In a nutshell:

IDEO is currently seeking a Business Design Lead for our Palo Alto location. We are looking for someone who loves to craft and build new businesses, who understands how (and why) designing products and services can drive strategic revenue growth for our clients. The right candidate will have a demonstrated ability to work with a broad set of designers (Interaction, Graphic, Architects, Engineers, etc.) to bring a variety of concepts and products to life.  Additionally, we are looking for people with a depth of experience in business model design, market analysis, financial modeling, and implementation.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

This role requires a unique blend of real-world experience and theory, entrepreneurial and creative zeal, fundamental design skills, boardroom polish and consulting “chops.” You will work as a member of IDEO’s interdisciplinary project teams to create market-leading solutions for client challenges. As a Business Design Lead, you will be the business anchor on a team, which means understanding client context, developing insights, exploring and defining growth opportunities, architecting strategy, creating tangible design expressions, communicating vision, and ultimately helping our clients get new offers to market.

In addition, you will bring a comfort with using “quant” as a design tool.  You will take the lead in enabling your project team to forecast and simulate the impact of new offers and business models, to better understand the size of markets and opportunities, and to help inspire and validate the strategic direction of projects through data (and good old fashioned math!).

Once here you will:

  • You will collaborate with clients to understand their businesses, challenges, and opportunities, and to help identify and prioritize their near and long term goals
  • Partner with various designers to design and evolve clients’ physical/digital products in ways that drive strategic business growth
  • Use discovery-driven planning and financial modeling to explore the business model possibilities behind our concepts and to shape and influence their design
  • Develop the business cases behind concepts and designs, to orient organizations towards finding top-line growth and profitability
  • Design business models that enhance and extend consumer experiences
  • Help clients develop new growth options within existing brands and experiences
  • Design compelling value propositions for customers and consumers
  • Design organizational structures and strategic assets to help companies be more innovative
  • Lead a team of designers in a project environment  

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges for our clients or the organization, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. Sure we work hard, but we also intentionally craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and your career.

At IDEO we "think to build." We believe that successful strategy formulation - and product development - happens when we can launch, learn in context, and iterate. All of this is done in a human-centered way, driven by empathy and deep insights into customer behavior generated through intensive immersion with users, and the design of real world experiments to observe behavior and measure intent.

Some previous projects to check out:

  • Society of Grownups: A storefront designed to connect the MassMutual brand to young adults through focusing on their money-spending habits over great food and conversation.
  • Pill Pack: An IDEO startup-in-residence. We helped build a venturing strategy for its prescription home-delivery system. IDEO refined the company's brand vision, strategy, and identity across channels and used this framework to redesign PillPack’s website and private dashboard for customers.
  • Hunter Gatherer: The challenge was to help incubate and launch Hunter Gatherer, a restaurant and retail space built around a trustworthy supply chain, from farm to table to grocery shelves. IDEO helped design every aspect of the organization, from its business strategy to its restaurant and retail space, brand and positioning, human resources, and marketing. The restaurant and grocery store opened in October 2014, and plans are in place to open 40 new locations throughout China.

Relevant experience and mindset:

In your past life, you may have been a consultant, product manager or an entrepreneur. You fundamentally think that when you design a new product, service or experience, you’re simultaneously designing the broader business strategy and roadmap for future growth.

  • Successful candidates will combine rigorous business acumen across all of the following areas, along with world-class depth in one or two: Product Development, Product Management, Marketing (Product or Brand), Organizational Behavior, Operations, Finance, Start-ups, and Design
  • Excellence in complex business model development
  • Experience in scenario planning and forecasting, with a depth of experience using Excel as a baseline
  • Demonstrated fluency of the human-centered design process
  • A masters in business is a plus
  • Experience in client-service and consultative roles which might include management consulting, creative services, design, finance or operations
  • Experience with diverse work cultures. Experience across multinational corporations a plus
  • Ability to work in an ambiguous and dynamic environment and comfortable with non- hierarchical organizations
  • Operational experience in or a deep understanding of taking offerings to market, whether as an entrepreneur or intrapreneur
  • Ability to work in multidisciplinary design teams
  • The ability to coach and teach other designers about business
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
  • Minimum of 7 years of industry experience

Additional skills that are encouraged:

  • Experience working in design software (e.g. Adobe suite, etc.)
  • Experience in organizational design and implementation

Required materials for applying:

In lieu of a cover letter, please respond to the following prompts in the application form below. We will only review applications that include responses to the prompts.

You’ll be working with a multidisciplinary team of designers at IDEO. Two keys to success are being human-centered and being able to visualize your ideas.

1. Please tell us about a time that you applied a human-centered design to solve a business problem, in 200 words or less.
2. Please share an example of how you visualized an idea, commercial/growth strategy, or business model OR create a visual for the story in the first prompt.
3. Please identify a business model you find inspirational, and explain how it might be applied to solve a problem in another industry.