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Business Operations Director

Business Operations Director, IDEO North America

This role may be based in any one of our three US studios: Cambridge, Chicago, San Francisco, or remotely anywhere in the US or Canada.


 Come create impact with us:

IDEO is hiring a Business Operations Director for our North America business operations team. Providing direction to our community of designers, supporting decision-making with executive leadership, and inspiring colleagues across the company are important functions of this role. The Business Operations Director is a conduit between North America’s strategy and leadership, and our portfolio of client work. They touch a little of everything, and provide invaluable input to ensuring that our business stays on track and in sync with financial goals, strategic aims, and IDEO’s cultural values. The Business Operations Director will help us evolve and grow to continually improve business performance. 

Why this role is important to our work:

We are seeking a collaborative leader with a passion for process and operations who thrives in an ambiguous, principles-driven (non-rules based) environment. You know what it takes to build a business, scale a business group, or facilitate organizational growth, and use this knowledge to lead and teach. The Business Operations Director possesses strong analytical skills with an eye for the details and the ability to maintain a big picture view of the business. This role requires building trust, great decision-making, and demonstrating great judgment with empathy for a variety of stakeholders. Excellent discretion, and demonstrating sound judgment in dealing with confidential conversations and information, are also critical skills.

You will play an active part in shaping how IDEO’s delivers world-class design by guiding leadership on critical business needs, helping design and business development teams pursue and manage work, and collaborating with cross-functional teams to evolve and seamlessly deliver upon core business capabilities. 

In This Role, You Will

You’ll use your cumulative 7+ years work experience in business operations or an adjacent function to:  

  • Work collaboratively with North America leadership around running the business, with the business development team and designers around new business, with project leads around active project management, and with a global team of IDEO business operations directors and executive leaders around the health of the business.
  • Lead business performance analysis and communication, monitor monthly P&L performance and collaborate with leadership accordingly, provide input on recruitment planning, drive annual financial planning and forecasting, track and reconcile operating expenses, provide reports through IDEO’s enterprise resource planning software.
  • Work closely with business and client relationship leaders to oversee the pipeline of new business leads. Assess the viability, pricing, margins and risk factors of those engagements. Facilitate conversations and negotiations among IDEO’s legal team, business development team, clients, and our clients’ legal counsel and procurement teams smoothly and effectively.
  • Analyze data sets across the business to extract and synthesize business insights that inform strategic choices related to key relationships, expenses, investments, utilization targets, teaming, and commercial approaches. 
  • Communicate financial performance and prepare key reports conveying the state of the business on a regular basis. Synthesize aggregated knowledge, both financial and anecdotal, into a point of view and express it effectively. Craft an engaging story from the numbers in order to inform and motivate diverse audiences with varying degrees of business acumen.
  • Create and scale a consistent and effective set of operational tools, processes, and behaviors to increase the operational effectiveness of IDEO, that meets the needs across our portfolio of clients. 
  • Proactively develop a strategic approach to commercial pricing and engagement models for key client relationships.

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.

How to Apply

Please submit both a cover letter and resume. In your cover letter, please briefly convey why this role is the right next step for you to take in your career. Further, describe when you had to guide senior stakeholders in making a business-critical decision. How did you approach it? What was the outcome of your guidance?


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.

Apply now
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