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November 30, 2022 | 27 Mins Read

Prioritizing Human Centricity in Service

November 30, 2022 | 27 Mins Read

Prioritizing Human Centricity in Service


In a session from the Future of Field Service Live Tour in Austin, Sasha Ilyukhin, SVP of Customer Service Operations at Tetra Pak talks with Sarah about why and how the company is putting more emphasis on human centricity in its service operations.

Sarah Nicastro: Welcome to the Future of Field Service Podcast. I’m your host, Sarah Nicastro. Today’s podcast is a session from the Austin stop of the Future of Field Service Live Tour. It features Sasha Ilyukin who is the senior vice president of customer service operations at Tetra Pak and we are talking about the need for more human centricity in service. Sasha talks about how he came to recognize as a leader that he and Tetra Pak needed to focus more on human centricity, and also how he and the company is doing so, some of the initiatives that they have underway to put more focus on their people and their people’s experiences as part of Tetra Pak and delivering services to Tetra Pak customers. I hope you enjoy.

So, we’re going to talk about prioritizing human centricity.

Sasha Ilyukhin: Yes.

Sarah Nicastro:  I’m really excited for this session. I think it’s a very important topic. And before we get into that though, tell everyone a little bit about yourself, your role, touchbacks business, and the scope of what you are responsible for.

Sasha Ilyukhin: And before I even get into that, I wanted to thank you so much for bringing up this topic because I think it’s so important. It rarely gets brought up in these conferences for field service or any of these sort of digital transformation conferences, et cetera. And I think it’s extremely important because all of us are probably struggling in one way or another with human centricity, putting the humans first before the business. So thank you very, very much for bringing up the incredible topic.

So a few words about me, I have a background in food science and food engineering. Have my master’s degree from Purdue University. I joined Tetra Pak 21-plus years ago in field service. So I was with toolbox in hand and traveling around fixing stuff. And then had a bunch of leadership jobs here in the States, in Europe, and now back to the States. So now I run our service operations business in America, so North Central, South America.

Tetra Pak, for those that may not be familiar with us, we are big in food and beverage. We’re a privately owned company, almost 70 years old. And we make equipment to make food. We make packaging material that runs on that equipment. And then we have service business that wraps around the equipment and the packaging material that we have. So I work for the service end of the business.

Sarah Nicastro: Excellent. I think we talked about this a bit at our Frankfurt event. So if any of you are not aware, this is the last in a series of live tour events that we’ve done. And so, what we talked about is the fact that I think we’re in a bit of a reckoning right now related to this topic because… So when I started in this space, all of the conversations centered around cost cutting, cost cutting, cost cutting, right? And I’m not saying that that’s still not an important thing to keep track of, but obviously, there was a shift of perceiving service as a profit center versus a cost center. And then following that became a hyper-focus on the customer experience, which makes sense.

So how do our customers feel about us and what’s their experience, what’s their impression, what’s their satisfaction level, et cetera. And while we were so hyper-focused on that, I think we overlooked the connection of employee engagement and employee experience to an extent and the direct impact that has on our customer satisfaction objectives.

So now I feel like we’re almost taking a step back as… I’m generalizing as an industry and saying, “Okay, so customer satisfaction is still incredibly important.” But now we realize that for us to have the biggest impact there we can, we need to take into account how do our employees feel in a variety of different ways, which is what we’re going to talk about today.

So I agree, it’s a topic that isn’t talked about enough, but I have a feeling it’s going to be more and more so because it’s just something that people have to dig back into and address.

So let’s start by talking a bit about company culture because I think it’s a very important part of this, but something that can be really hard to bolt down because no one’s going to say, we don’t have a great company culture. Everyone’s going to check that box. So, how would you describe Tetra Pak’s culture and how are you taking that and working on reinforcing it or representing it in the service organization?

