkedIn: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube - Full video -

Aug 3

51 min 50 sec

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. Links LinkedIn: Company Website: Company LinkedIn:   Ways to Tune In: Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube - Full video -

Jul 27

49 min 51 sec

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  Links LinkedIn: Company Website: Company Twitter:  Ways to Tune In: Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube - Full video -

Jul 20

44 min 40 sec

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 Links   LinkedIn: Company Website: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube - Full video -

Jul 13

37 min 13 sec

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. Links   LinkedIn: Company Website: Company LinkedIn: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube - Full video -

Jul 6

54 min 2 sec

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. Links   LinkedIn: Company Website: Company LinkedIn: Ways to Tune In:   Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Spotify - Stitcher - Google Play - YouTube - Full video -

Jul 2

1 hr 4 min

On this episode of Frontline Innovators, we discuss new technology and analytics of today’s desk-less frontline workforce. What is the best technology for your team? How can companies better address the frontline workers’ pain points? Deanna Self, Industry Principal - Supply Chain at Zebra Technologies, shares her experience with frontline workers and addressing pain points through technology implementation.   Takeaways  Being desk-less is one of the biggest challenges facing the frontline workforce. It can be a challenge keeping up to date on new policies without easy access to communication through technology. Many companies do not have analytics on the frontline. These are essential to optimizing operations and deciphering whether or not the go-to-market strategy needs to be reorganized. Not everything requires technology to be solved. Find what makes the most sense for your organization based on the long term objectives.  When discussing with the frontline workforce you are often talking within silos. A lot of times a company will implement a change but not understand how it will impact up or down stream. Be proactive on the innovation front. Look at the technology through a need to have versus want to have lens. Is implementing _____ technology going to help now or is it something to circle back to in the future. The pandemic allowed people to prove that they can accomplish their tasks outside of the traditional work settings.   Links LinkedIn: Company: Company LinkedIn:   Ways To Tune In Amazon Music -  Apple Podcast - Google Play - Spotify - Stitcher - Youtube -

Jun 22

51 min 19 sec

On this episode of Frontline Innovators, Michael Langley, VP of Business Transformation at Pepsi Bottling Ventures, joins host Justin Lake to discuss the challenges of implementing technology that directly impacts the frontline workforce.    Michael brings true awareness, and a sense of empathy as a former driver himself! “Meet them where they are,” Michael says. It’s important to have first hand experience with the frontline worker, not just build technology from a conference room.    Takeaways    Meeting them where they are - in terms of technical proficiency and other job skills, and how they accept change, are they willing to accept change Change management is key for digital adoption. If you want end users to embrace new technology, make them part of the process! Don’t just ask for input but include end users in the process! Understanding the frontline workers is critical. Frontline workers need to be part of the dedicated team to understand how they’re trying to use the information, their constraints and all the pain points… you need to spend some time in the field.  Look at people as individuals; age isn’t indicative of curiosity, aptitude or ability The future of frontline workers and IT is about safety, security and creating easier workflows For safety, drivers certainly play a crucial role, and anything that can help them be safer on the road, not robotics necessarily, should be explored In stores, Google glasses may be a thing. Could this create more seamless ordering, or is it a potential security risk? Looking to the future for change management; great idea to let technology take over for some manual, tedious things, which could help elevate some individuals roles “I’ve been extremely blessed that I’ve had organizations that have supported me, family that has supported me, and certainly the ability to get the education needed to help me better be able to implement the technology and the skills I needed to be successful.” Links   LinkedIn: Website: Company LinkedIn:

Jun 17

52 min 41 sec

On this episode of Frontline Innovators, we discuss new technology and automation in today’s desk-less frontline workforce. How are these innovations affecting workflow? Are they helping or hurting? What can be done to make application more adaptive for the workers? Jennifer McComas, CTO, Energy and Utilities Industry Squad at IBM, shares her experience with frontline workers and the implementation of new technology solutions.   Takeaways  The pace of technology is one of the biggest challenges facing the frontline workforce. Although automation is intended to be helpful for the frontline, it becomes a hindrance for workers who are not accustomed to learning new technologies. Oftentimes we use technology as a solution rather than reflecting on what the business objectives are and then looking at technology, if at all, to address the issue. Implement technology with people, not to people, by starting a discussion with the frontline workers. Ask them what they are doing, what could be improved and their tolerance to adopting a technology solution. Two common misconceptions behind artificial intelligence and automation are that 1) folks do not understand the algorithm behind the scenes and 2) they are not involved in the training process of the model. “Automation and automated processes are the ultimate way to capture the important knowledge that was used to do [frontline work] in a way that can not only support the new worker that is coming along, but also creates a sustainable record of what that process is and why.” ~Jennifer “There is never going to be a shortage of challenges or opportunities. Whether you are a desk-less, frontline, or knowledge worker we all need to be comfortable with change.” ~Jennifer   Links LinkedIn: Website: Company LinkedIn:

Jun 15

51 min 37 sec