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October 25, 2023 | 28 Mins Read

Reimagining Change Management for Today’s Service Needs

October 25, 2023 | 28 Mins Read

Reimagining Change Management for Today’s Service Needs


Sarah talks with Sara Smith, Director of Global Service Change Enablement at Waters Corporation, about her experience transitioning into a career as a woman service engineer and about what she’s learned in her current role leading global service change enablement for her company.

Sarah Nicastro: Welcome to the Future of Field Service podcast. I'm your host, Sarah Nicastro. Today we're going to be having a conversation about re-imagining change management for today's service needs. Change management has been one of the most discussed topics for the entire 15, 16 years I've been in this space, and I'm sure longer than that. But as our industry evolves, the way we need to look at change management and the topic and practices changes as well. So we're going to talk about that today. I'm excited to welcome to the podcast Sara Smith, who is Director of Global Service Change Enablement at Waters Corporation. Sara, welcome to the podcast.

Sara Smith: Thanks for having me. It's great.

Sarah Nicastro: Sara and Sarah.

Sara Smith: I know, right?

Sarah Nicastro: Doesn't get any better than that, one with an H one without.

Sara Smith: The dynamic duo.

Sarah Nicastro: A little bit of variety. Yeah. Okay. All right, so before we get into today's discussion, tell everyone a little bit about yourself, your role and what Waters does.

Sara Smith: Yeah, so thank you so much. Yeah. So like you said, my name is Sara Smith and I am the Director of Global Service Change Enablement with Waters Corporation. I've been with Waters for 12 years now, and for those of you who don't know what Waters does, we are actually the world's leading specialty measurement company, but you most often hear our name in the world of liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. So our CEO likes to give the example of by the time you have woken up and had your cup of coffee and maybe taken an aspirin, you've already kind of interacted with our products and our instruments before you've even left the door. So what we do is we deliver practical and sustainable scientific innovation and solutions in the healthcare industry, environmental management, food safety, even your water quality, testing of water and making sure things are safe for you to eat, drink, all the chemical manufacturing. We're kind of spread across multiple industries.

So specific to my role, I lead the change for the global service organization with Waters Corporation and that comprises of about a third of Waters' annual 3 billion revenue. So it's quite the undertaking. It's a large service organization to support and in that role I lead soup to nuts change enablement, start to finish. So strategy, planning to execution, and then the support of the leadership in the local areas to make sure that our changes from large technical implementations to process changes or kind of anything in between to ensure that we are seeing that return on investment as quickly as possible.

Sarah Nicastro: Okay, good. All right, so we're going to get into the change management, change enablement topics. But before we do that, I want to talk just a little bit about how you ended up in field service and what your journey has been. So can you tell everyone a little bit about that?

Sara Smith: Absolutely. It's been quite the journey for sure and one that I have been very, very thankful and grateful for throughout my career. So I kind of think of it as in three different pivots. So the first experiences I went to school for forensic toxicology. At that time, the shows like CSI and stuff were very popular and I thought, wow, I want to be that cool girl in the lab that's doing all the fun, exciting stuff. So I went to school, I went to work for Quest Diagnostics as a forensic tech right out of the gate doing drug of abuse testing, except when I got into the actual work of being a forensic toxicologist, I noticed that it wasn't really as exciting as TV made it out to be, right?

So for me, my favorite part of the day was when the instrument would break and I got to try to fix it before the engineer would get there. So for me that was a lot more satisfying and gratifying way to spend my time as I was a problem solver. I wanted instead of doing the same thing every day, which is great for some people, they love going into work knowing what they're going to do. For me, I like to be challenged. I like to find new challenges to take on.

Sarah Nicastro: Most people are hoping the instrument doesn't break. You were sitting there like, when's it going to break, when's it going to break?