Sasha Ilyukhin: So yeah, no, culture is extremely important. And as we all know, Peter Drucker said once that culture eats strategy for lunch. We have a decent start at Tetra Pak because we come from a Swedish heritage, so we have a lot of Swedish culture ingrained in the company. And Swedish culture is sort of high work ethic, but also very, very high focus on family, on wellness, and the balancing the time. So it’s American with that flavor of family time.

And it’s very typical for us to see, like when we go to Sweden, it’s almost like you see the bats here at sunset, you would see employees there at 5:00 PM. So at 5:00 PM at Tetra Pak, the doors open and just everyone floods out. Now, it doesn’t mean that people don’t connect later and so on, but it’s still, it’s very important to have that balance. So that’s a good start.

I mean, we don’t pretend that we know how to really run the best company in terms of human centricity, but we try our best. We have a brand promise that focuses on food, people, and planet. And so, people is really one of the three big legs that we say, “Okay, we as a company, we want to protect food, protect people, and protect the planet.” So that’s the starting point.

Now, when we look at how the culture is transforming, I just came across recently, there was an article by BCG Henderson, it was called Beautiful Management, I actually shared on LinkedIn. And I thought it was a brilliant article in a sense that where the industry is changing from the standard Fred Taylor’s scientific management, where we look at KPIs, balanced score cards and how we do, to how do we drive empathy, how do we drive engagement, how do we drive innovation related to that?

And Max talked about entrepreneurs. How do we drive that entrepreneurial spirit within the company to drive innovation? How do we drive that people collaborate to each other and drive change in the business? So to make it the full circle, that links to business resilience because business… I’ll make it a case here, that business resilience, you cannot achieve that without actually focusing and achieving human centricity. So your business will never be resilient because at the end of the day, it’s a service business that I run and service business is all about people. So it’s people talking to other people.

That’s what I tell my leadership team as well. I tell them that we’re not Tetra Pak working with Coca-Cola, we’re Sarah working with Sasha, or we’re Mike working with Fred, and so on and so forth. So it’s all about people interactions. We need to keep our people happy in order for our customers to be happy.

Sarah Nicastro: So, when did your current focus of prioritizing and reviewing, focusing on human centricity kick in and why? So what are some of the catalysts?

Sasha Ilyukhin: So, we ran a normal company for a while and we started to realize that all of a sudden we have, for example, our turnover rates are becoming higher. So we’re losing something in our company, we’re losing somehow the attractiveness for the people because all of a sudden… I mean, our turnover is still in single digits, but it doubled in the past three, four years.

So that was kind of a wake-up call for us and we’re like, “Okay, we need to do something different and not just continue to be a normal, above average company. We need to do something special here to retain people, to attract talent.” That was the wake-up call.

Sarah Nicastro: And I commend you for that because I think a lot of people could look at that doubling and just say, “Well, it’s because of the pandemic and the surrounding issues.” And sort of almost take a defeatist stance of, “Well, it is what it is, so what are we going to do about it?” And instead, you’re taking a more proactive approach of, “Okay, so these are the facts, and regardless of what external factors are weighing in, we need to sort out how to do better.”

So let’s talk about the fact that this isn’t a concept. I think one of the reasons you said at the beginning, this doesn’t get talked about a lot. I think one of the reasons for that is that people view it as sort of this woo-woo, touchy-feely, human-centricity type thing. But that’s really not the case. I mean, it is proven that companies that have better employee engagement and employee satisfaction have better results.

And so, what are your thoughts on how you balance this focus? Because I know you as a leader genuinely care, but also with the realities of how it will help the business.

Sasha Ilyukhin: I think it’s well proven to your point. And it’s proven with actually a peer-reviewed research. So I came across, there’s a research by Brown and Lamb in 2008, which is quoted everywhere. But that research established a very, very strong correlation between employee engagement and customer satisfaction. So there’s a direct correlation, unquestionable.

