In a nutshell:
IDEO is in search of a Business Operations Specialist to join our San Francisco Team. This individual will be responsible for performing various finance and operations-related tasks for our internal operations and design projects. Operations at IDEO is highly cross-functional; touching finance, legal, business development, project management as required, and sits at the intersection of business and design, both for our clients and for IDEO itself. This role demands someone with comfort in both business and design, and an interest in translating between the two. Additionally, the role demands an entrepreneurial individual with a high level of discretion, empathy, and self-motivation. Our pace is fast, our processes fluid, and our environment less than traditional. We are looking for someone who is quick, enthusiastic, and has an extremely high level of detail and organization. Flexibility, curiosity, and multi-tasking are key given the ever-evolving nature and complexity of our work.
Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?
BizOps plays a critical role at IDEO: we ensure the successful winning, execution, and delivery of our projects by providing a cross-functional perspective; we enable the smooth operation of the entire studio and global business; we help protect and foster our unique culture by managing risks and creating business processes; we work with creative leadership to communicate best business practices. A key part of this role is being a sense-maker for communicating business health to a highly creative community that craves stories and visual narrative more than excel spreadsheets.
Once here you will:
- Oversee the financial health of a portfolio of design projects (roughly 20-30 at a time), interfacing regularly with Project Leads to ensure they’re well supported and that commitments are being met in a timely manner. Key responsibilities include enabling our project teams and finance department to achieve financial objectives such as: delivering projects on time and on budget, limiting IDEO’s exposure through timely invoicing and collections and spotting scope change and preparing change orders for additional fees and documentation. You may also connect with clients should they have any needs or questions during the course of a project.
- Work closely with our Business Development Team; assist in drafting or reviewing statements of work, pricing project opportunities, shepherding the legal process, creating expense estimates and constructing invoice schedules.
- Prepare weekly and/or monthly financial reporting for our studios: including but not limited to things like business development data, labor utilization, credit card reports, and be comfortable with sharing a narrative that compliments the data.
- In collaboration with the Business Operations Team, track our location performance, both in the weeds and above the trees. You’ll assist with much of the ongoing reporting that goes to senior leadership and constantly rev these based on our business needs.
- Provide thoughtful analyses of our core business. You’ll marry disparate pieces of info from finance, legal, and design teams to provide a holistic perspective that informs thoughtful decision-making.
- Continually seek opportunities to help us work smarter via new/refined tools and processes, and be able to identify the places where measurement matters most.
- Collaborate on special projects as needed.
What does IDEO offer you?
IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges for 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.
Relevant experience and mindset:
This job is suited to someone with 3-5 years of work experience in a strategic planning, operations, or finance role, preferably at a creative agency, studio, or consulting services firm. It requires someone with comfort in both business and design and an interest in translating between the two. Opportunities abound at IDEO, and there couldn’t be a more ideal place to grow and stretch your skills and creativity.
- You’re a strategic and analytical powerhouse. You don’t need to be an ex-banker, but you must be comfortable in Excel, and have a command of finance and accounting.
- You can manage several projects with high impact and quality. You’re flexible, hyper detail-oriented, and have exemplary time management and organizational skills.
- You construct stories from data. You make solid, actionable recommendations and focus on the “so what” behind the numbers.
- You are dynamic and able to adjust course without breaking a sweat. Our pace is fast, our process fluid, and our environment is less than traditional.
- You’re an articulate, confident communicator and even better listener.
- You’re collaborative. You have strong interpersonal skills and are able to build relationships. You work well with a diverse community of individuals.
- You have exemplary discretionary skills and demonstrate sound judgment in dealing with confidential dialogs and information.
- You love working in teams and across disparate groups, but most importantly, you embrace design and are genuinely passionate about the work we do.
- IDEOers are creative, independent, and fast-moving. Therefore, you must be the same. That means being comfortable with ambiguity, juggling lots of responsibilities and prioritizing accordingly.
Application requirements and instructions:
- Resume (attachment)
- Cover Letter (attachment) - Tell us what excites you about this role (and yes, we read every single cover letter)
- Pop Quiz (attachment) - What are the top 5 metrics you’d track in a creative consulting firm and why? Bonus points if you provide something visual that helps tell the story!
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.