Business Operations Director

San Francisco, Chicago, Cambridge

At IDEO, we use design to create new products, services, experiences, tangible strategies and creative capabilities.

IDEO is in search of a Director of Business Operations who will partner with the Managing Director and leadership teams in all North America studios to help drive the business, handling process improvements & efficiency across IDEO’s North American Hubs (San Francisco, Chicago and Cambridge).

We need the ultimate combination of a high-level Individual Contributor & strategic mindset of a Director-level systems thinker: someone who is unafraid to roll up their sleeves and embrace IDEO’s value “Talk less, do more.”

In a Nutshell:

The Business Operations Director is directly responsible for IDEO’s key project metrics, reporting structure & systems integrity. 

We are especially excited to meet candidates with a strong startup, creative agency, or B2B professional services background. This role will work closely with the North American Hub Leaders, IDEO North America Partners, Local Hub Business Development teams, external agency hires & fellow Business Operations (Bizops) professionals within IDEO’s infrastructure.

This hire must be based within commutable distance (2 hours by ground transport) of our San Francisco, Chicago IL, or Cambridge, MA studio locations. IDEO proudly supports flexible work.

Once here you will:

  • Drive Strategic Planning & Hub Management
    • Report on performance with key insights on a quarterly basis with our Hub Managing Directors & Business Operations teams
    • Collaborate with finance team to analyze financial data and make recommendations for cost optimization
    • Identify potential risks to the business and develop strategies for mitigating them
    • Collaborate with Hub leadership to develop and implement strategic plans for the Hub's growth and development
    • Participate in discussions about long-term goals, market positioning, and competitive analysis
    • Help develop strategies for portfolio development and management across the Hub
  • Drive strategic talent planning and resourcing
    • Execute Utilization/Billability Analysis with a firm understanding of RPP
    • Model our Talent shape & capacity (as needed, outside of business planning)
    • Support and uphold best practices across the Hub community (systems, processes, cross-functional collabs)
    • Address day-to-day operational challenges and troubleshoot issues as they arise
    • Advise and participate in hub teambuilding and resourcing 
    • Support the onboarding of new employees to the above systems
  • Manage Effective Use of Resources in Client Engagements
    • Collaborate with & support project leads on managing project timelines, budgets, and resources to ensure projects are delivered on time and within scope
    • Collaborate with & support our external agency temps to update resource plans for MEC
    • Collaborate with Accounts Receivable to ensure timely invoicing & collections
    • Collaborate with Accounts Receivable to release non-billable expense budgets ahead of month-close
  • Improve Business Development
    • Drive and uphold pricing strategy across the Hub Portfolio
    • Partner with BD leads to creatively and aggressively respond to opportunities in line with IDEO overall guidance and business goals
    • Commercials / Contract Oversight
    • Own BizOps contributions & reports for weekly pipeline Meetings
    • Ensure system data integrity within Hubspot across North America
  • Manage New Process Improvement
    • Identify opportunities for process optimization and efficiency improvements
    • Implement and oversee changes to operational processes in collaboration with appropriate stakeholders to enhance efficiency, productivity, and quality
    • Operationalize new ways of working (e.g., Share process updates + oversee rollout and training (as needed) to support uptake and efficiency)
    • Work collaboratively across Business Operations in North America to share best practices, adhere to shared process, and build capacity in the discipline
  • Mentor our Business Operations Team
    • Play an active advisory role for more junior members of the BizOps team , working onboard, train, and real-time problem solve across Hubs

Qualifications / Experience:

  • Background in business, accounting, or related field
  • 10+ years explicit experience in a business operations or project management capacity, preferably 5+ years within a creative consulting services company or similar field (design, advertising, digital agencies, production companies)
  • Excellent Customer service skills and ability to maintain relationships
  • Analytical problem solving
  • Data entry and analysis
  • Extensive experience with Excel/Google Sheets and having a command of finance and accounting.
  • Can manage several projects at a time with high impact and quality. 
  • Able to construct stories from data to make solid, actionable recommendations, focusing on the “so what” behind the numbers.
  • Exemplary discretionary skills, demonstrating sound judgment in dealing with confidential dialogs and information.

Application Requirements and Instructions:

Please consider submitting any relevant examples of work in portfolio/website format.

This application will remain open through Q1. We will review applications on a rolling basis.

Salary & Benefits

IDEO is committed to paying its employees equitably, regardless of gender identity or race/ethnicity/cultural identity. We support the holistic well-being of our community by providing a thoughtfully designed benefits package.

The salary range for this role is $140,000 - 180,000 USD. This range is influenced by a wide range of factors considered in compensation decisions at IDEO. This includes, but is not limited to: skills, industry knowledge, and experience. Final offers may vary from the amount listed based on geography, candidate experience & expertise, and other factors.

In addition to base compensation, IDEO offers a rich benefits package including the following:

Health Benefits: Vision, Dental, Healthcare

Financial Benefits: 401K matching

Family & Caregiving: Parental Leave, Adoption Assistance, Fertility Assistance, Transgender Medical Assistance, Breastmilk shipment, Back-up/Dependent Care, Pet Insurance

Other Benefits: Flexible Work (no mandated in-office days), Flexible Time Off, Paid Holidays, Annual Education Stipend

Commitment to Diversity

At IDEO, we are committed to the work of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within our organization and in the world. Our purpose of having disproportionate, world-changing impact through design is directly connected to our ability to bring many different perspectives to the table. This applies to our candidates, the people we hire, the clients and customers we serve, and the communities we learn from in our research.

As a human-centered organization, we are committed to working with and designing for people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical ability or attribute, religion, national origin, or political belief. We recognize that this commitment requires ongoing work and sustained attention, as well as adaptation to new insights and best practices. We keep our diversity data public for the sake of accountability and transparency. These commitments will also be part of your journey at IDEO, so please feel free to read more about them here.

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