What’s interesting in that research is that there is no correlation backwards. So you can have very satisfied customers, but very disengaged employees. And that I find very, very interesting because you can drive customer satisfaction different ways. I mean, with price promotions, with supply chain, service levels, whatnot, but our focus is how do we keep our people engaged? I want my team to be happy with the jobs that they do. And I actually, I don’t mind if people actually leave the company because they’re not happy. So if they want to go and do something different, we had a couple of people, one left to study, another left to run a personal business, a family business, which is great.

I mean, if that’s what their calling is, I don’t want them to stay. I want them to do what they want to do. It also comes back to the types of leaders that we have because that was actually another interesting piece in that research. They had something that they called moderating variable. So what is the highest moderating variable in that ES to CX relationship? And the moderating variable was supervisory support. So it’s one on ones, it’s having basically good leaders.

So what we’re doing there is we have a mandate in my team. So on every person that we hire… Max talked about character. Character, I totally agree, 100%, it’s extremely important. Every single service tech or service engineer that we hire, I have the director for that unit sitting on that final interview. That’s mandatory. We don’t proceed forward if that doesn’t happen. I sit on every single interview for every leadership job in my team. So all the service delivery manager, I don’t care what that level is and of the leadership, every single leadership job, I sit on the interview and I’ll make time for it.

Also, we do the same for exit interviews. So we want to make sure if someone’s leaving, we want to make sure to understand why they’re leaving, because that’s a good learning for us. We can put some actions in place to say, “Okay, maybe we missed it in this case, and let’s do it better next time.” So these are some of the actions that we’re taking to try to drive that engagement.

Sarah Nicastro: I think it’s a really good point because oftentimes when senior leaders decide to put a focus on human centricity, company culture, employee engagement, any of these types of things, they rightfully want to understand how the frontline employees feel and how they can improve that.

But sometimes, the middle management layer gets overlooked and to the detriment of the mission because you can be very committed to wanting to improve that frontline experience but if you have middle management that is disengaged, unsatisfied themselves, or not competent in the ways that you need to deliver the experience you’re intending, that mission is sort for not. So I think it’s a really key point that you’re focusing efforts there as well.

All right, so how have you prioritized which areas to focus on?

Sasha Ilyukhin: So, when we started to go beyond what I would call it a normal company or wanting to be just a normal standard company out there with benefits, and medical, and dental, and all this other stuff, we started to look at… Of course, we had some consultants helping us and we started to look at things like… We’ve implemented, for example, parental leave, for example, for both parents, including adoptive parents. We implemented flex hours and we wanted to implement flex hours for the field service as well. So because typically, if you implement flex hours in the office, then the field service people start to complain like, “Yeah, these guys in the office, I mean, they get to do everything.” I mean-

Sarah Nicastro: Now, can I interject and ask how you did that?

Sasha Ilyukhin: Yeah. So-

Sarah Nicastro: Like what that looks like. Because I think it would be good for people to hear a real example because this is an area, just as an example that comes up when you start talking about employee engagement and human centricity. In field service specifically, you run into a lot of people that say, “Well, that’s just not possible because of the nature of the operations or the work and we need to get creative in looking for solutions.”

Sasha Ilyukhin: That’s exactly the point. So what we’ve done is we looked at the types of contracts that we have and luckily, a lot of the service contracts that we have… Actually, have people at customer sites for a fairly prolonged period of time, whether that’s installation, or doing services, or doing production support, and so on. So we’re not the type of business where our service tech would come for a couple of hours and just leave. So we’re typically there for longer time.

So we started to promote these kind of flexible contracts, meaning that you agree with your customer, how you want to support their operation, and I don’t really care if you come morning, evening, weekend, no weekend… I mean, the service techs actually plan it themselves. We don’t even look at that. I mean, we just leave it for them and their customers to figure this out.

Then we look looked at also travel. Travel is a big thing in service, and I think it’s the highest waste. Also, I mentioned we’re big in sustainability of service as well, and that’s the whole different big topic to cover. But travel is one of the biggest offenders in sustainability, meaning CO2 profile and so on. But travel is also the biggest waste of time and our customers need to pay for that. They don’t like to pay for that. So then it becomes of like, “How do we minimize travel?”

