CannonDesign has an exciting opportunity for a Business Practice Leader in our Chicago office. Take a look at the description below. If you think your skills and experience make you a good match for this position, we’d love to hear from you. We’re looking for creative, curious, empathetic people to join our Living-Centered Design movement.
CannonDesign is an integrated design solutions firm focused on helping people continuously flourish. Whether designing for innovations in health, new scientific discoveries, equity in education or the next big idea in business, we use our Living-Centered Design approach to help organizations realize widespread change. Our ability to design transformational places, plans and strategies is why Fast Company named us a World Changing Company and one of the most innovative design firms in the world.
Your role is focused on leading the operations and business practices for your office(s), specifically implementing our firm’s commercial, legal and process practices. In partnership with the Office Practice Leader, you will focus on financial success, alignment and management of resources, process delivery, and related staff growth and development. Importantly, you will be a leading ambassador of our brand, responsible for demonstrating how our Living-Centered Design ethos comes to life in our culture and in the way we partner with clients.

Expectations of success include:

  • Financial Management: Providing leadership, guidance and support to Office, Market and Client Leaders in the development and implementation of best business practices to achieve the firm-wide profitability targets annually for your office(s).
  • Process Leadership: Championing the implementation of the CannonDesign Method within the office using process expectations, best practices, reference standards, tools, templates and technology to achieve competitive advantage, superior service delivery and quality, and enhanced team productivity and profitability.
  • Resource Management: Leading, engaging and partnering with staff at all levels in your office(s) to align work effort and resources with contract and compensation commitments for our client opportunities. Proactively embracing our SFMO (Single-Firm, Multi-Office) culture to advance and support high-performing teams focused on delivering high-quality service and innovative design solutions to our clients.

Areas of Focus

 Financial Performance: Own and be accountable for the financial performance of the office. In partnership with the Office Practice Leader, define and champion initiatives and appropriate actions to achieve high-quality service and performance, together with solid financial results and targeted profitability.

 Work with Office Practice Leader, and Market, Service and Client Leaders to develop fee and staffing strategies, including process approach, to achieve successful project and financial outcomes. 

 Business Practices: Responsible for ensuring the best practices of project management and process leadership, including work planning, contracting and risk management, fee development and resource management, are understood and implemented consistently in the office.

 Work collaboratively with firm-wide Business Office and Legal Team to ensure commercial and risk issues are properly addressed. Provide assessment, evaluation, mentorship and other appropriate actions to staff to achieve success and improve outcomes in these areas.

Process Leadership: Own and be accountable for the successful implementation of our process methods, including Client Team Construct, Design Planning, and Framework Development and Implementation, as well as Digital, Quality and Sustainability practice integration. Responsible for achieving productivity improvements established by the Practice Strategies Team.

 Resource Allocation / Integration: Accountable for championing and enhancing our firm’s SFMO (Single-Firm, Multi-Office) operating model in support of our clients’ needs. Support planning of the resources of CannonDesign as a single team of resources to align with profitability, staff development, quality goals, client expectations and strategic office growth. Work with the Executive Director of Business Strategies, the Office Practice Leader, other Business Practice Leaders, and Market, Client and Service Leaders to champion high-performing, client-focused teams in the firm to capture and execute client opportunities.

 Staff Development: Collaborate with the Office Practice Leader, Market Leaders and Design Leaders to assess, align, recruit and develop the resources of the office. Assist in the development and growth of a diverse and inclusive team of professionals that support the strategic goals of the office, as outlined in the business plan. Work with other senior leaders to develop and implement a focused mentoring program for the future leaders of the firm. Build enthusiasm for Living-Centered Design among teammates and demonstrate how it applies to their work and our business.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Architecture, Engineering, or related field. 
  • 15 years minimum experience with a proven track record of financial management  success in the design industry.
  • Additional licensure, certifications and/or training relevant to this role is preferred.
  • Strong communication and leadership skills.
  • Business acumen and proven ability to execute strategy.
  • Professional acumen and maturity demonstrated by the ability to communicate authentically and respectfully.
  • Some travel required. 


  • We are relentless in our pursuit of client adoration (not simply satisfaction). Consistent delivery of the best service is what we are about.
  • We are committed to ensuring our practice is equitable for all employees, representative of the communities around us – and focused on the future of design. We advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts through the leadership of our DEI Council, Employee Resource Groups and other community advocacy initiatives.
  • We’re about communication and transparency here. If you want to talk to someone about an idea you have, or a challenge that needs addressing, we’re ready for you.
For a general overview of our benefits, please visit our careers page at
Please note that candidates can only apply to our positions on our company Careers site. It's not uncommon for scammers to create positions that look legitimate on other sites; never enter your information or apply for CannonDesign positions on any platform. Should an issue arise that you feel we should be aware of, please contact us. Please provide your resume and portfolio when applying.
As a condition of employment, all employees are expected to complete mandatory training, including compliance training, within required timeframes and adhere to our internal policies and our Code of Conduct.
CannonDesign recognizes the value of diversity in our workforce. We are committed to equal opportunity. We consider all qualified employment applicants without regard to race, religion, color, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, partnership status, protected veteran status, disability, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local law. Individuals who hold legal work authorization applicable to employment at CannonDesign in the United States will be considered without regard to citizenship/alienage.

Apply for this Job

* Required
When autocomplete results are available use up and down arrows to review
+ Add Another Education
+ Add Another Employment

U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Information (Completion is voluntary)

Individuals seeking employment at CannonDesign are considered without regards to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identity, or sexual orientation. You are being given the opportunity to provide the following information in order to help us comply with federal and state Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action record keeping, reporting, and other legal requirements.

Completion of the form is entirely voluntary. Whatever your decision, it will not be considered in the hiring process or thereafter. Any information that you do provide will be recorded and maintained in a confidential file.

Race & Ethnicity Definitions

If you believe you belong to any of the categories of protected veterans listed below, please indicate by making the appropriate selection. As a government contractor subject to Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), we request this information in order to measure the effectiveness of the outreach and positive recruitment efforts we undertake pursuant to VEVRAA. Classification of protected categories is as follows:

A "disabled veteran" is one of the following: a veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; or a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.

A "recently separated veteran" means any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran's discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service.

An "active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran" means a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.

An "Armed forces service medal veteran" means a veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.

Form CC-305

OMB Control Number 1250-0005

Expires 05/31/2023

Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability

Why are you being asked to complete this form?

We are a federal contractor or subcontractor required by law to provide equal employment opportunity to qualified people with disabilities. We are also required to measure our progress toward having at least 7% of our workforce be individuals with disabilities. To do this, we must ask applicants and employees if they have a disability or have ever had a disability. Because a person may become disabled at any time, we ask all of our employees to update their information at least every five years.

Identifying yourself as an individual with a disability is voluntary, and we hope that you will choose to do so. Your answer will be maintained confidentially and not be seen by selecting officials or anyone else involved in making personnel decisions. Completing the form will not negatively impact you in any way, regardless of whether you have self-identified in the past. For more information about this form or the equal employment obligations of federal contractors under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at

How do you know if you have a disability?

You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition.

Disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Autism
  • Autoimmune disorder, for example, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or HIV/AIDS
  • Blind or low vision
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular or heart disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, for example, Crohn's Disease, or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Intellectual disability
  • Missing limbs or partially missing limbs
  • Nervous system condition for example, migraine headaches, Parkinson’s disease, or Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Psychiatric condition, for example, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, or major depression

1Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. For more information about this form or the equal employment obligations of Federal contractors, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at

PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENT: According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete.