Senior Innovation Strategist

To support enterprise innovation strategy through the ownership of focus areas and key work streams within the innovation center's strategic agenda, including (but not limited to): mindset/principles of an innovative organization, education/training of new methodologies, stakeholder management, portfolio pipeline management, market insights, innovation network management, external partnerships, and facilitation of the governance process. To coordinate resources, consult with working teams, collaborate with key business partners, and maintain working knowledge of innovation best practices, along with developing additional planning and processes to support our infrastructure throughout the portfolio lifecycle.

Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Leads focus areas assigned pertaining to achieving enterprise innovation goals. Owns and manages work streams from inception through implementation ensuring outcomes and deadlines are met. This involves creating and building new strategy, processes, and delivering outcomes that would impact the organization at an enterprise level.
2. Maintains updated knowledge of potential portfolio ideas from across business lines, along with innovation ideas within investment R&D, PRD, HR, and other shared service groups. Develops strategic relationships with leaders and partners to understand key concerns and opportunities for each line of business.
3. Contributes to pipeline ideas coming from the innovation center. Identifies and brings forth strategic topics needing attention and presents compelling suggestions for additional research.
4. Builds a strong understanding of common innovation discovery and production techniques (i.e. human centered design, system thinking, lean enterprise), pipeline management tools, and proof of concept evaluation criteria. Couples this understanding with knowledge of competitive dynamics, industry trends, policy changes, demographic, social, and technology trends that may impact our ability to create and sustain an innovation portfolio over time. Keeps current on emerging fintech trends.
5. Assists in the prioritization of new ideas for proof of concept to submit to the Advisory Board. Proactively identifies opportunities to develop new relationships within the innovation ecosystem (internally and externally), facilitates pipeline management, and drives effective measures of positive signals for the portfolio.
6. Develops and maintains strong collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders. Develops and maintains key external relationships across a variety of industries (e.g., academia, finance, technology). Represents Vanguard's interests externally as an ambassador to entrepreneurs and potential partners in the U.S. and abroad. Enhances Vanguard's image as an investment thought leader and best-in-class service provider for its clients. Attends conferences and workshops to share and learn with other organizations.
7. Contributes to the strategic vision, planning, and evolution of the innovation center. Make recommendations for improvements to our capabilities and working models. Analyzes and assesses the strength of Vanguard's innovation culture overall and relative to specific business lines. Helps Department Head evaluate the benefits, costs, and risks of introducing external business concepts or technologies into Vanguard.
8. Models and applies integrated thinking and practices, with emphasis on expansive thinking, collaboration, creativity, iterative learning, system thinking, omni-channel delivery, and intersecting client needs with business goals and technology capabilities. Collaborates with other centers of excellence (CAI, CfE) to create education and training.
9. Interprets and analyzes data of high complexity using business knowledge and growing innovation expertise to drive key insights. Verifies the quality, context, and impact of insights. Displays, organizes, and coverts data and insights into a compelling storyline with actionable next steps. Maintains a working knowledge of primary and secondary research, best practices, and voice of clients, crew, and business partners.
10. Creates, analyzes, and reports the impact of various projects to prepare for exit strategy decisions. Captures learnings from each project and prepares to share with various parts of the organization. Based on results, makes recommendations to improve metrics over time.
11. Manages and provides coaching to cross functional proof of concept teams assigned to a specific project.
12. Participates in special projects, initiatives, and performs other duties as assigned.


  • An undergraduate degree required, preferably in Liberal Arts, Business, Innovation or Strategic Design. MBA preferred.
  • Minimum 3-5 years experience in a design, innovation, strategy or management consultancy, or within a corporate innovation environment, and/or experience leading the development of new teams, products, strategy, etc. Experience with FinTech, startup, venture capital is a plus.
  • Experience with building/creating programs and owning planning, execution, metrics, and change management to produce excellent results.
  • Experience leading strategic design, innovation, strategy work within large organizations and/or a startup environment.
  • Communicates clearly and effectively through formal and informal communications including e-mail, presentations, and one-on-one discussions across various audience levels.
  • Comfort and experience working with senior leaders to facilitate the creation of strategy, business planning, stakeholder management, decision making, and allocation resources.
  • A natural curiosity for understanding people, creative problem solving, keeping pace with changing industry landscapes and business needs.
  • Exceptional organization and time management skills. Ability to manage multiple priorities and operate in a fast paced, ambiguous, and complex environment with autonomy.
  • Experience collaborating and working with people with differing view points, unique perspectives. Experience leading matrix teams, leading consulting engagements, vendor management with leadership skills to persuade and influence and balance interests of various groups.
  • Excellent critical thinking problem solving skills. Comfort with data and analysis to support recommendations and drive decision making.
  • A tendency to think about large systems and connectivity of specific touch points in ecosystems and processes. Excels in making connections between insights and business opportunities.
  • Ability to create structure and thoughtful execution across new and evolving initiatives.
  • Bias towards action. Enjoys testing various ideas and changing directions quickly as needed. Enjoys working in a challenging, multi-disciplinary, design environment with often times undefined and evolving problems.

Special Factors:

  • This role is located at the Innovation Center located in Center City, Philadelphia.
  • Ability to work during non-standard business hours to accommodate occasional meetings with non-Vanguard partners. Some travel is required (domestic 20-30%).
  • Global travel may be required.

Vanguard is not offering visa sponsorship for this position.

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