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Strategic Design Director- Innovation Team

Mud Bay, Inc. k

Olympia, WA | Onsite or Remote Possible

Nov 16
Job Description

Mud Bay’s mission is to contribute to the health of dogs, cats, and the happiness of those who care for them while building a family-and employee-owned company we can be proud of.

The Innovation Team at Mud Bay drives key strategic initiatives, addresses critical business challenges, and assists with the design and execution of projects, programs, and strategies. Because of you, projects are effective, people are inspired, stakeholders are engaged, and innovation thrives at Mud Bay in this design-based leadership role.

Primary Objectives.

· Strategy & Synthesis. People and their pets are the guiding principle along the whole design spectrum. All projects involve future visioning by curating relevant insights, trends, and signals to formulate future scenarios, implications, and opportunities that are plausible and probable – while challenging the status quo. Insights are derived from creative synthesis of customer research, market analysis, and future visioning. Information and insights are visualized through personas, customer journeys, opportunity frameworks, system maps, stories, visual concepts, and scenarios.

· Collaborative Design & Development. Unique ideas within multidisciplinary workshops, meetings, and immersion sessions are brought to life through visual communication and strong written narratives leveraging your immersive, story-telling skills. This happens by leading the design and facilitation of co-creation sessions, as well as immersive workshops (in-person and virtual). Innovation, design thinking, and visual ideation methods are at the center of conceptual development of business concepts, services, and/or physical connected form-factors. Design work happens in partnership with researchers, program managers, and other key stakeholders. Ideas are visualized using techniques, including systemic business concepts, service models, customer journeys, story boards, system maps, and/or infographics. All work is designed through iterative learning, testing, and measurement approaches to define and refine disruptive new business models, processes, and services.

· Practice Champion. All work is championed through Human-Centered Design on multidisciplinary teams. Insights, concepts, and design rationales are communicated to internal and external audiences. This happens through your direct contribution to the creation and evolution of strategic design deliverables, methodologies, and leadership throughout Mud Bay.

· Learn, Build, Measure. Projects are designed and managed within a framework of discovery, experimentation, and result-oriented process cycles. This is achieved by effectively leading teams through the divergent to convergent journey from a design point of view.

· Planning To Outcomes. Projects will have measurable success criteria. This is achieved by partnering with Program Management, Research, and other stakeholder groups to identify key insights leading to qualitative and quantitative metrics.

· Customer Success. Partnerships are curated within a cross-disciplinary structure with business strategists, program managers, researchers, technologists, and growth architects to ensure that new business ventures and enterprise initiatives are set up to deliver strategic value in line with design intent. Audiences are engaged, within the markets of interest, and commercialization assumptions are tested for audience capture and scaling during new venture builds, including influencing all customer facing aspects of the business (e.g. growth, branding, value proposition, content strategy, and experience design). Service Blueprints are connected to customer experience and business processes to ensure cohesive and customer centric operations. Processes are implemented to ensure customer success throughout the launched experience from initial enticement to service and end of customer experience (e.g., branding, sales, onboarding, customer service). This happens by developing concierge pilots and proof of concepts to gather feedback from customers of first concept through multiple iterations, leading to the optimized value proposition.

The Strategic Design Director We’re Looking For...

· You are curious, especially about breaking down complexities within business process and design related questions – you enjoy looking at problems from different angles and using your creative skills, knowledge, data, and insights to conquer a challenge. You are fully engaged through your passion for Mud Bay’s mission. You are driven by your desire for getting into the hearts and minds of our customers to deeply understand what jobs they want us to do for them. Your obsession for this need finding inspires you to create great design solutions.

· You are a self-starter, with a strong work ethic. You consider yourself resourceful, with an ability to multi-task and lead by example. You also seek out opportunities, feedback, and collaborative solutions for ambiguous challenges.

· You know your way around design and innovation methods and tools for facilitation, concept creation, collaboration, and leadership. You will need deep design and technical aptitude to be successful in this role, this includes being able to use tools to support projects, communication, and the presentation of information. You have at least 10+ years of work experience and have a track record creating and delivering tangible systemic concepts to market, with at least 7+ years leading complex, creative projects to successful completion. You have demonstrated experience leading and working on multidisciplinary teams in the development of disruptive new concepts for or within a corporate setting. You have an outstanding portfolio of work demonstrating your design abilities.