Sara Smith: I really was, I really was because it was so fulfilling for me to try to fix it and then before the engineer I could call them and say, "Nope, you don't have to come. I got it." Or he would just send me the part. Eventually, once I kind of got that level of comfortability with the instrument, he would just end up sending me the part. So it was kind of very mutually beneficial where our samples, we didn't have the decreased downtime waiting for the engineer to get there and he didn't have to show up. So it was great. And then once I realized I could do that job full time, I absolutely pursued it. I had heard Waters name through many different organizations that I have and peers that I talked to and joined Waters as a field service engineer working on our mass spectrometry line mostly.

So I did that for five years. Then I was promoted to being the service manager for the southeast, which covered Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, all the way up into Eastern Tennessee and North Carolina. So I did that for another five years. So I've got about a decade worth of experience in field service either as an engineer myself or as a service manager for the territory. And then finally I moved into the role I'm in now about two years ago, and that's where I've been working on service transformations and I've learned so much and been able to apply that 10 years of experience into what I'm doing now. So it's been a great journey for me personally.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, that's really cool. And I think it's always really interesting to talk to people about how did you get into field service. Because to your point, your storyline makes sense. You're seeing CSI and you're thinking, oh, that would be a cool job, and then you end up going down a path, now maybe finding out it's not as cool, but you don't necessarily have kids saying like, "Oh, I want to go into field service." And I think there's a lot of reasons for that. And so I think it's always interesting to hear people's journeys of how they did get there, because I also think as an industry or group of industries that need to reshape the way we attract people to these careers, we need to be thinking about what ultimately gets people that awareness so that we can be more proactive in creating that. But I think it's a really cool story. What I'm curious about, I guess is being a woman field engineer, I'm sure you were in the minority and what was that like? What did you like about it? But also what were some of the challenging pieces?

Sara Smith: Yeah, the challenging pieces were honestly not just field service, it's STEM also. So these are even things that still to this day some of my peers still struggle with, but specifically into field service. I think there's a lot of areas that some of our colleagues don't realize where women struggle. There are the kind of more obvious things, but there are these examples where you're just like, "Really? That happened to you like, oh my gosh." Throughout my career journey, I've had people ask me for a lock of hair. I have had people photograph me because they thought it was funny that I was pregnant while being in the field.

So these kinds of things that you know while they don't happen every day, they do happen. And on a more regular daily basis, some of the struggles that we face is, I feel like respect to your proficiency in the role is never assumed it has to be earned. When you walk through the door as a woman to a new customer that you may have never met or seen before, there may be that unconscious bias of, well, she's not going to be able to do what this other guy can. And that's even something that can be seen in both men and women. It's just men that maybe have this unconscious bias, other women may have this feeling about another female engineer too. So I'm not trying to call anybody out, but it is something I've even done.

If I take my car to go get its oil changed and there's a female tech changing my oil, I'm like, oh, that's unusual. You don't see that every day. So it's still something I'm even trying to be more conscious of. Let's maybe make this more normal. So that's one of the big ones is maybe a male going into a new site, they see them walk through the door and "Oh, we're saved. Our engineer's here, he's going to fix it." Whereas maybe I walk through the door and also I'm challenged by height as well. I'm very petite, so not only am I a female, I am a short female, which makes it even less likely because our instruments are quite large, that they have that confidence in me right out of the gate. But that kind of flips to the positives. So when you get that fixed in field service and you are out there alone maybe, and you are... You versus the machine.

And you can finally get that win and you can get that fixed fix and the satisfaction you receive from turning the doubters into believers into your abilities, that was one of the highlights and the positives about me being in field service, was I love that feeling of fixing things. I've always had that natural fix it inclination. It's another reason I got into change management. I stopped fixing instruments and wanted to fix broken processes and support people. We never lose that fix it mentality, but that satisfaction that you receive from showing people what you can do and turning and then they request you the next time, that's something that's unmatched in my opinion.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, no, I can see how you mentioned even when you were at Quest, enjoying working on the equipment yourself, there's the satisfaction of the win or the fix, but then also double that by the people that doubted you could get the job done and kind of saying like, okay. But I do think it's important to go back to I think those sort of conscious or unconscious biases that people carry that's important for us to be reflecting upon are the workplace, so within organizations accepting and inclusive, those are obviously important things. But some of the other things that you mentioned with the lock of hair and someone taking pictures of you, I mean, that's really more harassment in actuality. And I think these are things that it's very important for organizations to understand that women still face and come across that we need to be aware of and dealing with because it's not okay.

