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Business Development Associate

In a nutshell:

We are seeking a Japanese/English bilingual Business Development Associate to join our Tokyo Studio. As a Business Development Associate you will help us grow IDEO’s business in Japan by facilitating the overall business development process, from qualifying and shaping business leads to supporting meaningful client relationships.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

Business development at IDEO Tokyo is a conversation: we shape client engagements by asking the right questions and listening carefully. We’re looking for a collaborative and curious individual who genuinely enjoys connecting with potential clients and is committed to understanding their needs. There’s an opportunity of reshaping many of our clients’ organizations, unlocking their creative potential and creating new products and services for them. Our ideal candidate is a business-minded individual who can professionally and creatively represent IDEO in Japan, remain calm under pressure while juggling multiple conversations, and fluidly move between English and Japanese in order to solve problems and inspire clients.

Strong Japanese (native) and English verbal and written skills are required.

Why IDEO Tokyo?

IDEO Tokyo’s mission is to help enable change in Japan through creativity. As part of a small studio that is still growing, this person must demonstrate a collaborative working style, great communication skills, and the ability to thrive in a non-rules based environment of creative innovation.

Once here you will:

  • Shape and qualify new leads from clients in collaboration with the leadership team
  • Initiate communication with potential clients by asking the right questions to determine valuable opportunities to collaborate on
  • Gather robust market intelligence on the opportunity, and finding the appropriate person or persons to team up with
  • Directly create or enable designers to create / produce well-coordinated and compelling client project proposals, presentations, and meetings
  • Be an active participant in developing new methods for engaging collaboratively with clients in an entrepreneurial way
  • Understand and communicate IDEO Tokyo's unique value proposition, but to also look for novel opportunities in order to advance our thinking
  • Take part in the creation and facilitation of memorable and valuable events to support existing and attract new client relationships and partnerships
  • Help coordinate with clients who are learning IDEO Tokyo’s methodologies and best practices
  • Take part in the creation and facilitation of delivering educational engagements around IDEO Tokyo’s approach
  • Take the lead in keeping track of the source of leads, progress, and outcome, and periodically provide a synthesis of learnings in order to improve our Business Development process
  • Curate a bank of assets that showcase IDEO Tokyo’s value proposition and actively sharing these with colleagues, partners, and clients 

Relevant experience and mindset: 

  • Strong Japanese (native) and English verbal and written skills
  • At least 3 years of working experience, primarily with businesses located in Japan
  • Compelling interpersonal, networking, communication, and presentation skills
  • Experience working with creative people in a support or planning capacity
  • Be self-directed toward excellent work outcomes, comfort level in ambiguous, non-rules based environments
  • Great flexibility, and an openness to new ideas. Comfort level with having clients and partners unfamiliar and sometimes uncomfortable with our process and way of thinking
  • Knowledge of Mac platform, well versed in Microsoft Office / Google Docs, Keynote / Powerpoint, Gmail, and very comfortable using the Internet as a research tool
  • Ability to travel occasionally
  • Be extremely detail-oriented, and have excellent follow-through, devoted to seeing tasks complete
  • Be capable of working with a variety of personalities and work styles
  • Excellent discretion, demonstrating sound judgment in dealing with confidential dialogues and information

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve complex challenges for our clients or the organization, alongside thoughtful individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. We work hard, but we also 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 both the design process and your career.

Pop quiz 

Please include your answer to the question below in your cover letter:

If you were to select three Japanese clients you would like to work with, who would it be and why?



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.