And we minimize travel by proactively relocating people, by establishing regional hubs. So we continuously analyze like, “Where are the jobs are?” And we put the techs with the right capability there in that area. We proactively relocate them, we pay for that relocation, and we find ways basically to bring people to specific areas where the travel is very, very minimal. Then they can plan their own time. So that gives them flexibility.

So it just takes a little bit of that type of creativity, but it takes a lot of effort. I mean, it’s simple to explain, but I have 542 service engineers, it’s complicated in terms of how we plan all that. I mean, in terms of how do we plan all of that, right? But when we put the effort there, it actually pays off quite a bit. And customers appreciate that as well because I’ve heard from a lot of my customers like, “Hey, I don’t have to pay for travel anymore. That’s perfect.”

Sarah Nicastro: Okay. All right. So I interrupted you, but we were talking about areas of focus and flexibility, and then… Okay.

Sasha Ilyukhin: Okay, so then other diversity and inclusion, a big thing. So we now started also a big program. We call it “Speak Up for Inclusion.” I have a problem in my team and the problem is actually male-female distribution. So in my leadership team, it’s 45-55. So I have 45% female, 55% male. One level below that, it’s 82-18. So I have 82 male, 18 female. One level below that I have almost 96-4. So 96% male, 4% female, huge problem.

It’s a huge problem because when the teams are not diverse, and even in that sense it just becomes a very alpha male type of culture, it’s more difficult to drive things like empathy, it’s more difficult to drive things like innovation. So we see it firsthand that the teams that are more diverse, we see much more engagement, significantly higher levels of engagement, and we were putting a lot of effort to actually build that pipeline. But it’s difficult in field service, extremely, extremely difficult.

So that’s another big area. Then mental wellness also. Right before COVID, I don’t know who had that idea, but this was a corporate program, but right before COVID, we started with this program that’s called, “It’s Okay Not To Be Okay.” And first, it was seen as a formality, like every company has some sort of a mental wellness hotline and whatnot, but we didn’t believe when we looked at the statistics of that and the types of help that people were getting, and we just realized, “Wow.” I mean, that’s extremely important as well, and meditation, Max mentioned meditation.

We also have things like these sort of what we call detox videos. It’s an interesting practice that was introduced to us by Arianna Huffington. She spoke at one of our events, and it’s a two-minute video that… I mean, all of these Gen Zs and Gen Xs, I mean, they can create it in five minutes, and you just put together a bunch of pictures of things that you really like. So maybe your family or places that you like and so on. You put it against the music background that you really like and you make it two minutes long.

And when you’re stressed out or you have three, four meetings in a row and then you just need to relax or in field service, when you’re in a tough job, the customer is just on you all the time, step out, take five minutes and look at that video, breathe in, meditate. It helps a lot. So that’s another thing that we put together.

Safety, safety also is another big priority for us. And we operate in the cultures sometimes where… And I’m not talking necessarily US, but when I visited Guatemala, man, I mean, the type of things that I saw there in terms of safety, you wouldn’t believe, right? I mean, people are running completely unsafe production and with open machinery, all kinds of bypass, safety, et cetera. And our field service engineers were always complaining to us, what can we do? How can we influence this? So we told them, we said… I mean, beyond the normal stuff, take two minutes for safety and so on, we said, “You don’t have to work like this, so please stop and demand the conditions, and then we’ll raise it up, escalate it to your leadership. We’ll make sure that the conditions are safe.” And actually, slowly but surely, things are starting to change, which is encouraging.

Sarah Nicastro: Okay. All right. So let’s dig into a couple of these in a little bit more detail. So when we think about engagement and really recognition, I know you have a firsthand perspective because you were a technician at one point yourself. So what are some of the things that you’re doing related to making sure that those employees feel valued and recognized and that sort of thing?

Sasha Ilyukhin: So, I’ll start with recognition is the best is what we find as when it comes from peers, customers, from the line manager. So it’s people-to-people recognition. I mean, we have formal programs, we have on-the-spot awards, we have annual awards.