And knowing that there's already going to be complexities to navigate regardless of anything like that, it just makes it that much harder. I did a podcast recently with a gentleman from Socomec, Franklin Maxson, and we talked a lot about safety, and part of the conversation we had is this idea of technicians feeling this sense of autonomy and whatever the reason is that they might not feel safe, whether that is physically, psychologically, et cetera, making them feel empowered to speak up and remove themselves from those situations.

And we talked about that that's something that can be easy for companies to say and harder for them to do because if the result of that is you are frustrating an important customer by saying, "I don't appreciate you taking a picture of me," it's a harder thing to navigate than a lot of people want to acknowledge upfront. So I think it's important to share those things and to have those conversations because those situations will come up and how a company makes its employees feel empowered to handle those situations goes a long way in how we make women or anyone feel more supported in those roles. So thank you for speaking to that.

Sara Smith: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it is uncomfortable, right? It's an uncomfortable topic to talk about and it's probably uncomfortable to listen to as well and realize that this happens. But you're right, I do think it is important to share those examples because many people don't often realize that that does happen. So we got to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Sarah Nicastro: Exactly, yeah. Now other than making ourselves comfortable, being uncomfortable, having the conversations, is there anything else you would point to on what you think it will take to get more women into service technician roles and into this space?

Sara Smith: Absolutely. I have heard this question asked many, many times through podcasts, articles, things like that. And I kind of wanted to call out a gap I often see in those answers. A lot of the answers that I've seen personally talk about policy changes and maybe some things that people like myself or people listening to this podcast don't have the ability to control within their organization. I don't get the CEO big bucks, so I don't get to make the decisions on which policies we enact, and that's fine. There's plenty that we can do in our level locally around us to make that positive influence. So I don't think we need to sit around and wait for organizations to make these types of changes. We need to start and look within ourselves first.

And now, I can say that Waters does an excellent job with this, but being an expert in change, I'm kind of one of the first to realize and amplify the power of social influence. That's a big one. And so I kind of feel like there's three outlets that we can do this effectively. So like I said, influencing our company culture, which yes, we can influence our company culture even if we're not driving those policies, interacting with our peers and raising that awareness, kind of like what you talked about. And then three within our local community as well. So within the company culture piece of it, I tell people at Waters all the time, you have the power to make the culture that you want within your team.

Just because we are driving these certain initiatives like yes, absolutely, we need to make sure that we get our business goals accomplished, but take a moment to create that environment that you want to see be the change that you want to see, have some more team building activities. Nobody's going to come and say you have to do this, and you have to make a positive culture locally. That ownership lies within us, and we kind of determine that environment. So being more aware of that and understanding that we have that control outside of maybe policy that's big, that's big for me, and that influenced a lot of what I do. The second piece of it with our peers. So I had an example of this that worked really, really well. I was actually invited to speak to... It was about a hundred sales and service managers at this meeting that we had about those exact experiences.

And after the fact I had many of my male service manager colleagues come up after me and say, "Oh my gosh, I had no idea that you had gone through anything like that." They're like, "You're so well put together. You've been able to grow your career. We had no clue that you were going through these things while you were a service engineer." So what they did is they actually took that back to their teams and proactively asked their teams, again, men and women, "What is your day like? What's happening in your world that I need to be aware of?" And they followed back up with me a few weeks later, and they actually found some ways that they could help their female employees and with struggles that they didn't even know were happening.

Because to your point earlier, a lot of people don't feel comfortable speaking up in those situations because they're afraid of any number of retaliation or I don't want to lose the big customer and the big client. I don't want to be the one that's responsible for that because I spoke out about a situation. So proactive dialogue, I think from a leadership perspective goes a long way because you're going to find a lot more information that way from your teams. And then finally, within our communities, I'm a big proponent of getting in front of our younger generations and normalizing women in service, women in field service roles.

