Early Careers: Stephen Hingston
My Journey at Envista...
My name is Stephen Hingston, and I currently lead the Marketing team at Implant Direct – one of Envista’s 30+ brands.
I joined Envista in 2017 as an MBA intern, when we were still part of Danaher. While pursuing my MBA, Danaher/Envista stood out as a great place to grow my career. I was compelled to join the company because of its continuous improvement culture, professional development opportunities (like the GMDP program), and outstanding performance.
Throughout my journey, I worked in two Operating Companies in Product Management, Operations, EBS, and Marketing roles. I also got the opportunity to live in North Carolina and California. Before Envista, I was a computer engineer at Keurig, designing coffee makers.
My wife and I are both from the East Coast (Go Red Sox!) and never dreamed of living in California, but when the opportunity presented itself, we both took a chance and moved out here. We fell in love with it – the perpetual sunshine, great food, unparalleled scenic views, and world class diverse cultures convinced us to call the golden state our home, and recently decided to buy a house here.
Let me tell you how this all got started…
There is never a boring day at Envista. It was literally my first day as a full-time employee when Danaher announced the splitting of the Dental platform, which is now Envista! Since then, my career has been full of change; I have been given the chance to build my skills and set a strong professional foundation. I am not going to lie, it has been challenging, but also extremely rewarding. This was exactly what I was looking for! Looking back, to me, that shows what a great company Envista is, and what we stand for – our continuous improvement and innovation values go hand-in-hand, and I am grateful to be part of a company that creates products and solutions that improve lives and make so many people smile.
One of the biggest challenges I have faced was during the summer of 2019. Envista was preparing for the IPO. I was working in operations and felt I was ready for a new role to further my career. I discussed with my HR Business Partner, and they supported my ambition to pursue new opportunities. However, given the IPO preparation, the time was not right. For a moment, I felt frustrated and stuck, but I was given the support to remain patient and focused on performing my current role, and that opportunities would come. Three months later I was given two outstanding marketing roles within Envista to choose between!
Reflecting on the last four years, I am amazed with the range of projects and assignments that I have been able to support. A few that come to mind:
- Redesigned eCommerce webstore.
- Obtained a forklift operator certification - It’s harder than it looks!
- Facilitated 6 Kaizens, ranging from Inventory Reduction and Customer Complaint Handling to New Product Launch Excellence.
- Re-designed a sales compensation plan.
- Led the consolidation of an unneeded facility.
- Visited factories in Indiana to prospect suppliers.
- Interviewed >60 candidates for field sales roles.
- Led business operating reviews with the CEO and members of the executive team.
Three Things I would Encourage Others to Consider
During my career I have been fortunate to learn from the brightest minds in the industry. While working at Envista, I have learned to:
- Ask -> Listen -> Learn: When starting a new role/project seek insights from teammates. Specifically, those who are “closest to the action”. My most insightful learnings came not from Senior Leadership, but Field Sales Reps, Forklift Drivers, Customer Service Representatives (and especially customers!).
- Forget Your Title: I think job descriptions and titles are overrated. Identify the biggest challenges or strategic priorities are of your business unit. Try to find ways to support those priorities, whether that be joining a Kaizen, volunteering to lead a project, or simply offering to help.
- Say Yes: Opportunities come when you least expect them. You may be asked to take on a project that is complex, more challenging, or more responsibility that your current assignments. My advice is to cast your fears aide and say yes! There is a first time for everyone, and often these opportunities provide your best learnings and career acceleration.
In the end, I would encourage you to chase your dreams. Your skills will dictate your future. If you have a passion for something, stay focused and pursue it like there is no tomorrow. Be patient, but persistent. New opportunities will come, and in the end, you are the only one who can stop you from achieving your goals.