We actually have a very nice program that we put in place called “Field Service Excellence Award.” And what that is, is that we select a bunch of people from every region. So we have 12 people participating in that. We send them to our headquarters every year, and then one of these teams wins a trophy. And that trophy is like a mobile trophy. So it comes in its own suitcase. And the commitment that we take is that this trophy then travels around all of the regional offices that we have, and people get to actually speak to their peers, to their friends, they can actually take it home. We don’t mind. I mean, they can take all kinds of selfies with it and promote it, do whatever you want. And it’s a fairly sizable, it’s a big trophy. We get to keep it for almost a year and then we have to send it back. So when one region wins, it’s a big thing for us.

So recognition is very important. The other type of… There’s non-standard recognition. So continuous education and learning is… People don’t see that as recognition, but I think it’s one of the instruments that we can recognize people with. And then just giving them access, an opportunity to get another degree, to learn. So we started with things like LinkedIn Learning with EdCast, and so that’s actually also an interesting learning right there. When we opened up these programs to our employees, we saw the engagement going up very quickly, and then it just sort of tapered off because people get exhausted.

And I mean, you’re all familiar with LinkedIn Learning, I mean, you go there and it’s like drinking from a fire hydrant. I mean, it’s, “Where do I go?” For every keyword, there’s 1.5 million trainings. So what we decided to do is we decided to curate and we decided to put together these what we call learning journeys. And in the learning journeys, we curate basically for specific jobs, specific positions that we have in the company. And so, if I’m a service engineer and I want to be a project manager, there’s a learning journey for me. I can go on my own pace, and I can basically do that. And it’s not only LinkedIn learning, but it’s also I get a chance to maybe spend some time with a project manager. I get more engaged with installations and projects all of a sudden. So I get to practically do things that I want to do in the future and get a feel for it.

And we don’t mind if they try it and they don’t like it and they say, “Well, that’s probably not something for me,” that’s actually the best kind of thing that we… So instead of putting them in that position and hoping that this is going to work, I mean, we can try it in this coaching mode and see if that works. And if it doesn’t, they can go back to the field and do what they want to do.

Sarah Nicastro: So, I think a lot of times when we talk about human centricity, people kind of separate it from digital transformation and technology, but really technology can play a big role in human centricity because if you think about the fact that it’s either helping or it’s typically a point of dissatisfaction, so it’s rarely somewhere in between. So, how does technology factor into your overall strategy?

Sasha Ilyukhin: We all learned the hard way during COVID, and you can get really exhausted with technology. Zoom, and WebEx, and Teams, and whatnot, I mean, you can get really exhausted with that, but it comes down, I think to employee experience. So we see technology as how do we enhance the employee’s experience. And when we implement different types of apps… So we have apps for field service, IFS, right? I mean, we have apps for safety, we have apps for learning, et cetera, et cetera. When we look at that, we look at does it really enhance the employee experience? Does it make their life easier or is it just another thing that we’re implementing?

I have a case here, I have a story where on the HR side, we had a case where we almost ended up with two apps for reporting hours. And that was not a good thing, but because one part of it comes from invoicing for customers, another part of it comes from internal processing hours, et cetera, and we stopped that. So we stopped that, we said, “No, no, no, no, no, we can’t do that. Yeah, it’s convenient, it works nice, it fits with our systems, it integrates, but we can’t do it like that.”

So this is one of the examples where we really need to curate technology as well. But technology certainly helps. I mean, it certainly helps. And EdCast, I mentioned EdCast for these personal journeys where we have these go-to’s and people can look at it from… We have this 70-20-10 principle, so 10% formal learning, 20% coaching, 70% on the job. In the classical, in the olden days, it used to be like you take the training 10% and then that’s it. You go on the job, you do your 70%. However you do it, it’s your thing, okay?

