Associate Director, Design Strategy

Designworks provides full-service design solutions for premium brands worldwide. Our history spans over forty years, and contiunes to earn numerous awards and industry accolades along the way. Founded in 1972 in a small studio in Malibu, California, and acquired by BMW Group in 1995, today Designworks pairs the pragmatism and resources of a global company while retaining the nimble, independent spirit and perspective that's true to our roots.Designworks thrives in a climate of true cross-fertilization, advancing its observations, research and eperiences from multiple industries to create new solutions that innovate rather than merely reinforcing the status quo. We serve as the internal-think tank for our parent company, BMW Group, and consult for a roster of external clients that includes many of the world's most renowned and respected brands.

We are looking for an Associate Director starting in 2019.

The Associate Director collaborates with department Directors to develop strategic plans for new products or services that improve communication, strengthen brand perception and enhance costumer experiences for clients. He/she effectively communicates and presents concepts to various internal and external audiences.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • The AD Creative Consultant will lead Foresight and Research programs, leveraging a Design Thinking toolkit that includes long-range scanning and ethnographic research. Topics may include such themes as Future Mobility, Luxury Experiences, Organizational Transformation, etc.
  • The AD will be responsible for leading the analysis of research findings to generate compelling and meaningful insights. The ability to see beyond the obvious and understand the \"why\" behind things is critical here
  • The AD will be responsible for organizing insights into concise frameworks that illuminate creative opportunities, as well as defining a clear path forward
  • The role requires using his/her passion for clear and emotionally-resonant story-telling to create enthusiasm and buy-in, both with internal teams and our external clients. Very strong visual, verbal and rhetorical skills are used to create compelling presentations, lead workshops, and outline clear plans of action
  • Ideal candidates will possess deep cultural literacy, with a broad knowledge of design practices, creative influencers, and emerging cultural trends. Experience with premium/luxury brands is a big plus
  • A key contributor in successfully achieving Designworks comprehensive project and account targets
  • Applies the Designworks future service suite to create more value and revenue from both core Design Consulting as well as additional new deliverables in Design Strategy
  • A key role to keep the company competitive in an increasingly challenging global market
  • Through in-depth client relationships and project involvement, he/she identifies growth areas for Designworks with existing accounts and understands to transfer these opportunities into project management with new turnover
  • Identifies and selects the critical business areas (e.g. market research) that will add significant value to a creative product/portfolio or business problem-solving project
  • Controls the quality of deliverables and therefore applies extensive knowledge of business acumen and creative consulting to projects in a practical way (Creative Management point of view)
  • Articulates and defends the department's conceptual and directional choices, drives the collaborative efforts to a project's creative expectations, and delivers powerful presentations
  • Directs, mentors and supervises less experienced team members with the proper balance of skills, consistency, quality and encouragement
  • A key contributor to an on-going dialogue on the evolution of Creative Consulting services, by bringing project knowledge to various Studio and Global teams within DW
  • Works closely with his global counterparts on global design programs and/or creative directors on joint Design Strategy/Design programs

Main accountabilities:

Account Management/Client Relationship
  • Contribute to the success of existing accounts by implementing account strategies, growth and action plans
  • Write Creative Consulting proposals for existing clients
  • Direct project teams with support from senior staff as needed
  • Monitor, communicate, execute project plans and budget for assigned projects
  • Present work internally and to clients, discuss need for modification and change
  • Moderate creative workshops with internal teams and clients
  • Excellent in client understanding and demonstrating our value proposition to clients
  • Clearly communicate project targets, status and progress to Department Directors and project teams
  • Coordinate seamless communication with DW internally, third party clients, BMW Group partners, ED and outside partners
Consulting and Team Management
  • Support the internal community in design thinking
  • Provide a highest level of creative output by executing billable services that meet or exceed client and project's stated objectives
  • Assign, monitor and deliver conceptual tasks to internal and external experts
  • Define holistic criteria for the development and conceptualization of projects, describing the facets necessary for their execution and success
  • Integrate new and core services, resulting in an enhanced Designworks project output
  • Provide creative problem solving and analysis to assigned project
  • Develop ideas to perform creative work with significant business relevance
  • Supports the training and knowledge transfer of established process and procedures throughout the studio
  • Support Strategic Partnering, Design, and the Studio Director with planning; scope, resources, budget, timing and deliverables
  • Align with creative director in joint discipline projects
  • Responsible for project profitability

  • Responsible for predicting hours accurately
  • Maintain and monitor relevant system documents (PMS report, Active Project Status, utilization etc.)
  • Attends conferences, trade shows, events, follows the creative community
  • Supports research and vendor liaison

Qualifications and experience
  • Bachelor's Degree in Business Management or Industrial Design
  • Master's Degree: MBA or hybrid Design/Business degree
  • 3-5 years of Team leadership
  • 5-7 years of prior work experience in creating business solutions from either the design strategy point of view, or the traditional business consulting point of view
  • Must integrate well into a global/multicultural team environment
  • Exceptional visual, verbal and written communication skills
  • Deep understanding of business context (structures, market, business structure, and technology)
  • Expertise in design thinking, creative problem solving, implication management and strategic consulting methods
  • Expertise in financial implications of creativity
  • Strong computer and software skills in Microsoft Office Tools
  • Independent worker with initiative and the ability to work with minimal supervision, self-motivated, high attention to detail and the ability to deliver work at the highest quality

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