· You are a problem solver, having demonstrated ability to successfully coordinate with multiple groups to drive problem-solving activities while managing competing priorities. You have deep human centered design capabilities. You are driven by design thinking and an agile experimentation approach to problem solving. You can own future visioning and strategy development through creative synthesis, concept ideation, and visual storytelling skills.

· You are an experienced communicator, highly skilled at creating visuals to convey information. Your messages are clear, concise, and compelling. You can effectively present information in a variety of formats to a broad audience. Your work reflects a solid grasp of qualitative and quantitative research, divergent exploration, conceptual development, design strategy, and the craft of designing (whether service, experience, visual, etc.).

· You balance creative and analytical skills and are highly effective at mining qualitative and quantitative data from internal and external sources. You are skilled at aggregating disparate information into actionable insights and converting those insights into new holistic concepts.

· You are a natural leader and are experienced in developing and mentoring multi-disciplinary junior staff. You teach by example as a player coach. Peers look to you for your balanced perspective and creative wisdom. You see the big picture and enjoy doing the detail work of strategic design.

Job Details.

· Hours and location. This position is full time working in our Home Office in Olympia, Washington, remotely from home, and occasionally out in the field testing/learning. The division of time spent between work locations varies and is driven by priorities and projects.

· Primary Team. The Strategic Design Director is a member of Mud Bay’s Innovation Team, and reports to the Chief Innovation Officer.

· Direct Reports. Since the Strategic Design Director will be a member of the newly formed innovation core team, this position will not immediately have direct reports until such time as the evolution of the team structure may require.

· Experience. This position requires 10+ years’ relevant experience with at least 7+ years leading complex, creative projects to successful completion.

· Compensation. The Innovation Team Strategic Design Director compensation pay range depends on qualifications, experience, and seniority. Salary range for this position is between $120,000 - $220,000.

· Benefits. This position is eligible for Mud Bay’s standard benefits package including medical, dental, and vision; Mud Bay’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP); staff discount on Mud Bay purchases; 401k available; funds employee contributes to 401k are matched with a contribution into Mud Bay’s ESOP once eligible.

· We don’t discriminate. We don’t discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, pregnancy (including the potential to get pregnant, pregnancy-related conditions, childbearing, childbirth, or related medical conditions), religion, national origin or ancestry, citizenship, age, sexual orientation, gender identity (including gender expression), marital or family status, physical, mental, or sensory disability (including the use of a trained dog guide or service animal), military, uniform servicemember, or veteran status (including status as an honorably discharged veteran), genetic information, HIV/AIDS or hepatitis C status, status as a victim of sexual abuse, (including domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking), or on any other basis protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws.

Mud Bay, Inc.

In the 1990’s, Mud Bay became a pioneer in dog and cat retailing by focusing on healthy nutrition and well-researched consumer education. Over the next two decades, Mud Bay’s entrepreneurial spirit, mission focus and commitment to reinvestment helped it to grow into an industry leader and the largest pet retailer headquartered in the Pacific Northwest.
From its early days, Mud Bay shared operational and financial data as well as the fruits of success with its staff. In 2014, we became an enthusiastic early adopter of the people-centered, lean-oriented approach to business described in MIT professor Zeynep Ton’s book The Good Jobs Strategy. And in 2015, Mud Bay realized one of its founders’ long-held dreams when the company began sharing ownership with its employees through an employee stock ownership trust.
In 2019, we began transforming Mud Bay from a service-oriented brick-and-mortar retailer into a full-featured solutions provider for Pacific NW dog and cat owners. We launched ecommerce, curbside delivery and neighborhood home delivery. We also launched four service businesses: Green Pet (pet waste pickup and composting), Mud Room (dog grooming), Delivery Plus (home delivery and in-home services for residents of senior housing) and Muddy Support (dog and cat answers and solutions provided remotely). At the center of these new services are Mud Bay’s e-commerce and customer interaction platforms, giving Mud Bay customers access to products, services, advice and support. Our Director of e-commerce will help lead the integration of these platforms into one customer centric “Mud Hub”.