Leadership Coordinator (Contractor)

Shanghai, China

In a nutshell:

IDEO Shanghai is in search of a Leadership Coordinator who will assist in day-to-day activities while occasionally juggling client workshops and cultural events. This role is part executive assistant, part external liaison, and part project coordinator for studio level initiatives.

Why is this job important to IDEO?

The Leadership Coordinator role demands an entrepreneurial individual with a high level of discretion, empathy, and self-motivation. Our pace is fast, our processes are fluid, and our environment is not traditional. We are a highly networked organization that thrives on relationships, trust, collaboration, and credibility. We are looking for someone who is quick, brave, detail-oriented, and organized to the extreme. He/she will represent IDEO in a spirited and professional manner, both internally and externally. No two days are alike, and this individual will help our studio navigate its way through initiatives and challenges with confidence, problem-solving, polish, and a sense of humor. Finally, flexibility, curiosity, and multitasking are key given the dynamic nature of the role.

Once you’re here you will:

  • Acting as the first point of contact for the Managing Directors and Global Partners based in China and handling internal and external correspondence with appropriate tone, craft and delivery.
  • Coordinating internal meetings and external engagements with a high level of tact and personalized service. This will also include surfacing key takeaways and capturing next steps in meetings that you help facilitate as well as helping brief stakeholders and preparing materials prior to those discussions.
  • Proactively connecting with other groups throughout IDEO in a way that builds relationships, trust, and credibility. Collaborating with the location support team to create an extraordinary employee and visitor experience in the Shanghai studio.
  • Understanding separate, complex and demanding parts of our business and executing based on context awareness and a priority hierarchy that you help set and drive. That means anticipating needs before they surface while balancing the core tasks of the role: managing appointments, screening email, arranging travel, creating and maintaining organizational systems, and managing expenses.

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where we solve diverse, complex challenges for our clients or the organization, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. Everyone in this community plays a role and collaborates together in service of advancing our vision to make a disproportionate impact through design. 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. 

As a Leadership Coordinator in IDEO Shanghai, we provide the opportunity for you to:

  • Exposure to some of the conversations at the leading edge of design and business in China / Asia through supporting some of our most senior leaders.
  • Become part of a culture that lets you both learn and teach while working with people outside of your immediate area of expertise.
  • Be flexible in working arrangements, have an alternative, flexible career and a better blend of work and life. 
  • Being yourself, and be part of a diverse talented community

What we’re looking for:

Leadership Coordinators play a critical role of supporting and enabling our leaders to do great things. We are looking for someone who enjoys helping people and creating great experiences that's valuable for people around them.

Leadership Coordinators can come from traditional and non-traditional backgrounds: executive assistants, theater, music, hospitality. They don’t have degrees in coordination. Yet coordinators have a shared set of core skills and motivations from experience in roles that enable and support others:

  1. Synthesis / The coordinator is a skilled reader of everything: emails, facial expressions, tone of voice, calendar dynamics, body language. The moments that the coordinator facilitates are each a culmination - a synthesis - of all these inputs.
  2. Seeing the forest / The coordinator is able to see the forest and connect the dots in a way that others cannot, both because of the magnitude of information he/she is tapping into every day and because of his/her super synthesizing skills. This does take trust and discretion, which has to be given by those we support, then earned as time passes and collaboration grows.
  3. Making others successful / The coordinator gets great joy by enabling others to be great at what they do and enjoys making others shine
  4. Organization / The coordinator enjoys creating order out of many different streams of work so they can be dealt with more effectively and efficiently
  5. Interpersonal / The coordinator enjoys meeting and interacting with different people, learning about who they are and what makes them tick.

Question for you:

Tell us about a time when you were in charge of something and it all went horribly wrong. What did you do to get it back on track?

What superpower do you have to contribute that would help support IDEO’s Shanghai studio?

Application requirements and instructions:

Please apply online by uploading your resume and cover letter including your pop quiz question answer.


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.



Check out Inside Scoop to get the low-down.

At IDEO, we are committed to the work of advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization and in the world.

Our purpose of having disproportionate, world-changing impact through design is directly connected to our ability to bring many different perspectives to the table. This applies to our candidates, the people we hire, the clients and customers we serve, and the communities we learn from in our research.

As a human-centered organization, we are committed to working with and designing for people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical ability or attribute, religion, national origin, or political belief. We recognize that this commitment requires ongoing work and sustained attention, as well as adaptation to new insights and best practices.

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