Manager, Innovation Strategy

Newark, New Jersey, United States Full-time

Position Summary
NJII is looking for a candidate that is energized by transformation, exploration, and collaboration – with the ability to:
• Lead our clients to an understanding of the forces impacting their organization, business, market, or customers;
• Show them their organization from outside – helping them crystalize their goals, and even reveal assumptions they may not have articulated about their own business, and;
• Co-create a vision for future and offer multiple paths to that future.

The primary role of this position is to directly support the Executive Director of Innovation Services performing focused research, analysis, and external engagement. In this capacity, the individual will manage essential project functions (contracting, budget management, etc.) as well as a team of project assistants.

Executive Director, Innovation Services

Essential Functions (40%)

• Data-Driven Market Research: Synthesize large amounts of information from a myriad of sources – journals, reports, social media, news sources, thought leaders, etc. – filter through the lens of a project objective and draw relevant conclusions.
• Executive Briefings: Translate market research and insight into briefing packages and presentation for (and to) project leaders. Iterate with project leaders to covert the research into actionable insight for clients.
• Content Creation (externally and internally facing): Generate content (text and graphical) for external reports, internal reports, presentations, website, and social media.

Additional Functions – Leadership & Growth Opportunities (20%)

• Group Facilitation: This work involves leading small groups in productive working sessions. Training will be provided in various techniques of agile innovation management and design thinking.
• Public Speaking/External Engagement: This candidate is expected to stand in for the Executive Director at networking events and will be asked to take on elements of speaking/presentation opportunities.

Additional Functions – Project Management (40%)

• Project Management: Develop periodic (at least monthly) work plans for project teams, based on an established scope of work, and track progress.
• Team Time Report & Budget Management: Manage and enforce project team time reporting (using time reporting software), establish monthly burn rates, and manage resources to the established project budget.
• Project Reporting: Completing periodic reports to clients including project deliverable progress and funding burn rate to an establish scope of work and budget.
• Contracts Management: Act as the liaison between NJII Shared Services (legal and contracting) and Innovation Services consultants, contactors, and venders. This including establishing contracts and, subsequently, managing purchase orders and invoicing.
• Managing Project Assistants

Prerequisite Qualifications

Education/Degree Required
An undergraduate Bachelors degree is required, preferably in business or relevant liberal arts.

Years of Experience Required
Minimum 3 years of experience in a design, innovation, strategy or management consultancy, or within a relevant innovation environment (public or private), and/or experience leading the development of new teams, products, strategy, etc.

Essential Characteristics
• The ability to create structure were it doesn’t exist
• A tendency to think about large systems and connectivity of specific touch points in ecosystems and processes
• Can make connections between insights and business opportunities
• Visual thinking and synthesis of information in real time
• Ability to display an executive presence in presenting and confidently defending a strategic point of view to high level clients and market leader
• The ability to find and leverage data to build a narrative and support conclusions
• A sincere interest in and, at least, cursory knowledge of the subject matter including: innovation and technology strategies; technology-based economic development; technology commercialization; entrepreneurship; global, national, and regional innovation systems; and science and technology public policy (state and national)

Preferred Qualifications
• It is not necessary to have a technical degree or experience for this position. However, much of the work is technical in nature and, as such, a candidate should be comfortable in technical environments. Thus, a candidate must be able to quickly absorb technical information, language, and jargon to communicate and build trust with clients.
• Knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite, including Illustrator, InDesign, and Adobe Acrobat is a plus
• Experience with brand management is a plus
• Masters Degree preferred

About Innovation Services at the New Jersey Innovation Institute
The Innovation Services (IS) team brings knowledge of models (and the underpinning theory) that describe how companies and institutions organize themselves – both internal and through partnerships – to create new products, services or business models (i.e. how to innovate). The team has a particular skill set in network innovation – companies and institutions working collaboratively to achieve a common set of goals.

The innovation services team offer the following services to private companies (small and large), federal R&D labs and military R&D labs:

• Market Entry & Technology Strategy Consulting
• Network-Based Technology Development
• Network-Based Problem Solving
• Training: Agile Innovation & Collaboration

Regarding public sector clients, the Innovation Services group moves economic and cluster development beyond traditional approaches (based largely on ex-post mapping of state assets) to:

• Identification of large, geographically-proximate organizations (private of public) with R&D needs,
• Analysis of complementary capabilities and gaps between these organizations, and
• Closing those gaps with regional assets – ideally, not historically connected to the large R&D organization (i.e. creating new connections).

Catalyzing new value-generating interactions among local actors creates the conditions to boost productively and increase top-line revenue – which has numerous benefits for the surrounding community: increased wage, more local spending, and a deeper (and hopefully broader) tax base.

About the New Jersey Innovation Institute
The New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJII) is an NJIT corporation focused on helping private enterprise discover what’s possible. Whether it’s working to solve the grand challenges shared across an entire sector or helping a single company find an innovative way to pursue a new product or market opportunity, NJII brings world-class intellectual and technological resources to bear. We are unique in our formation and role as a not-for-profit corporation in pursuit of economic development and in our agility in transforming intellectual capital into commercial success.