Thoughts from the Other Side

Nov 24, 2020 • FeaturesManaging the Mobile Workforce

>Prior to his death, Bill Pollock, left a number of articles to be published post-humously, his parting gift for the industry he served which such devotion for many years. Here, is the final article in that series, and is full of wit and insight in equal measure as anyone who has read Bill's work would of course expect... 

Well … How should I say this?

After more than 40 years covering the Field Services community, I’ve finally lost my Internet connection!

It’s been a great ride, and I’ve greatly appreciated the encouragement and support I’ve received from Kris Oldland and Field Service News over the years.

The way I’ve figured it, I’ve written more than 40 pieces for FSN, as well as having appeared in several Handy Little Books, Big Discussions, Podcasts and a video or two.

In addition, Kris and I were really kindred spirits (i.e., long before I actually became a spirit)! We both write extensively; we’re both Type A workers (actually, Kris is a Type A+ worker – he’ll leave you gasping in his dust!); and we’re both strong music aficionados!

In fact, Kris and I shared nearly equal reverence for our favorite guitar players – Kris likes Tommy Emmanuel, and I had always leaned more toward John Lennon, George Harrison, Roger McGuinn and Tom Petty. In fact, my prized possession among my 15 electric and acoustic guitars was my 1993 replica Rickenbacker 12-string electric, accompanied by the Roger McGuinn Jangle Box. I wasn’t anywhere near as good as my “fab four” – but I still got the jangle out of my 12-string!

But, enough about my personal life! Now would be better served by sharing some of my final words of wisdom!

Having covered the services sector for more than 40 years, I’ve actually reflected some flashes of wisdom over the years, some of which I would like to share with you (that is, since I won’t be writing any more articles for FSN in the future). Let me leave you with “10 Things to be Painfully Aware Of” as you move through your own respective careers [Note: Please excuse the dangling participle – good grammar isn’t necessarily at the top of my list anymore!]:


  1. If you’re not already hard-wired for the services industry, it’s time to look for another profession.
  2. If you think you’re already doing enough in support of your customers, you’re wrong; if you think you can do better, you’re right.
  3. If you’ve adopted a “wait-and-see” attitude toward the implementation of new technology, you can assume that your top competitors have already done so.
  4. When building your strategic marketing plan, don’t look back at your competitors for guidance; look forward to meeting your customers’ needs, requirements and expectations.
  5. Don’t just pay “lip service” to word-of-mouth; build it directly into your services marketing plan.
  6. Yesterday’s leader in your marketplace may not be around tomorrow; today’s leader may follow in the path of yesterday’s leaders; tomorrow’s leader may not even be in your marketspace today.
  7. Don’t conduct a customer needs and requirements/satisfaction survey because you have to; do it because you need to.
  8. Implement improvements when your market performance is not doing particularly well; but remember, it’s even easier to spend the time and resources to make improvements when things are going well.
  9. If you discover something “broken” in your organization, fix it; but if you identify something stellar that your organization is doing, let the world know about it.
  10. Don’t think of strategic services planning as a bunch of one-offs; build your plan on a foundation of synergy, collaboration and linkage.


If these top 10 items aren’t enough to get you through life, then I’ll see you on the other side soon! Otherwise, it may take some time.

In any event, goodbye to all my friends and associates in the global services community. It was a pleasure working with all of you toward the common good!

Further Reading:

Read more excellent insight from this true industry giant: