Business Design Lead

In a nutshell:

IDEO Munich is in search of a Design Lead (Business Design). This unicorn role combines business chops and design magic to lead the creation of amazing new products and services. We need someone who:

  • Helps project teams design the business aspects of new products/services
  • Leads design projects with a team of IDEO designers
  • Deepens the studio’s business knowledge and inspires internal/external communities

As a Business Designer, you use the methods of business with the generative mindset of design. As a project lead, you make client projects successful.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

Design Leads are project leads: they are responsible for leading one client project at a time, together with a team of 2-3 IDEO designers. Project leads at IDEO have a significant amount of freedom and responsibility. Your job is to deliver a great outcome to the client and win their trust, create a working environment for the team that enables them to thrive, and set the creative/project direction.

Design Leads also contribute to the development of IDEO's business - by actively pursuing new work, or developing existing relationships with clients.

With business design as your functional expertise, you might also work embedded in a project team or as an advisor to create innovation through the business aspects of a new product or service. That could mean thinking up novel solutions to generating revenue, pricing, channels, partnerships, etc. – but business designers also contribute to the overall project outcome like all team members throughout the project. It often means coming up with great content from thin air and solving hairy problems. While that might sound familiar, IDEO is about making things tangible - and that is equally relevant to business designers, too - how might you bring that value proposition to life from a business perspective? We also count on business designers to be translators between our client’s management reality and our internal design perspective.

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.

We hope that sounds great, because it is :)

Relevant experience and mindset:

Ideally, we’re looking for people with a varied background and interesting life experience - we want to hear your stories. On the formal side of things, you will have:

  • One degree in business, e.g. Masters/MBA, or equivalent experience. We’re expecting you to be knowledgeable about, at the least, the practical basics of running a business (finance, accounting, human resources, marketing, etc.)
  • Excellent communication skills in English. Willingness to learn German is a plus. Existing German language skills are, of course, great

In an ideal world you combine significant previous experience in at least two of the following areas:

  • Startups (e.g. as an entrepreneur, in an accelerator/innovation lab, or as a VC)
  • Management consulting (e.g. around strategy, operations, brand, etc.)
  • Technology / Design / UX (e.g. building digital/physical products, technology commercialization, hardware prototyping, etc.)
  • Organizational behavior (e.g. change management, HR strategy, etc.)
  • Data science (e.g. quantitative analysis, statistics, etc.)

 On top of that, we are looking for:

  • Business acumen – you understand the dynamics inside business organizations including roles and functions, as well as how different industries tick. We need you to have an ear for business language, and to be able to translate that into concrete outcomes.
  • Clarity – we understand the world is complex, but we want you to distil that to simple, elegant truths. You need to be able to communicate them verbally and on paper.
  • Design mindset – you don’t need to be a designer to have a design mindset - it’s about having an inclination towards generating ideas in situations of ambiguity, shaping deliverables instead of relying on best practices and working with designers and startups, or creating art.
  • Leadership experience – initiatives or roles where you took responsibility for an outcome and led people towards a goal. Having led a team of designers is a plus.
  • Attitude – we want you to be interested, passionate, and curious. You have a love for the systems and connections that make the world go round. 

Application requirements and instructions:

What we need from you:

  • CV highlighting your relevant experience
  • Cover letter that tells your story, and why you think IDEO is a good fit

IDEO hires not only for cultural fit, but also for cultural add. Don’t be afraid to show a little personality in your application.

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.