Director of Innovation
Director of Innovation
Reports to co-CEO
To achieve our vision to inspire and share the joy of baking, bringing people together and building stronger communities, King Arthur Flour is looking for a dynamic individual to lead the development, execution and ongoing management of King Arthur Flour’s innovation pipeline, exploring and prioritizing new opportunities that blend with our 225+ year old heritage. She/he will imagine new possibilities at the intersection of King Arthur Flour and baking. This fast-paced position is responsible for launching mission-based strategic initiatives to increase revenues and market share, driving critical growth for the company. This highly collaborative role will be responsible for idea generation, conceptualization, analysis and testing of new products and concepts. The ideal candidate thrives on challenge and thinks conceptually, and is also able to quickly size opportunities and bring concepts to reality. This role will work concurrently on a multitude of projects, both big and small. The Director is a visionary leader who ‘connects the dots’ around our business and consumer insights, and articulates concepts and analytical solutions in a clear and compelling way.
Essential job function
- Create innovation framework/process and define guardrails on how innovation is to be managed, from research to insights to project prioritization.
- Leverage brand positioning, key consumer insights and R&D discovery to develop an innovation roadmap for designated opportunity areas that aligns with King Arthur Flour business strategy.
- Develop a strong and measurable pipeline: oversee innovation projects through the internal gate process, monitoring and adjusting as needed to ready innovation projects for commercialization.
- Build internal stakeholder knowledge and understanding of consumer insights and emerging trends around innovation opportunity areas; understand why consumers act and feel the way they do and transform findings into recommendations that will drive and support product development.
- Define and conduct (or partner with others to conduct) appropriate research activities, and evaluate findings.
- Manage, direct and align Research and Development Team to ensure a robust flow into the innovation pipeline.
- Ensure follow-through on development of new products as well as reformulation of existing products.
- Foster process improvements, ensuring adequate resources are provided.
- Develop and manage R&D budget.
- As a visible champion for innovation across the organization, provide ongoing leadership to cross-functional teams across a range of projects with multiple components; these may include research and insights, channel strategy, valuation and business case development – in collaboration with Marketing, Creative, Operations, Sales, and Finance.
- Plan/facilitate dynamic work sessions to inspire innovative ideas, agile iteration, and effective decision-making.
- Identify and experiment with new techniques and models for research, product design, testing, and distribution to build innovation best practices and expand the company’s knowledge.
- Transition strong conceptual ideas into testable business propositions: opportunity sizing, customer & partner benefits, brand fit, operational feasibility.
- Manage direct report via coaching, mentoring, training and ongoing feedback to drive individual results and develop leadership skills and influence; challenge and inspire team members to achieve business results.
- 8+ years in food industry innovation, product development/design, business development and/or strategy role(s)
- Previous experience in or strong passion for the baking space
- BA required (MBA strongly preferred)
- Demonstrated experiences leading cross-functional teams
- Highly analytical, motivated, decisive thought leader with excellent execution skills
- Strategic mind with an ability to think broadly, refine question, and influence multiple decision makers
- Current consumer packaged goods experience to both identify and initiate appropriate partnership alliances
- Track record of taking calculated risks for the long-term benefit of the organization and is thereby considered a progressive thought-leader
- Strong foundational understanding of supply chain and operational effectiveness
- Demonstrated experience working closely with leadership
- Proven track record of successful innovations
Required Knowledge, Skills
- Creative and strategic problem solver with high curiosity quotient
- Ability to operate fluidly between strategic/conceptual and tactical/executional
- Ability to quickly evaluate solution viability, courage to fail fast and learn from mistakes
- Strong and varied communication approaches to explain and evangelize new concepts
- Excellent communication and presentation skills; dynamic (persuasive) in presenting ideas to teams
- Comfortable solving problems through a ‘hypothesis’ driven approach using a combination of top-down and bottom-up analyses
- Must possess rigorous analytical disciplined approach as well as dynamic, abstract problem solving skills (get to the answer via both ‘inspiration’ and ‘perspiration’)
- Strong interpersonal skills as team leader and team player with experience cross-functional team management
- Must have a ‘change agent’ attitude; constantly pushing us to new opportunities, approaches, ideas, perspectives
Meet Some of King Arthur Flour's Employees
Assistant Product Manager
Rosie brings the joy of baking to King Arthur Flour's customers. From cupcake papers to cookie cutters to high-end bread machinery, Rosie ensures that bakers can do what they love seamlessly.
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