We want to make sure that people are actually going through that journey at their own pace. That’s one of the biggest learnings for us as a team, as a company. And one of the biggest learnings for me is one person can get a skill very quickly, another person, it takes them a little bit longer time, and again, we don’t mind. So they take the learning, they go into the coaching mode, and in the coaching mode they may realize, “Well, I don’t know this as well as I should.” So they go back to learning, they retake it again, go back again into the coaching mode. And these are the types of non-linear learning journeys that we want to promote. That’s a good recognition as well, because we give them the time to do this, we recognize that they need to take that time to learn.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. Now, I think it’s important to think about the impact of technology because if you put yourself in the shoes of the field technician, one of the things that’s going to make them automatically unhappy in their job is to arrive to do what they need to do and not have the information they need, the help they need, or to have some technology that is incredibly cumbersome and distracts them from the work they’re there to do. So it does, I think, have an important correlation.

I think the other thing is, I know Tetra Pak is in the midst of a service transformation. So focusing on human centricity in parallel or even in advance of makes change management a bit easier, rather than what companies often do is dig into change management as a result of that transformation, then find themselves in a human centricity conundrum because they start to uncover some of the issues.

So if you’re being more proactive about it can make whatever change you encounter, whether it’s technology-related or otherwise a bit easier because you have some of that foundation. So what is the feedback been from your teams so far? Have you heard any gratitude? Has there been any skepticism? What have you experienced?

Sasha Ilyukhin: We’ve heard all kinds of things and you can’t make everyone happy, but we want to make their life as easy as possible and make sure that our team is engaged. I just talked here this morning just over coffee about returning to the office. So we now have this program of returning to the office. We did the survey and the team split exactly 50-50. It’s not even 49-51, it’s 50-50. So some people are ready and eager to come back, some people are not, so we have to accommodate for all of these needs and find these interesting compromises with flex time and so on and so forth. Same goes for the field service.

What I would say is formal programs result in formal response, and it all comes down again to the leaders, to the types of leaders that we have, what they do. They need to be in the field, be with their people. I mean, I’m doing a lot of traveling, just visiting with customers and service engineers. We have road shows coming up, I will be in every single road show there. I think it’s important. It’s important to listen, and it’s important to act on what we hear from the field and how to make the life easier for our service engineers.

So again, it comes back to listening and empathy as well. There is research that I’ve seen that 80% of people would switch jobs if they don’t feel empathy from their leader. And when it comes to Gen X, it’s more like 90-plus percent would switch jobs. They don’t care about the pay, they don’t care about the benefits, they want relationship, and that I think is the key to it all.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, Sasha and I were talking with a group of other folks on a virtual focus group that we had on this topic, and that point came up about the balance between process and formal programs, which are important. You need to set some structure and you need to be thinking about how to scale certain things that are working, et cetera but also personal touch.

I think if you’re focused… If a company wants to improve human centricity by only focusing on the formal process, you’re really lacking a super important piece of the puzzle. So I think that’s a really good point. I also think it’s a good point about… You said you need to always be listening. And I think that’s the other thing is this isn’t a focus that you dig into, you make improvements, and then you move on. It’s something that needs to just become a course of continual improvement and adjustment.

So that’s where I think the process is helpful is the process of engaging and listening so that you have that insight into, “Okay, how are people feeling? What are they liking? What are they not liking?” To your point, you cannot make everyone happy, but I think there’s a lot of lift that comes from just being authentically engaged and being willing to listen even if you cannot and will not address every piece of feedback. So I think that’s really important as well. Any insights or lessons learned since you started this that you think those here today would benefit from hearing?

Sasha Ilyukhin: So, some of the lessons learned, I think Max told also about this is, again, I come back to the types of leaders that we hire and making sure that you don’t have any sort of toxicity in the team. So when the person becomes disengaged, you better catch it early before it actually happens and either fix it or get rid of them. If they become toxic, I mean, they talk to customers, they talk to peers, they talk to their families, it’s not good. It’s not good for them, not good for the company, not good for customers. So that’s one thing that we’re working really hard on is to make sure that… Is that we have the kind of engagement across the team.

