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June 5, 2024 | 10 Mins Read

Future of Field Service Live: Stockholm Highlights

June 5, 2024 | 10 Mins Read

Future of Field Service Live: Stockholm Highlights


Episode 268

In this episode of the Unscripted podcast, host Sarah Nicastro shares an overview of the first Future of Field Service Live event of 2024, which took place in Stockholm on May 21st. Sarah talks about her interviews with Frank Gregoire from Miele, Roy Dockery, author of The Art of Leading, and Darian Ari. The main subjects of the conversations included the evolving role of service in organizations, field service leadership, technology, and change management.

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Sarah: When you think about all sorts of things that make people unique, whether it's age or background or area of specialty, etc., there are different preferences in communication and different communication styles that we need to consider. And from a leadership perspective, how do we make sure that we're being effective in our leadership? With so much sort of variety in what works for people.

Sarah: Welcome to the UNSCRIPTED Podcast. I'm your host, Sarah Nicastro. As you can tell, I am solo today. We just wrapped the Future of Field Service live event in Stockholm. It was the first event in the series this year, and it went really, really well, I thought I would record a solo episode today and give you all a summary of what was discussed at the event, some of the highlights, et cetera.

So the event took place at Volvo Studios in the center of Stockholm. And ever since we started doing these events in 2022, we've always tried to select venues that are a little bit unique, a different setting than you might expect for a thought leadership event or a conference, that sort of thing, and we do that because we want people to have a day away from the norm. We try and pick spaces that have a little bit of creativity, and can help inspire people to feel energized and excited to connect with one another. And Volvo Studio didn't disappoint. The team always does a wonderful job of finding really neat venues in every city that we visit. This is our third Future of Field live event, in Stockholm. So it's a challenge for them when we've already used some of the cool venues in a city to keep finding them. But they did a wonderful job. It was a really unique setting and a very nice space. It worked really well for the structure of the event.

So we had three speakers for the Stockholm event that were participating in interview-based sessions. So we started the day with an introduction and me providing sort of state of the industry. So some of the major themes, macro themes that I see in my conversations with people on daily, weekly basis, some of the things that seem to be coming up from leaders across industries in different areas of the world. So I talked about five trends that I see and just sort of gave my overview of those. And then we had our first interview session, which was with Frank Gregoire, who is with Miele. And Frank is in his role with Miele currently, but he's worked for other organizations in service leadership roles for quite a long time. So he has a lot of experience looking at some of the shifts that have taken place, not only from the perspective of his current role, but the perspective of some of the other organizations he's been a part of. So what we talked about is sort of his reflection on the role services playing in organizations and what that means in terms of as a leader needing to balance meeting demands of today's business while knowing that he has a responsibility to be shaping the future of the company today. So we talked about some of the changes he's anticipating in use of technology, in how service is delivered, in what that means in terms of what the skill set needs to be of the frontline workforce, and how he needs to be both taking care of what needs to happen in each of those areas for the way the business is structured today, while also working toward the plan and taking steps toward the plan of what that will look like, because so many of those areas are significantly different. So it was an interesting conversation. And I think it's one that is very important because most service leaders can appreciate that need for balance. But one of the things we talked about is that it is really challenging to continue to protect the time, and energy that you need to do sort of the forward-thinking or the strategic planning and not just get consumed by the day-to-day needs of the business in the moment. So, he talked about how he does that and acknowledged that it is a challenge, but talked about how he sort of tries to protect his time and make sure that he continues to prioritize that forward-thinking strategic view because it is so incredibly important.

So that was our morning interview session. We then broke out into groups for some roundtable discussions. And actually before we did that, we had an icebreaker session. Where everyone in the room had an opportunity to introduce themselves and answer to one of a few questions that sparked some interesting tidbits of information about the folks that we were in attendance with. Then we broke out into roundtable discussions. We had lunch. In the afternoon, we had two additional interviews. So some of you, if you listen to the podcast regularly or have read our content, or attend other industry events in the United States. You would likely be familiar with Roy Dockery, who recently wrote the book, The Art of Leading and has served in different service leadership roles himself in the industry, most recently with Flock Safety. Roy joined us for the Stockholm event and shared with the audience some of the principles of leadership that he wrote about in the book, The Art of Leading. So we talked about the role of love in leadership. We talked about authenticity, empathy. But we also had him give some examples of how those principles are used in ways that can be challenging. So we talked about some examples of having hard conversations and what that looks like through the lens of empathy and authenticity, etc. So how those things can be applied even when you're doing things that are very difficult, like letting someone go. So he talked through some real-world examples around that. We talked a bit about concepts around needing to change the way a lot of organizations think about and conduct their recruiting and hiring practices. Obviously, also from a retention standpoint, how we nurture talent and how we help talent move into leadership roles and progress through their careers. So Roy shared a lot of great insights around those topics. We also touched a bit on diversity and inclusion, specifically the inclusion piece and the criticality of that and some of maybe the missteps that leaders or organizations can fall into.

