Uncubed

Director, Business Operations

IDEO, Palo Alto

A global design company creating positive impact through design


In a nutshell:

We are looking for someone to lead our business operations. We need an individual with strong analytical and operational capabilities as well as organizational intelligence. In short, we’re looking for someone to be the glue that holds our business together.

The right candidate will be a collaborative leader who can maintain a big picture view of the business and can provide direction, inspiration, and experience to the studio leadership and our community of designers.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

This role is vital, because you will be a conduit between the business of the location and project work. You will touch a little of everything, and your input will be invaluable in ensuring that our business stays on track and in sync with our cultural values. You will also help us evolve and grow as we look for ways to modify our business model and processes.

This role is about successfully supporting great decision making, building trust and demonstrating great judgment.

Once here you will:

  • Work collaboratively with leadership around running the business, with designers around business development, with project leads around project management, and with a global team of IDEO business operations directors.
  • Track our new business pipeline, business performance analysis and communication, talent planning, project management support, driving business
    planning, tracking operating expenses, leading projects around process innovation, and proactively seeking opportunities to evolve our business model
    and practice.
  • Work closely with studio leads to oversee the pipeline of new business leads and assess the viability, pricing, margins and risk factors of those leads. Also, you will ensure that conversations between IDEO legal team, business development, and clients and their legal counsel are smooth and effective.
  • Communicate Location Financial Operations and prepare necessary reports conveying the state of the business on a regular basis. We’re looking for someone who crafts an engaging story from the numbers, in order to motivate an audience of designers who may be allergic to spreadsheets.
  • Guide Yearly Budgets and forecasts of various business functions within the location together with Palo Alto leadership team.

What does IDEO offer you?

You get to shape how the Palo Alto studio delivers world-class design by guiding leadership on critical business needs, helping our design and Business Development teams pursue and manage work, and collaborating with other support functions to ensure the smooth operation of core business capabilities.

Relevant experience and mindset:

  • 5+ years explicit experience in a business operations or project management capacity, preferably 3+ years within a creative consulting services company or similar field (design, advertising, digital agencies, production companies)
  • Ideally experience in scaling a business group or facilitating organizational growth
  • Ability to empathize and engage with designers and help them look at things through a business lens
  • Ability to synthesize aggregated knowledge, both financial and anecdotal, into a point of view and express it effectively
  • Ability to build and nurture relationships across multiple networks using collaborative and empathic skills
  • Comfort level in an ambiguous, principles driven (non-rules based) environment
  • Passion for business and operations
  • Strong analytical skills and exemplary time management/organizational skills
  • Excellent discretion, demonstrating sound judgment in dealing with confidential dialogues and information
  • Great communication and negotiation skills, bringing together different views, personalities, goals, and needs, and helping different stakeholders find business alignment and growth

Pop quiz, Hot Shot:

In 200 words or less, tell us about a time when you were able to drive through a change in your organization that had a positive business impact.

Application requirements and instructions:

Please send a cover letter and resume. In the cover letter, please explain why you are a good fit for this role, and tell us a story about how you have worked with creative people in the past and what lessons you have learned about collaboration.

About IDEO

IDEO has roots dating back to 1978. Today, IDEO is an award-winning global design and innovation consultancy. We create positive impact through design by taking a human-centered approach to helping organizations in the public and private sectors innovate, grow, and bring to market new ideas. 

Want to learn more about IDEO? Visit https://www.ideo.com/