Second is you don’t look at the averages because we were so blinded by looking at average utilization, average overtime, average travel. And when we benchmarked all of that, it’s like, “No, everything is fine.” And then when you look at an individual level, so all of a sudden, that average 80% utilization becomes… For someone, it’s 98%, so they’re totally overworked and burning out. For another person is 60% or 50%, and they’re sitting at home some days and probably also feeling bad because they’re like, “Why am I not needed? Why don’t I know things that are required for the company?”

Over-communicating, so during COVID, we’ve learned that skill very well. I don’t know how many one-on-ones, I have hundreds one-on-ones literally during COVID time, I don’t want to count them. But it’s important to over-communicate, it’s important to also… Anonymity, it’s okay. So when we have our events, what we call “Let’s Talk”, which are like town hall type events. We use Slido and we actually say, “Yeah, anonymity is fine, because that’s how you get the genuine feedback.” We never filter anything. So it’s like, you can put your name there, you don’t want to put your name there, that’s okay. And that’s how we get the most feedback.

And of course, being out there in the field as well, and in some ways easy to just sit in the office and trying to be this mastermind, but it doesn’t work. So being in the field, doing the Gemba for those that are in TPM as well. Go Gemba is a very, very nice principle there. It’s seeing something firsthand. And I would say also driving personal accountability is very important. That is something that we are now as a company also transforming into. We are a, again, Swedish heritage, and Swedish heritage is very collaborative culture. So we used to have everything is by consensus, so all the decisions are by consensus. So we could discuss something to death until we get to consensus. So now it’s like, “No, we want to drive quick decisions. You may disagree but commit.” Okay, we do the Amazon thing, but we take personal accountability.

So if you take a decision, you’re accountable for it. That people actually find very rewarding because all of a sudden, it’s not like, “No, it’s because of him or because of that, et cetera.” No, you take it, you run with it. And if you’re successful, great. If you’re not, we take it as a learning, learn from it, and do things better next time.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah. What’s next?

Sasha Ilyukhin: What’s next is what I just mentioned. I mean, we have this entire program, we call it “Amplify, Simplify, Empower, and Adapt.” So these are the simple behaviors that we want to actually add to our culture. A lot of it is around empowerment, delegation, personal accountability, and so on and so forth. And a lot of that comes back then to resilience, business resilience, and how do we become more adaptive as a business, more nimble, faster, we listen, we act as fast as we can.

We just had a very nice presentation from a professor from IMD School of Management. His name is Arturo Bris. And he talked about that the times are changing, so he called it the era of ignorance. And his point was that before, we all used to have these, what we would call black swan events. So everything is normal and for five years, and then all of a sudden comes the black swan, or what we would call it a tipping point or disruptive innovation, and all of a sudden, you need to be prepared for it and so on.

And he said, now, he calls it Heffalumps and Woozles. So for those of you familiar with Winnie the Pooh, these were the fictional characters that came to Winnie the Pooh every night in his nightmares. And he said, “Now, is the time of Heffalumps and Woozles, because they come to us every day.” So we had COVID and then after COVID, we have this terrible war with Russia invading Ukraine, and now we have supply chain issues, and now we have Monkeypox. And it’s like every day you wake up and then there’s a couple of other things, just add them, okay?

So the point is we need to be resilient, nimble, move fast, take accountability, and all of that comes down to human centricity because we all rely on each other as a team. If we don’t have good people around us, good, engaged people around us, then the business is doomed.

Sarah Nicastro: I love that point, because you’re right, resilience depends on connectedness, not just as a business but as people, right?

Sasha Ilyukhin: Yeah.

Sarah Nicastro: Thank you for listening. I hope enjoyed the session with Sasha from the Austin stop of the Future of Field Service Live Tour. We will soon be announcing information on what the 2023 Future of Field Service Live Tour will look like. So, be sure to stay tuned at for more. You can also find us on LinkedIn as well as Twitter….