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Business Operations & Strategy Senior Lead, IDEO U

Note: This role will be remote through at least December 2021. We are open to hiring individuals to eventually work onsite from our Cambridge, Chicago, or San Francisco studios, with occasional travel to San Francisco for IDEO U team gatherings.


IDEO U is IDEO’s online school, equipping learners around the globe with skills, mindsets, and tools to help them stay relevant and adaptive in our modern world. We're part of IDEO, an award-winning global design firm that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to help organizations innovate and grow. IDEO U was created to teach the methods we have practiced for decades and to help individuals, teams, and organizations across the globe become more resilient, creative, and innovative. 

About the Role

We are looking to hire a Business Operations & Strategy Senior Lead to lead the team’s strategic, analytical, and operational projects to drive growth and help our business scale. Your responsibilities will center around helping choreograph IDEO U’s overall prioritization and goal setting processes, including org level reporting and target setting, cross team roadmapping, quarterly OKR setting, and our annual strategic planning process. We are a young venture, and you will help both execute against current systems, and gather inputs around what is and isn’t working to help us design future evolutions. You will also stand up and evolve operational tools and systems, policies, and our analytics program, to support org wide strategic transitions and new stages of growth. As the Business Operations & Strategy Senior Lead for IDEO U, you’ll play a key role in building out IDEO U’s analytical and operational capabilities, and leading high priority strategic projects. You will also have the opportunity to work on one of IDEO’s new ventures and be a key business partner/advisor to the IDEO U leadership team.  

Once Here You Will

You’ll use your cumulative 7+ years work experience in leadership, and strategy, growth, finance, operations, or analytics to: 

  • Drive analytics, KPIs, OKRs and strategic planning for IDEO U and cross-functional teams as well as be a thought leader & collaborator in the evolution of these systems
  • Lead the small, but mighty analytics team
  • Own high priority projects from the scoping to execution phase
  • Enable IDEO U to be data-driven by managing and conducting research to better our data systems and processes
  • Develop operational processes and fill operational gaps
  • Enhance existing analytics models, create additional metrics, and/or reports based on evolving business needs

Your First 6 Months

What would you own in this role? Great question! Below, a flavor of the things you would steward for IDEO U in your first 6 months:

30 Days

  • Support monthly financial close and facilitate monthly business lookbacks with IDEO U senior leadership. Steward insightful conversations about the state of the business & key questions IDEO U needs to be learning about next.
  • Support onboarding, project prioritization, thought partnership, and career development of IDEO U’s new Sr. Business Intelligence Analyst. Help them feel supported and set up for success on the team.
  • Build out new ROI tools and growth models to help support decision making on new sales and marketing strategies.

2-3 Months

  • Support updates to our core economic model and business targets + key results. How might these models evolve to reflect what we are learning in market and what is working for the business?
  • Partner with IDEO U’s People Operations & Culture Lead to help brainstorm, prototype, and articulate new tools, business processes, and learning moments around distributed work. Think about how to make management, coordination, and planning processes better at different stages of venture growth, and how they need to evolve to support a distributed work environment.
  • Lead key Ops and cross-team projects, e.g. around pricing/discounting, bundling, or new distribution strategies.

3-6 Months

  • Become an expert on OKR frameworks and help steward the next round of OKR setting for the IDEO U team. Help identify ways to continue to iterate and improve the process on an ongoing basis based on feedback, team velocity, and the ways in which reality deviated from what we planned to do.
  • Lead revenue and expense forecasting for 2022 as part of our annual planning process. What do we collectively believe are the key strategic levers we might use to grow the business & how do we translate these into targets and a growth plan?
  • Lead our annual business review process. How did the IDEO U business evolve over the course of the year and what are the key cross team learnings to take into 2022?

What It Takes

We are looking for someone who is a highly analytical and data-driven leader, who can execute on complex analyses, define KPIs, size opportunity areas, and measure and report on performance across the business. You know how to think across multiple dimensions of a business (sales, product, marketing etc) and work cross-functionally to deliver results. The Business Operations & Strategy Senior Lead has the ability to flex between analytical, strategic, and operational aspects of the job, while being resourceful, and willing to roll up your sleeves to get any job done. You love working in teams, in a fast-paced environment with constant change, enjoy taking on a lot of responsibility, and have excellent communication skills. 

Must Have

  • 7+ years of relevant experience in strategy, growth, finance, operations or analytics
  • 2+ years of leadership or people management experience
  • Ability to flex between technical, strategic, and operational aspects of the job
  • Ability to present complex data analysis, insights, and recommendations to senior leadership
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills to support working with a distributed team
  • Experience building and iterating financial and growth models for new stages of growth
  • Experience with expense management and helping teams set, manage, and track against P&L targets
  • Project management skills across the entire project management lifecycle from conception to completion
  • Proven ability to think quickly on your feet, adapt to a highly variable environment, change scope and focus with ease 

Bonus Points if You Have

  • Experience in an OKR-centered organization and with roadmapping, reporting and strategic planning processes
  • Advanced data analysis skills – e.g. database query construction, data warehousing, data mining and experience with at least one SQL dialect 
  • Experience with eCommerce business models
  • Experience with growth and marketing focused special projects, e.g. segmentation, pricing analysis, international expansion strategies
  • Interest in design thinking and the online education field

Application Instructions

Please submit both a cover letter (yes, we read them!) and resume. In your cover letter, please briefly convey why this role is the right next step for you to take in your career. We will be reviewing applications on a rolling basis in July.

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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