So that was a great discussion. And then we were joined by our next interview was with Darian Ari, who is leading the Nordics business for Global Connect. And Darian has actually shared that he's 26. So he's been put into a senior leadership position at a very young age, there was an opportunity where they had some turnover was in the business, and they asked him to step up. And he shared a bit about what it is like to be a young leader and be bringing certainly a fresh perspective to things in terms of company decisions. And things like that. But also, I guess some of the pros and cons for him that come along with that. He also shared that when he took that role, he needed to recruit his frontline workforce. And so he took a different approach than the company had historically, we talked about the fact that if we're hiring based on experience, the talent is getting harder and harder to find if we're only looking for experienced folks. So, he talked about how he got very involved in the recruiting process and did a lot of the reviewing of CVs himself. And he met with a lot of candidates that the company may not have historically considered. And he, as he put it, took some bets on his team, giving people an opportunity where he saw something within them from a behavior standpoint or a skill standpoint, even though they didn't necessarily have the experience or even the educational background, that the company would have typically sought for those roles. And so he talked about sort of, the way that those employees have responded in, in terms of really, feeling committed to helping him succeed, because he was willing to give them a chance. And it was a really interesting conversation. We also talked about the importance of onboarding and enablement with that workforce because they were brought into the business in a way that hadn't been the traditional approach. We talked about empowerment and we talked about the importance of execution in service and some of the aspects that are important in executing. So we talked about the use of technology. We talked about, the onboarding, the training, how the one-on-one relationship with team members and mentoring has factored in, and things like that. So it was really interesting to hear his perspective and to have that conversation.

We broke out again into roundtables. And I think looking back on the roundtable sessions that I participated in, both in the morning and the afternoon, there were quite a few different conversations that sort of... Came up. One of the themes seemed to be around the importance of communication and also understanding that as we are able to grow a more and more diverse workforce, when you think about all sorts of things that make people unique, whether it's age or background or area of specialty, et cetera, that there are different preferences in communication and different communication styles that we need to consider. And from a leadership perspective, how do we make sure that we're being effective in our leadership? With so much sort of variety in what works for people. Another theme that came up was around change management, which always is a topic. But we had a lot of conversations about with the increase in use of technologies that are automating manual processes that are, whether that's more early stage automation or whether that's more advanced use cases incorporating AI and things like that, anytime we're doing that, there's a response. There can be resistance. There can be fear of that change. And we talked about different strategies for overcoming that, different ways to get teams on board, different things that have worked when we are introducing new technology or continually innovating with the technology we have like we need to be in today's landscape. So that was another theme. Those were some of the things that stand out.

There were some great discussions that happened throughout the day. At the end, we had sort of a summary session where we looked back. We actually had a live illustrator documenting the themes that were discussed throughout the day. So we shared that graphic. We talked about some of the key highlights. And I shared some of the things that stood out to me. Some of the other folks shared some of the things that stood out to them. And then we ended the day with a nice networking session. It's always one of my favorite parts of the day, not only because my stage work is done and I can sort of take a deep breath, but more so because it's really fulfilling to see the different people in the room that are local to the area we're in that haven't met before. But are so excited to become connected with one another. So there were people exchanging business cards, connecting on LinkedIn, exchanging phone numbers who are excited about the opportunity that they have after the event to, continue to help each other navigate some the challenges and opportunities that they're working through. So there was an attendee who I had been in touch with prior to the event. And she said, I'm so glad I came because I really felt like a lot of the challenges I'm having were unique to us. And now I see that everyone in the room is somewhere in the journey also and sharing in a lot of those challenges. And that sounds very simple, but it's something that. I think can be really powerful about having these events is people can come and certainly get inspired with different ideas and have these nuggets of information they can take back and put to work within their organizations. But also that feeling of recognizing that no one has it all figured out and everyone's somewhere in the journey, I think, can be really comforting for people. And that always makes me happy when that's a piece of feedback. So it was a great day.

We have our next event coming up on June 13th in Cologne, Germany. So if you are in or near that area and you would like to join us, the agenda for that event, we have four interview sessions, also the roundtables taking place. And I think it will be a wonderful event. So we'd love to see you there if that is a possibility. You can find all of the information that you would need to find to view the agenda and register to join us at These events are free to attend because they are sponsored by IFS, which makes it possible for us to do this without charging people to come and participate. So we're able to offer a day of connection and community and some really wonderful content without a ticket for admission. So that's an amazing thing. So have a look at the website and register to join us if you can. As always, the podcast is sponsored by IFS. And you can find more at Thank you for listening.