Director, Design Operations, Greenfield Labs

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Director, Design Operations, Greenfield Labs
Palo Alto
Ford Motor Company

Job Description
Position Overview/Description

Greenfield Labs’ Ford Smart Mobility (FSM) LLC team is working to transform the urban transportation experience. Housed within FSM LLC, Greenfield Labs is a small but highly capable and fast moving team designing, developing, testing, and shipping new products and services to optimize multimodal transportation in the world's cities. We are looking for candidates to help us develop and deliver groundbreaking, human-centered transportation products and services.

As the Director, Design Operations at Greenfield Labs you will be responsible for the development and growth of design talent as well as assisting the Director, Greenfield Labs in developing the culture and implementation of systems and processes with the goal of achieving operational excellence. The Director, Design Operations will work closely with Lab leadership and senior Ford management to develop and iterate the GFL strategy and annual goals. You will act as an ambassador for creative change and will leverage GFL projects to deliver significant value to FSM LLC.

Discover, bring-in, and develop design talent for Greenfield Labs:
  • Collaborate with Director, hiring managers, and Ford HR/recruiting to help drive recruiting efforts and hiring plan
  • Develop, monitor, and adjust future talent forecast taking into account near and far lab projects, Ford Smart Mobility strategic efforts, and overall Ford strategy
  • Lead supplementation of existing Ford/FSM onboarding practices, monitoring and reacting to process requirements and new-hire experience
  • Oversee talent growth within the lab; work with project leads to provide performance feedback that aids in employee development
Create vision and own responsibility for the design craft in Greenfield Labs:
  • Develop, share and provide methodologies, tools, and best practices to all lab employees to be leveraged globally
  • Build, guide, and motivate creative teams
  • Collaborate with Director, Project Leads, and HR to develop and share differentiated (design skills, experience level) project and performance evaluation criteria
  • Participate in Design Review meetings and contribute as an advisor
  • Collaborate with Director, all GFL employees, HR, and other stakeholders in guiding direction and development of a positive culture in GFL
Lead overall design team construction across project portfolio:
  • Evaluate specific design-talent needs for in-flight, in-transition, and new GFL projects
  • Address talent-gaps through effective performance feedback, individual and team development, and internal/external talent acquisition

Participate in scoping new project/work opportunities:
  • Evaluate strategic fit of incoming work
  • Create or respond to proposals, specifically determining required design-talent and budget to accomplish project objectives and/or agreements

Develop and lead team review process and cadence:
  • Establish governance processes and metrics that will facilitate regular feedback of performance to objectives/goals
  • Identify, monitor, and create plans to address areas of performance that are opportunities or may need additional support/attention

Lead strategy and engagement with design partners / suppliers:
  • Assess strategic fit for opportunities and select ideal design resources to leverage for results
  • Manage design supplier relationships, when appropriate
  • Identify key global partners and outreach opportunities
  • Foster and build relationships with key stakeholders

Develop framework for engagement with internal Ford design and user experience teams:
  • Build working relationship with critical internal stakeholders
  • Foster and build relationships with key stakeholders
  • Serve as key GFL contact and host for events, workshops, tours, etc.

Job Requirements

Basic Qualifications
  • 10+ years of experience in a creative leadership role (such as Creative Director, Design Director, Creative Thinking Manager, etc.)
  • 5+ years of experience in Design Thinking or Research Methodologies (such as Agile, Ethnography, etc.)
  • Master’s Degree in Arts Business, Engineering, Psychology, Sociology, or Sustainability in Business, Psychology, Sociology, or Sustainability

Preferred Qualifications
  • Demonstrated passion for mobility and related services
  • Creative and curious mind; deep experience in design thinking, agile and various other related research methodologies
  • Gifted listener who is able to coach, mentor and support team members to achieve their highest potential
  • Comfortable with ambiguity and ‘white space’ concepts
  • Proven track record leading and inspiring multidisciplinary teams
  • Ability to see the big picture and takes a ‘systems thinking’ point of view
  • Excellent communicator, able to take complex/diverse material and translate it in a compelling manner; experience advising, presenting and guiding executive stakeholders
  • Strong partnership management and client engagement skills; experience partnering with external agencies
  • Gifted listener who is able to coach, mentor and support team members to achieve their highest potential
  • Ability to manage multiple stakeholders and projects; recommends and implements informed, human centered solutions

The distance between imagination and … creation. It can be measured in years of innovation, or in moments of brilliance. When you join the Ford team discover all the benefits, rewards and development opportunities you’d expect from a diverse global leader. You’ll become part of a team that is already leading the way, with ingenious solutions and attainable products – and it is always ready to go further.

Candidates for positions with Ford Motor Company must be legally authorized to work in the United States on a permanent basis. Verification of employment eligibility will be required at the time of hire. Visa sponsorship is not available for this position, TN visa holders may be considered.

Ford Motor Company is an equal opportunity employer committed to a culturally diverse workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status or protected veteran status.