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Business Designer / Project Leader

In a nutshell:

We are searching for a Business Design Lead capable of leading project teams and clients to deliver new offers and ventures to market using a discovery-driven approach to learn, build, and test businesses as prototypes. In this role, you will get exposure to and/or be involved in all parts of the design process: proposal writing, client relationship development, user research, concept development, prototyping, and design stewardship.

In your past life, you may have been an intra- or entrepreneur, product manager, or consultant – with experience bringing a scalable new offer to market, leading interdisciplinary teams, and collaborating with clients. 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.

The ideal candidate:

  • Loves to craft and build new businesses
  • Understands how (and why) designing products and services can drive strategic growth for our clients
  • Has experience leading a team of multidisciplinary designers (Interaction, Communication, Industrial, etc.) and partnering with clients to bring a variety of concepts and products to life and to market
  • Is comfortable navigating end-to-end product life cycles, business model design, market analysis, financial modeling, and implementation

Why is this role important for IDEO's work?

As a Business Design Lead, you will champion the exploration of viability of new concepts. In this capacity, you'll work with the 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.

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 build confidence in the strategic direction of projects through data (and good old fashioned math!).

Design Leads are frequently project leaders. In other words, they are responsible for leading one client project at a time, together with a team of 2-4 IDEO designers. Project leads at IDEO have a significant amount of freedom and responsibility. Your job is to deliver great work to the client, build a trusting relationship, and foster a creative and productive environment for the team. Design Leads also contribute to the development of IDEO's business by joining new client conversations and developing existing relationships.

Once here you will:

  • Frequently lead and inspire multidisciplinary project teams to deliver IDEO’s best work
  • Collaborate with clients to understand their business challenges and opportunities and to help identify and prioritize their near and long term goals
  • Partner with a diverse group of world-class designers to create new and evolve existing products, services, and experiences to promote positive impact for our clients
  • Use business and the marketplace as a design medium to inspire our teams, our community, and our clients
  • Use discovery-driven planning and financial modeling to explore the business model possibilities behind design concepts and to shape and influence their design
  • Prototype and pilot actual transactions with concepts to build confidence in the business model
  • Design business models that enhance and extend consumer experiences
  • Design organizational structures and strategic assets to help companies support new offers and drive innovation

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.

Some previous projects to check out:

  • Ford Greenfield Labs: Ford Motor Company and IDEO have collaborated in shaping future mobility solutions and formed Greenfield Labs, a collaborative innovation lab practicing human-centered design.
  • Willow Breast Pump: Breast pumping used to be a cumbersome, complicated experience for mothers that wanted to provide breast milk for their babies and retain flexibility in their days. IDEO helped Willow design the first all-in-one, wearable breast pump which won two Best of CES awards in 2017. It provides a quiet, easy-to-use experience superior to previous products in the category.
  • Future of Voting for LA County: Voting is an important part of a citizen’s life, and IDEO helped the largest voting jurisdiction in the US create an intuitive, accessible voting experience and ballot machine for every type of voter, acknowledging the inherent complexity of the process and diversity of the population.

Relevant experience and mindset:

  • A minimum of 7-10 years of industry experience including both contributing to and managing teams
  • Demonstrated fluency with applying a human-centered design process in business including seeking outside inspiration, building to think, and balancing constraints
  • Ability to lead multidisciplinary teams and support each individuals’ style and growth
  • Rigorous business acumen across many of the following areas, along with depth in one or two: Product Development, Product Management, Start-ups, Marketing (Product or Brand), Organizational Behavior, Operations, Finance, and Design
  • Excellence in complex business model development, scenario planning, forecasting, or in-market experimentation/piloting with a depth of experience using Excel as a baseline
  • Experience in a client-service or consultative role which might include management consulting, creative services, intrapreneurship, design, finance or operations
  • Familiarity with project management tools and Agile Development
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills

Pop quiz:

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

Please tell us about a time that you applied human-centered design to solve a business problem (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.