HomeWork features AHAM members’ insights on careers, success, life outside of work, and AHAM membership. This month, we spoke with Steve Nackers, Corporate Manager, Electronic Controls, Sub-Zero Group. For AHAM, Steve is Chair of the Connectivity Specialists.
Name three goals (personal or professional) you are pursuing in 2018.
1) Spend more time in the moment with my family. Ignore the phone, ignore the task list, ignore social media. Enjoy the little ones.
2) Strengthen our organizational standardization of controls testing and development.
3) I race a 1998 BMW M3 as a hobby. Keep all four wheels of the racecar on the track! Push harder, learn to be smoother and faster, but manage on-track risks appropriately.
How do you jumpstart your morning?
Playing around and getting giggles out of the kids. Energy absorption by osmosis! Once they are ready and into the routine, I try to level set for the workday and use the time in the morning commute to start mentally solving and sorting problems so that I hit the office with an action plan.
Predict an innovation that will revolutionize the next generation.
Without question, machine learning. We are already seeing amazing achievements coming about from this. Look at new product innovations out there like Google Night Sight and Nvidia RTX Ray Tracing. These technologies enable incredible advancements with existing hardware and technologies. We’ve hit a point where we have access to the data, and now getting to the knowledge is the tricky part. Machine learning will be the key item that accelerates that in my view.
What is the best career advice you have ever received?
Listen. Whether it is feedback about yourself, an employee, a higher-up, or one of the continuous meetings of the day, there is something to learn. Any time I’ve been lucky enough to have time with AHAM members from other companies, entrepreneurs, innovators, executives, or just interesting Uber drivers at CES, I’ve found perspectives that help broaden my horizon, and increase my job satisfaction and happiness in my career.
What home appliance can you not live without?
Induction cooktop. After going induction I can never go back! My wife and I love the performance and control and it really made cooking more enjoyable and delivered delicious results. Perfect control, no more runaway boil-overs or seized chocolate. Looks great, and gets many compliments from guests too.
What do you gain from your involvement with AHAM?
I personally gain a lot of perspective. Working alongside so many talented peers and hearing their thoughts is invaluable. Additionally, the AHAM staff is always there assisting us and pulling together so many disparate views and needs that you gain a level of insight and view of the industry not possible anywhere else. For our company and the industry, the advocacy and coordination have been stellar. We have been able to make such a large impact in so many areas over the years. I’ve been involved on the IoT side of things personally, and have seen this play out over and over. I know this happens in so many other regulatory and standards arenas as well, that I continue to be impressed by all the involvement AHAM and member companies continue to successfully support..
What is your best advice you have for somebody who wants to succeed in the home appliance industry?
Think about the customer first and always, and understand the breadth and variety of thoughts customers have to offer. If the customer experience is truly excellent, and the product shows focus and care for the customer, it will succeed. Also, don’t make assumptions about what customers want based on experience or internal intuition – get out and ask and expose decision makers to actual customers and feedback.