Waters has this excellent STEM kit that takes purple Kool-Aid and separates it out to red and blue using one of our column cartridges. And I am actually going to have the opportunity to do that in front of my daughter's third grade class soon. So I'm super excited about that, but I'm also really excited to, again, it's normalized that I'm a woman going up and performing this experiment in front of the younger generations, so that way it's not weird when they grow up and see a woman in this type of industry. So kind of doing what I can on a local level within my community to raise awareness to these things, to be the change that I want to see within my community and kind of put myself out there and having those equitable opportunities for women as well is super important early in age as well as during their career.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, absolutely. Very good advice. Okay, so let's get into the change part of the conversation. So the first thing I want to talk about, you mentioned that you had about five years as a technician, about five years as a service manager before taking on this change enablement role. And the other thing to mention though is that historically Waters worked with consultants on managing change. So yours is the first full-time role dedicated to this for service. Okay, so what I'd like to talk about is a little bit about that decision and maybe some of the pros and potentially cons of handling change enablement in-house versus working with consultant.

Sara Smith:

Absolutely. So I took over this role during a deployment, and we had kind of set everything up with a consultant. So as they were rolling off, they made the decision to stand up this role long-term within the service organization at Waters. So my story is somewhat unique in the sense that I grew up in field service essentially throughout my career. I have that deep industry expertise, not only from the industry but for the company itself because I've been here for over a decade. And what that does is help create sustainment for future success. So kind of the consultants set us up and that way I can reinforce the changes long past their exit.

And consultants are fantastic. They did a great job of engaging for bigger program launches, supplementing support, generating ideas that maybe we wouldn't have thought of internally, but there is something very powerful in standing up a permanent change infrastructure that shows employees, we care about your experience, we care about your success. We are making this a long-term investment in you. And that really helps build the change resiliency within an organization when you show that you have dedication to that. But even an internal change management team needs to make sure they're keeping their finger on the pulse external to their organization, or you can start going down a path that is maybe not ideal to align with industry best practices or standards or things like that.

So my advice is I feel like there's not do one or the other, but maybe there is a best practice to find a balance between the two. How can you start off the program, get the outside idea... Especially with, like I said, larger initiatives, whether it's a tech rollout or a complete reorg of the organization, having that external expertise is very, very valuable. But standing it up internally, long-term shows that commitment to success.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, that makes sense. And I think the other big change is that we're at a point in service where I've been talking about this quite a bit as thinking about change from the lens of change leadership, not change management, because change management I always think of as historically it's been very project focused, but today it is more people focused because the change is ongoing, right?

Sara Smith: Absolutely.

Sarah Nicastro: Yes, it comes in waves. Yes, it still comes in the form of projects, but it's also like we're coming from a world of where I think that companies didn't have something like this internally because they had relatively long stable periods. And then, okay, we're going to change this thing. Let's bring someone in to help us through that. And now we're back to another long stable period. That's just not the landscape that we're in. So I think this idea of having a dedicated function is also aligned with just our reality in service of being more in a transformative innovative phase and having something always changing, right?

Sara Smith: Absolutely.

Sarah Nicastro: And that sort of thing, but I like your point too about what it represents to the teams, but then also not losing sight of the value of some of that external expertise, external perspective. So that makes sense. Okay, so you mentioned that you have a certification in and use a lot of the ADKAR methodology. So in your experience, what aspects of that work well? Because then I want to go on and talk a little bit about what gaps you see.

Sara Smith: Sure. So for those who don't know ADKAR, I can give a brief explanation. ADKAR stands for the five elements that every individual needs to go through during times of change in order to reach that future state. Prosci, it believes that organizations don't change people change people are the ones bringing the organization along on this journey. And on this journey, you have to move through these five steps in order. That's very important. So always start with why. So the awareness piece, that's the first one in the ADKAR message, making sure people know why we are asking them to change, right? Have you ever been sent to a training class and you have no idea why you're there? I bet you didn't retain much from that training class. We need to understand why are we here and what's the goal. So that then leads to our next piece, which is the desire piece. And this one's a little bit more challenging because this is where our human nature can really come into play.

