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Executive Strategy Director

In a nutshell:

IDEO Munich has a vacancy for an Executive Strategy Director, located in Munich but working as part of the European team.

As an Executive Strategy Director you will drive and create impactful strategic work for and with clients and IDEOs world-class teams. You will enjoy the day-to-day contribution to inspiring content direction, mentoring teams with clients, and working directly to lead client relationships that deliver positive impact in the world.

Above all you will also be mindful of a much broader lens on the needs of the organisation. Even with a primary focus on Munich as a business you will be broadly networked, ensuring the location delivers and builds on IDEO’s longer-term strategy.

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

Our aim is to help organisations unlock their creative potential, in their leaders and the teams behind them. In partnership with our clients we design products, services, experiences and businesses that not only solve user needs, but also enable our clients to learn and build their own futures, therefore remaining creatively competitive.

The success of any IDEO studio relies on the direction and contribution of the leadership team. This is an opportunity for you to lead and grow an amazing team of high performing designers, supported by a fantastic operations team, who in turn will produce world-class design solutions for our clients.

Once here you will:

Invest your focus and efforts on these four main areas:

Help drive IDEO’s business strategy

As IDEO constantly evolves in order to achieve its’ strategy and ambition, you will lead a team who defines and executes strategic initiatives to help us build new capabilities, skills, processes and partnerships that support this evolution and ensures we remain creatively competitive.

Bringing in and leading impactful client relationships through strategy

In order to create bigger impact for our clients, IDEO has moved from a project by project to a more programmatic client relationship approach. We need our senior leaders to lead by example; setting up client relationships in the right way, creating and driving impactful strategies for our clients. 

Build a strategy team and capability 

Part of the role is to grow IDEO’s strategic capability and capacity over time. You will do so by developing the existing team and hiring of new talent. This will ensure we create a sustainable and valuable new capability within IDEO.

Lead our culture

Our culture is very important to us. As a leader at IDEO there is a responsibility to not only to be role models of our culture, but hold our teams accountable to the values that we hold dearly.  You have the opportunity to work with and lead some of the best talent in the world.

What does IDEO offer you?

Ask anyone in IDEO Munich why they like working here, and they will say it’s our people and the diversity of challenges. 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 Munich for over 20 years. Over that time, we have grown in 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 thrive and be creatively competitive.

Relevant Experience and mindset

At a senior leadership level you will have a blend of some of these skills. They are part of IDEO Journeys (our company wide career development programme), and for clarity we have listed below:


  • Doing world class design (and being an exemplar of design excellence) in your capability, both inside and outside of IDEO.
  • Inspiring teams (IDEO partners, external collaborators and clients) to do world class design that goes to market through existing and exciting new ways.
  • Localizing global ideas and globalizing local ideas about the increasing role of design in the world. –Leveraging your capability to engage our clients in how design can add further value to their business, within and beyond project scopes.


  • Being an exemplar of all IDEO values.
  • Driving further diversification of IDEO’s talent, where relevant, to support our work in doing design, building tools and teaching.
  • Attracting the very best talent who will live and promote IDEO’s values.
  • Helping define IDEO’s strategy for building new capabilities and maintaining existing ones. Actively identifying and nurturing a future leadership pipeline of talent by directly mentoring and guiding others.


  • Maintaining our edge by actively taking IDEO’s existing content and offers in new directions, to further growth and experimentation.
  • Keeping ahead of the curve in understanding technology and how it can be applied through IDEO.
  • Exploring and leveraging content areas previously untapped by IDEO.
  • Creating new offers for IDEO, whether around doing design, building tools or teaching.


  • Finding ways to promote IDEO’s broad experience and expertise through multiple platforms, and across IDEO businesses.
  • Communicating with the world at large about IDEO’s work and approaches.
  • Inspiring others to fluency with IDEO’s philosophy, methods, Design Thinking and impact in the world.


  • Localizing IDEO’s global vision and making strategy happen.
  • Exploring ways to use IDEO’s capabilities to the advantage of clients/ collaborators and *IDEO.
  • Being accountable for the financial prosperity and cultural health of the business.
  • Assessing the health, fit and competitiveness of IDEO in the marketplace, while exploring ways to strengthen our position in the world.


  • Leading networks and communities inside and outside of IDEO that have positive impact on our businesses, brand and talent.
  • Catalyzing networks in local markets to drive awareness of, and interest in, IDEO.
  • Actively visualizing, exploring and leveraging the overlap between your network and that of others within and outside of IDEO.
  • Mentoring others in developing their own networks, and sharing your network to help others make useful connections.

Some previous projects to check out:

A sample cross section of European projects:

Launching an Innovation Lab to to Benefit Peruvians - Build a human-centered design capability within Intercorp. 

Driving Growth at Europe's Largest Online Fashion Retailer - To revolutionize the way Zalando innovates across the organization

Beyond Cars: Designing Smarter Mobility - Prototype experiments that reframe a car company's place in a rapidly changing world of mobility

Designing a Circular Economy

Application Instructions:

We recognise that you will have various degrees of expertise in each of these key areas, and as such we would like to hear from senior candidates with a proven track record of leadership in creative organisations, in and out of the design industry.  If you are interested in applying please can you provide your CV, a portfolio if that is relevant to your work experience, and a cover letter that touches on why you think your experience is relevant.

On review of your application, we will provide you with much more detail in a full job description including details about the hiring process.

We look forward to hearing from you.


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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