The great inventor Thomas Edison had a motto: “There’s a better way to do it — find it.”
To accomplish the unpredictable, in pest control and otherwise, you must have a team of people who are comfortable being uncomfortable. Last month, I was promoted from director of technical services for Rentokil Terminix to head of science and innovation for North America at Rentokil Initial, and I am thrilled to lead this new initiative alongside a world-class team with this mindset.
‘Big ideas’ through collaboration
Rentokil Initial is a leading pest control, hygiene and well-being services company with a mission of protecting people, enhancing lives and preserving our planet. Globally, Rentokil Initial companies have been committed to leadership in innovation, digital, best practice product stewardship, and policies to provide a quality, responsible service for our customers. Similarly, Rentokil Terminix is proud to be part of this century-old tradition in North America.
Honestly, this commitment to continuous improvement is what drew me to Rentokil. My mind thrives on finding a better way to do things, and Rentokil fosters that.
Over the past 16 months, I have worked with Rentokil and Terminix teams to prepare for the integration of organizations. One point evident from the beginning was that innovation is an integral part of our culture. New projects are mainly generated in-house, either by our Science & Innovation team or as a result of what I call “big ideas” — insights gained from our businesses around the world. We work closely with partners, internally and externally, to turn ideas into new and exciting solutions to meet customer needs, both now and in the future.
North American research center Rentokil Initial’s global research and development center, The Power Centre, opened in Crawley, United Kingdom, in September 2017. It provides technical consulting and product testing, and is focused on the future with product development, regulatory analysis and planning.
In my role with Rentokil Initial, I will be setting up and leading the North American center for innovation, with an official name to be announced soon. This facility will open in the Dallas, Texas, area later this year. The initial areas of focus will include mosquitoes, termites and alternatives to current fumigation practices. Developments within the North American innovation center will be used to improve public health and safety, enhance lives and encourage environmental responsibility across the world.
I have had the opportunity to work in product development throughout my career, and one of the foundational questions I ask when we’re deep in the ideation process is, “Why does this matter?” Advancements in biopesticides, non-toxic treatments, equipment and technology are only significant if they can support us in the endeavor toward providing the world’s best pest control with a safer service for our customers and our colleagues. This is why this matters.
One of my mentors once told me, “We all need to be good at pest control.” I will take that with me into this new role with the hopes that we can all “find a better way to do it.”