And at the end of the day, we are free will humans, and we cannot control people in that way. We have to understand that the desire piece of it I have chosen to adopt to this change is an individual's choice. We can influence, we can try to bring them along as much as we can, but at the end of the day, it is up to that individual to make sure that they have that desire. Then we get to knowledge. So this is your training, making sure people have the information they need to be successful in this change. And then I like that Prosci has separated knowledge from ability. So ability is the next piece. Just because you have the knowledge doesn't mean you have the ability to put it into practice. And these can be physical barriers, mental barriers, but it's up to the leadership teams locally to really foster that ability piece and making sure the right environment is there for their teams to succeed.

And then finally, the reinforcement is the last ADKAR element, and I feel like this is one that kind of drops sometimes, especially without that long-term change culture within an organization. Because think about it like a diet or if you're trying to stop smoking, if we aren't continuously reinforcing that behavior, we're going to fall right back into eating an entire sleeve of Oreos in one sitting or something like that. We need to reinforce that positive behavior and making sure that it sticks long term. And I have been able to scale this approach and apply it really well on a large scale here at Waters through our Change Champions network. So since ADKAR is a more individualistic approach, what we did... It kind of kicked off with our deployment and we've kept it going for a couple years now based on the positive feedback that we've seen.

It's comprised of about 230 service employees, so about 10% of our service population across 34 countries. So this is a global scalable initiative that we have, and it brings that peer-to-peer approach with focused personas. So engineers are talking to engineers, managers are talking to managers. Our expert center tech support staff are talking to other tech support staffs and creating that community around people locally because typically within organizations support, the support teams are small. So when we were dealing with thousands of employees to support with such a massive change, having those localized champions in supporting them to be that local expert has been super, super helpful. So we do do that. We have quarterly surveys and we get about a 95% approval rating, which is phenomenal in my opinion, of our champions. So they're doing a fantastic job and we've really seen a lot of success with the Prosci ADKAR model, for sure.

Sarah Nicastro: So then what gaps, if any, are there? The methodology works, but where would you say that following a methodology like ADKAR doesn't necessarily meet all of the needs?

Sara Smith: Absolutely. There shouldn't be one approach that fits everything, in my opinion. And I have found a lot of success. Like I said, when I'm kind of working down within the organization, when I am speaking to our senior leaders or our executives, that's when I feel ADKAR's not the best approach. Those executives, they don't need to know the what's in it for me, they need to rise to that higher level. So I use, I'm sure people are more familiar with Kotter's eight steps, that's definitely something I use with more senior leadership and executives. And for people who don't know what those are, I can list them very briefly.

So for one, it creates urgency. Two, forming a powerful coalition. Three, creating a vision for change. That's a big one when we're talking about executives having that vision, having that goal in mind for the organization of what are we driving to is super important. Communicating that vision, communication, I cannot emphasize enough how important communication is in times of change. Removing obstacles, creating short-term wins and I always like to say celebrating those short-term wins as well. Building on the change is step seven. And then eight is anchoring the changes in the corporate culture, which again, like we talked about earlier, when we are working with those senior leaders and executives who have more pool over the corporate culture of an organization, if you embed that change in that culture, again, it's more likely to succeed long-term.

So there's that. And also, I like to talk about how change affects people emotionally. I feel like it's one of those topics that can be a little stigmatized, and I would love to de-stigmatize that. So I use the Kubler Ross change curve when I'm talking about the emotions that a person may go through. Again, man or woman, we all have feelings about changes. The comfort zone is a very powerful thing, and when you take someone out of it, they're going to have some thoughts and feelings about it. So there's some great models online of the Kubler Ross change curve, kind of goes through how a person goes through shock, denial, frustration, maybe even depression before they kind of experiment, decide and integrate as they're coming out of that downward slope. Those are the two that I kind of use to supplement the ADKAR methodology.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, no, I love that. We had a woman on the podcast a number of months ago, and she actually spoke at our event in Minneapolis, Elizabeth Moran, and she talks a little bit about the neuroscience behind change. And it is a very, I guess simple point, but I think one that sometimes we forget and ties to the emotional reaction, which is we need to remember that resistance to change is human nature. So it isn't someone being difficult. It isn't indicative that the change will fail or it isn't a good idea. It's simply just built into someone's brain. And so I think that is important to remember and acknowledge that you have to work through and that it's normal and all of that, if that makes sense.

