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Organisational Design Lead

In a nutshell:

IDEO is seeking an experienced Organisational Design Lead for our London studio.

This role requires a unique blend of real-world experience, organisational theory, a passion for challenging organisational norms, and the ability to work with C-suite level clients.

You will work as part of IDEO’s multidisciplinary design teams to help our clients achieve bold and meaningful change. From building creative capabilities, to developing new models of working, and building movements of change.

You’ll be constantly seeking ways to scale our work and create long-lasting client impact.

Why is this job important to IDEO?

IDEO is widely recognised as a world leader in the design of products, services, ventures and strategies that enable our clients to grow their business. Organisational Designers play a pivotal role in this by designing the organisational conditions needed to unlock, activate and sustain business growth.

We believe that today’s successful organisations look more like organisms than machines. Increasingly, large businesses are recognising this and are seeking to adopt internet-era ways of working to stay competitive and relevant to customers. We need you to help our clients become more adaptable, agile and creatively competent.

As an Organisational Designer at IDEO, you’ll work with the world’s biggest brands on their boldest transformational challenges. You’ll work alongside world-class creative talent in multidisciplinary teams and get to leverage the perspectives and experience of other disciplines (e.g. communications design/environments design etc.) to push the edges of how you make change within organisations. You’ll also have the opportunity to deepen your experience of Design Thinking and explore how it enriches your organisational expertise.

In the past, we’ve addressed the following design challenges:

  • How might we help a leading fashion platform discover its purpose and revolutionise how it innovates across its organisation?
  • How might we help a B2B industrial manufacturer build a customer-centred culture of innovation and lay the groundwork for a new generation of digital products and services?
  • How might we help the global operations function of a multi-billion dollar fashion retail brand adopt new ways of working to help them move at the pace of the customer?

Once here you will:

  • Spin up agile organisational experiments to help our clients prototype, then scale new ways of working in their organisation
  • Develop talent strategies, competency and capability models, and career frameworks for companies who are trying to adapt to rapidly changing market conditions
  • Develop innovative ways to scale change within organisations that are grounded in movement-building rather than top-down directives
  • Understand, map and generate elegant answers to the organisational challenges posed by new product/service designs
  • Collaborate with other designers to develop new approaches that live at the intersection of multiple disciplines (such as Design Research, Business Design, Environments Design and Communications Design)
  • Shape IDEO’s perspective on organisational design and inspire the IDEO design community to grow their understanding and capabilities in organisational design

What does IDEO offer you?

Ask anyone in IDEO London why they like working here, and they will say it’s our people and the diversity of projects. It’s a place where you can solve complex challenges for our clients or the organisation, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism.

We certainly work hard, but we also intentionally focus on our culture to design events where we pause, create, and connect.

We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work and respect the need for work-life balance. IDEO provides you support and development throughout your time here, while allowing for autonomy in the design process and in your career.

IDEO has had a studio in London for over 30 years. Over that time, we have grown in the scale of our influence and impact. Although we still work across every industry, and sector, our consistent purpose to deliver positive impact through design, has meant that we have enabled companies all over the world to be creatively competitive.  

Relevant experience:

We’d be really excited if you have:

  • Several years of experience pioneering and scaling transformative change within large business and corporate environments
  • Experience helping organisations identify the capabilities they need to become future-fit, and shaping organisational responses which help them achieve this
  • An excellent grasp of concepts such as Organisational Development, Strategic HR/Talent, Learning & Development, Organisational Change/Scaling, with a deep specialism in at least one of these areas.  
  • Understand and track the latest trends, experts and thinking about the future of work and organisations, in particular how ‘digital’ is transforming how we organise

Bonus points if you’ve:

  • Worked in a digital environment or have helped an organisation transition into the digital era
  • Demonstrated literacy in human-centred design and have collaborated effectively with a multidisciplinary team of designers

A previous project to check out:

Driving Growth at Europe’s Largest Online Fashion Retailer - How Zalando redesigned the way it works and saw profits soar

How to apply:

In the next section, there is an example of the role of an Organisational Designer at IDEO. If this all sounds like an exciting opportunity to you please submit your CV along with a cover letter with your response to the following questions:

  • Tell us about a time where you have scaled a new way of working across an organisation and the positive impact that had?
  • Some of IDEO ‘s clients use the language of ‘digital transformation’ when talking about the evolution of their company. What does digital transformation mean to you?

Applications should be submitted no later than Friday 7th June, 2019 at 11:00pm BST. Please keep your response to 300 words or less.

“It’s all about designing the people experience - that means focusing on the customer AND what it’s like to work inside the organisation”

Some further reading about what it might be like for our organisational designer at IDEO...

It’s the first time Kate has worked in a design and innovation agency but it’s a perfect place to combine her background in organisational change along with her experience of working with both digital and creative companies. Before joining IDEO, Kate worked in-house in a technology company. Rather than imposing theoretical frameworks, Kate had been trying out a more human-centred approach by identifying new capabilities the organisation needed as it pivoted to new products/business models, then using quick experiments to try out new things, followed by using the learnings to iterate the idea. She soon realised the impact that these experiments could have on quickly establishing a culture or way of working. Doing small things, had a big impact.

Kate has always been fascinated by how companies can evolve to keep up with new offers to customers and also how they create the right conditions for innovation to thrive. Joining IDEO has allowed her to really accelerate her understanding and use of design thinking as a process to make significant transformations in organisations.

She’s leading conversations with clients about reinventing their products or services they put out in the world, working with C-Suite Execs to help scope out projects and win their business. But she also works with project teams throughout the life cycle of an engagement to design the organisation to support the new product or service the team is designing. One of Kate’s other passions is about aligning the employee experience with the customer experience – she has found that if companies treat their staff in the way they treat their customers, it’s so much easier for them to deliver on the customer promise. She’s got some great impact stories to tell potential clients of how this approach has been working.

Many of the projects she’s worked on at IDEO are helping product companies shift to delivering services, often digitally enabled. She brings her knowledge on techniques like lean and agile from previous digital companies and has found a way of articulating to clients the value of design thinking as a precursor to using these methods. She isn’t a specialist in lean and agile, but Kate helps to link the initial design process to the implementation taking account of how the company works today. It really helps make the shift in thinking for the client and their organisation.

Being part of the IDEO community of designers, Kate learns from all the cultural sessions in the studio – from ‘nerd nights’ where designers share new technologies, to inspiration lunches where external speakers are invited to share cool new trends or start-ups that are really pushing the boundaries. It is a great way for Kate to ensure her conversations with clients, and potential clients, explore the value of a holistic approach to design, not just her ‘organisational’ view of the world. She’s also run a couple of these sessions herself to help other designers understand more about organisation design. Kate got great feedback from the community on the session she ran around the future of work. Not only did she help them get under the skin of organisation design, she got some great provocations to use in creating a new point of view around how organisations might, or indeed, might not work in future!


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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