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Portfolio Director

 In A Nutshell

IDEO Chicago is looking for a Portfolio Director who will contribute to delivering on IDEO Chicago’s business strategy by forging and leading client relationships, delivering world-class design through craft leadership, and by helping to develop talent through strong people leadership. The ideal person demonstrates a combination of business savvy, understanding of the creative process, and relationship skills with both internal and external stakeholders.  

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

You will be part of IDEO Chicago’s leadership team in a variety of capacities including business development, talent mentorship, brand building, and craft excellence. You will make the biggest impact by developing, managing, and executing a business development strategy that capitalizes on your expertise and energizes the design community of IDEO. This involves you spotting the range of opportunities to build new market-facing offers and framing specific client challenges as opportunities for design, as well as ensuring that IDEO’s design capabilities are properly represented to meet and exceed the client’s needs and expectations. Your skill set is critical to our work because you have the ability to cultivate client relationships and support the development of world-class designers.

Once here you will:

  • Drive conversations with potential clients to understand their priorities, convey IDEO's process, shape opportunities, and scope project proposals that ensure successful outcomes for both.
  • Cultivate partnerships with existing clients to unlock new opportunities for collaboration and impact through design.
  • Invest in the growth of our product capabilities by supporting the learning and development of IDEO designers.
  • Serve as a trusted advisor to our clients and project teams by providing strategic level guidance, coaching, and constructive critique in service of delivering world-class design.
  • Represent IDEO externally through speaking engagements and other media opportunities to build the brand and tell IDEO stories.
  • Build and maintain a strong internal and external network.
  • Influence and evolve a culture of “Creative Excellence” in support of the future growth of our culture, talent, and client relationships.

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other.  We are privileged to work with an impressive caliber of clients who entrust us with some of their most vexing and diverse design challenges.  As an IDEOer, you will work alongside thoughtful individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. Sure, we work hard, but we also craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect.

Relevant experience and mindset:

  • 8-10+ years of relevant experience in areas like business strategy, brand or product management, or a strategic/management consulting background.
  • Demonstrated experience in product or service development, business development, creative consulting, and/or a project management capacity.
  • Experience developing and leading client relationships and building lasting partnerships.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and expertise guiding multi-disciplinary teams and supporting the learning and development of individuals.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication in an internal and externally-facing capacity.
  • A proactive, creative problem solver that thrives in a highly collaborative, fast-paced, multi-disciplinary environment.
  • Experience with organizational change initiatives is a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability to empathize with clients.

Your application

If you are interested in applying, please provide your cv/resume, a portfolio if that is relevant to your work experience, and a cover letter that touches on why you think you’re qualified for this role.

We look forward to hearing from you.


Equal Opportunity Employer

IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.