Another thing I think is interesting, we talked a little bit about how you are in a global role, but you're working a lot with regions to sort of execute these initiatives. And so what we talked about is that you have to rely on leading by influence versus having direct control because these aren't direct reports that you can say, Hey, I need you to do X, Y, and Z. You have to get people invested. How do you think the focus on influence versus control shapes your approach?

Sara Smith: Yeah, absolutely. I think that goes back to what you were talking about with change leadership. So our local leaders are absolutely paramount to ensuring that any change that we try to implement, large or small is successful. And actually, so there's been some research, 70% of employees want to hear personal impact messages about change directly from their immediate supervisor. They don't want to hear it from me as the change director. They don't even want to hear it from the executives because the executives can't get down to the what's in it for me, how is this going to impact me personally. So like I said, communication and setting up those leaders to be able to have those talking points, and they have the support to feel like they can go to their teams with that type of information. So what we do is we try to enable our leaders before we bring it to the rest of the organization.

Those local leaders are absolutely necessary to making sure our changes is successful. I kind of think of it as change for change. So I use some of the same change management principles associated with awareness and desire building to create advocates in those local leaders, ensure we have alignment because that's another big key thing, make sure we're all talking about the same thing and get their buy-in before we bring it to the rest of the organization. As a change leader, I should be providing framework for them to go execute. So that's really the kind of overarching themes is support your leaders as much as possible, because the influence versus control doesn't matter as much if we have those advocates built already.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, no, I think that's a good point, and I think it's a piece that sometimes can be overlooked, the importance of having frontline managers who are not only bought in but capable. So going back to the knowledge and the ability piece like, do they themselves have the ability to be those change leaders? That's a whole different conversation in terms of enablement, but often you see companies focus on change management from a very top down approach, but not necessarily from the perspective of, I like what you said first, tackling the managers, building that understanding and awareness and building those advocates and then taking it from there. So I think that's very wise. I'm curious, how do you navigate change saturation or change fatigue? Because obviously we talked about the fact that we're living in a very dynamic world, to put it kindly, and obviously from the lens of a global company and all of its employees, I think people can get to a point where they're just like, I can't handle anything else tapped. So how do you-

Sara Smith: Yeah, they've tapped out.

Sarah Nicastro: ... worked through that? Yeah.

Sara Smith: Yeah. Change is here to stay. Like you said, we're not going to slow the pace anytime soon. You can't open up your computer these days without hearing about AI in some sort of way, shape, and form. The industry is changing at a pace that we've never seen before and it's not going to slow. So going back to the concept of building that resiliency within an organization and empowering leaders to have that accountability, empowering them to have that ability and knowledge to better best support their teams. We are all human. We all experience this change fatigue. Even me and I deal with change on a daily basis, and sometimes I'm... Why can't things just stay the same even for a little bit? But that's okay, right? So normalizing those thoughts and those feelings, again is extremely important to managing the change fatigue. One other thing that I have seen be very, very helpful is those quarterly surveys that I send out, there's an option to be contacted.

It's an anonymous survey, but there's an option you can put in your email address if you wish to be contacted about any of the information or troubles that you're having. And I block out a day and I literally respond to every single one of them that comes in. Most of the time they entered their email address because they didn't realize it was an optional field versus a required field. But what they say after that tells me that we're on the right track because what they say is, "Oh my gosh, there's an actual human being reading my comments and responding, reaching out to me about my struggle or what I'm going through." That alone has created such a positive influence. Just the fact that they have an avenue, they know somebody's listening and somebody cares. So again, that also goes back to that standing up the change management or change enablement internally because you have the bandwidth to do those kinds of things. It speaks volumes to employees to have their voice heard and actually have someone follow up with them as well. It's huge.

