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Business Designer (Organizational Design)

In a nutshell:

IDEO Palo Alto is seeking an experienced Business & Organizational Designer. We imagine this role as a Business Designer with strong experience in organizational topics – ideally someone who has created and implemented organizational solutions.

As a Business Designer, you will work with a project team to understand the client context, collect and interpret relevant data, develop insights, explore and define growth opportunities, define strategy, create tangible design expressions, communicate the vision, and ultimately help our clients get new offers to market.

With your skills in organizational design, you will help our clients achieve bold and meaningful organizational change. You might design new tools for the organization, shape the culture and operating model of an innovation lab, or build a ‘minimum viable organization’ to execute on a new product or service.

This role requires a rare blend of real-world experience and theory, a real passion for challenging received wisdom, and the right mix of boardroom polish and grassroots hustle. In your past life, you may have worked in change management (in-house or as a consultant), training and development, human resources, organizational strategy, innovation management (for corporations or accelerators), or related fields. Having said that, we are open to uncommon career paths, if you can show your relevant experience.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

Business Designers are crucial for IDEO to ensure viability of products and services, and help bring them to market. They are best equipped to understand the needs of client organizations, and to ensure that project deliverables include fitting business models to go along with new offers that IDEO teams develop.

When embracing innovation at a larger scale, clients often need help with transforming their organizations. We believe that change is beautiful, and happens most successfully by movement, not mandate. You might help with building and evolving an organization’s purpose and culture through its products, services, and operations. Above all else, we need you to roll up your sleeves and inspire action throughout our clients’ iterative change journeys.

Some previous projects to check out:

You can read about our work around organizational change here. Our collaboration with Ford Motor Company on Greenfield Labs, a collaborative innovation lab practicing human-centered design, is another good example. Other interesting projects include the Willow Breast Pump and the Future of Voting for LA County.

Once here you will:

  • Collaborate with clients to understand their business challenges and opportunities and to help identify and prioritize their near and long term goals.
  • Partner with various designers to create new (and evolve existing) physical and/or digital products, and design fitting business models.
  • Develop experimental approaches for our clients to prototype new ways of working in the world and in their organizations.
  • Prototype new businesses out in the world that help us gain insight into how people will engage with a new offer.
  • Design internal tools or processes that address strategic and organizational issues and foster new ways of working.
  • Craft a research plan comprised of interviews and analogous inspiration to understand an organization’s working dynamics and surface opportunity areas and new ideas for change.
  • Shape and act on change strategies that start small, but lead to long-term impact at scale.
  • Design and facilitate workshops and trainings with clients that spark movements around desired change.

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. 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.

Relevant experience:

We’d be excited if you have:

  • 5+ years of organization design and strategic experience working on innovation in large business and corporate environments
  • Experience designing and implementing transformational efforts within organizations, with an emphasis on practicality over theory
  • Bachelor’s and master’s degree in a related field, including but not limited to business administration, organizational psychology or behavioral science
  • Demonstrated fluency as a practitioner of human-centered design

Bonus points if you’ve:

  • Successfully launched and/or led a corporate innovation lab or program
  • Rolled out digital transformation strategies and/or agile development methods at scale
  • Applied behavioral economics principles in past projects


Pop quiz:

Please include your answer to the following prompts in your cover letter:

  1. What's your favorite story about a company that has successfully navigated a significant organizational change? What is so compelling about their journey (200 words or less)?
  2. Tell us about a time that you applied human-centered design to solve an organizational challenge (200 words or less).

Application instructions:

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter including your answer to the pop quiz question. 


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.