Sarah Nicastro: Absolutely. I think the only other thing I want to reiterate that you mentioned earlier that can really help with change fatigue is you mentioned the importance of celebrating the small wins. And I think in an environment where change is pretty constant and there's always going to be a next thing and the next thing, making sure that one, you're celebrating, period, but two, you aren't waiting until every huge seismic shift to do so, but you're celebrating the effort. You're celebrating even the failures, and you're making people feel that you appreciate the effort they're putting into adapting, not necessarily accomplishing just the big goal. I think that is so, so important and also something that people under utilize for sure.

Sara Smith: Absolutely.

Sarah Nicastro: Okay, so last question is, we talked about normal human response, right? That there's phases people go through, resistance is normal, et cetera. Are there anything you would point out that kind of goes a step beyond that, that are more persistent mindsets or beliefs that really can kind of serve as a big roadblock for positive forward motion?

Sara Smith: Absolutely. I'm sure you've heard of the fixed versus growth mindset, and that is one I always come back to where I'm thinking about this kind of topic. So it can be the silent protest or it can be someone that is overtly speaking up in meetings that they just don't want to do. This resistance can come in many ways, shapes and forms, and to your point earlier, it is inevitable. It is human nature. I can speak from experience that I made the mistake, and early on in this role that I thought some of the changes that we were putting out were they were going to be great for everybody and everybody was just going to get on board with it. I did not expect the level of resistance that I received, and that helped me, again, learn for future initiatives. So did I need to do a better job explaining the why?

Every kind of setback or every piece of feedback that I get that is not positive is an opportunity for us to learn and adjust our approach a little bit more. So when you think about those different kinds of mindsets, the fixed mindset specifically, we have to expect it. We have to plan for it, not only at a 30,000-foot view, and I tell the leaders here at Waters all the time, "I can only do so much. I'm relying on you to bring us home the rest of the way." We have about a goal of 80%. So if we can reach 80% with a global change initiative, that's what we consider to be a success. We are relying on the local leaders to bring us across the finish line with that rest 20%. So planning for it and mitigating it, understanding we'll never be able to get rid of it.

Because that can create a lot of frustration if we're just like, oh, why is everybody resisting? Or why is this one person resisting? It's going to happen? And maybe it's just because they don't understand the training material, they don't understand the why. They don't understand how this is going to personally impact them. But embedding that growth mindset within the culture versus a fixed mindset and continuously building upon the why, going back to reinforcing those things, that's really one of the biggest things that I still feel persists is kind of that fixed mindset. We've done things this way for so long. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Why are we changing things? So like I said, building that resiliency of change culture, reinforcing the why, just the reinforcement piece in general to whichever ADKAR element people are suffering with, and having those conversations with your team to know where are they actually struggling that can really help us get from that fixed mindset to the growth mindset.

Sarah Nicastro: Yeah, really good stuff. I like this. All right, this has been great, Sara. Is there any other thoughts or comments that you want to leave off with?

Sara Smith: No, I want to thank you for this opportunity. These are two topics that are extremely important to me and I'm passionate about, so I'm really thankful for the opportunity to share my experience and share what I've learned over the last few years in my career journey. But no, I think this has been fantastic. And the more that we can talk about change management, because like you said, we've heard it that it's necessary, but not a lot of people talk about what that actually means. So I'm really appreciative of the forum here to kind of talk about what I do. So thank you.

Sarah Nicastro: Yes, thank you for coming and sharing your perspective. We really appreciate it and hope to have you back sometime in the future.

Sara Smith: Great. Thank you.

Sarah Nicastro: Yep. You can find more by visiting us at While you're there, be sure to sign up for the Future of Field Service INSIDER, which will deliver the latest articles in podcasts to your inbox every other week. The Future of Field Service podcast is published in partnership with IFS. You can learn more at As always, thank you for listening.