Founded in 1912, Steelcase has evolved into the international leader in creative workplace solutions with operations in North America, Europe, and Asia. We apply insights to the intersection of space, technology, and furniture, helping individuals and teams in leading companies around the world to be more successful at work. Steelcase pursues innovation, strives for sustainability and develop insights in every part of their business.
Steelcase is the largest office furniture manufacturer in the world with approximately 80 locations and 11,000 employees worldwide. It is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is consistently named as one of US News’ top places to live in the US. Major brands include Steelcase, Coalesse, Designtex, AMQ, PolyVision, and Turnstone. The company designs and produces furniture, architectural products, textiles, wall surfaces, and ergonomic and technology tools for workspaces, education, and health care.
About the Operations Strategy team
The Operations Strategy team is a small team reporting to the VP, Operations Services. Our focus is on operations large scale transformations which require cross functional engagement across departments, and which require concentrated attention to resolve. We typically work with carefully selected teams sourced from various partner functions and created to solve specific problems. The problems we work on are invariably C-suite level issues at the top of the CEO and COO’s agenda. Examples of recent projects include formulating Operations’ strategic roadmap, creating a turnaround plan for a key business unit, or preparing an integration plan for an acquired company.
What you will do
As the Manager, Operations Strategy you will play a key role in the projects we undertake. For some projects you will be expected to lead multiple workstreams and manage team-members working on them. Other projects you will be expected to lead entirely. As part of this work you will be expected to:
• Scope projects appropriately gathering inputs from stakeholders and clearly establishing expectations
• Manage deliverables and balance priorities to meet tight project deadlines
• Develop a point of view on the topics covered through a combination of analyses, qualitative research and educated judgement
• Synthesize recommendations and present them to senior executive audiences
• Guide executive discussions and ensure projects successfully transition from decisions into effective implementation
• Facilitate change management, ensuring the necessary structure and processes are in place to achieve sustained improvements in performance
In the Operations Strategy group we don’t provide theoretical answers. You will work to provide practical answers to real problems with an outsized impact on our operations, and learn through practical experience what it takes to execute large-scale operational change at a global manufacturer.
As part of the team you will have a chance to learn from and be mentored by former top tier consultants with deep experience in operations and a passion for producing high-quality, impactful work that pushes the boundaries of Steelcase’s operations.
Occasional travel may be required but will very likely be less than 10% of your time.
||What you bring
The ideal candidate for this position is an excellent problem solver with a strong ownership mentality who excels at influencing stakeholders across functions to mobilize the organization. He/she will need to have strong leadership skills and will be expected to step into increasing leadership roles over the next few years.
An interest in operations related topics will be important, but operations experience is not needed. We are looking for an overall athlete with a broad skillset that can be applied to the problems we work on, including:
• Problem Solving – We work on some of the toughest abstract problems at Steelcase with no obvious solution. Your ability to define a problem, break it down into components, select its most critical elements, create a plan to address them, drive the analytical work needed to develop a perspective, and synthesize it all into a coherent set of options and recommendations will be critical.
• Leadership – Your effectiveness in this role will depend heavily on your ability to establish trust-based relationships across the organization and across seniority levels. You will leverage your influencing skills to mobilize people and groups to act in ways that often balance the competing priorities of the organization.
• People Development - You will be expected to be a people leader that inspires and develops others, leading teams to produce high impact work while maintaining a healthy balance, coaching and mentoring future generations of Steelcase leaders, and inspiring a broad followership,
• Communication – You will regularly communicate the progress and results of a project to Steelcase’s C-suite and the Operations leadership team. Your ability to create and deliver effective presentations and documents which clearly and succinctly summarize vast amounts of information will be key.
• Ownership/Entrepreneurial Mindset – The person in this role will have an outsized influence on the company’s operations and will require a strong ownership mentality who acts in the company’s best interest at all times. You will be expected to work not just on the COO’s top priorities, but also to help shape the company’s operating agenda. An entrepreneurial mindset that pushes the company to improve across all areas without waiting for direction will be key to your success.
To be successful in this role you will likely have some experience in roles that develop this skillset. Typical experiences would include management consulting roles, work in corporate strategy groups, private equity operating groups or funds with a strong operational focus, experience with special projects at companies or in an operations focused rotational programs, experience at start-ups or high-growth companies, or corporate finance roles with a strategic focus (e.g. investment banking, asset management). The desired qualifications for this position include:
• For candidates with an MBA at least 3 or 4 years of professional experience with at least one year of post-MBA experience in the type of roles described above
• For candidates without an MBA at least 5 or 6 years of professional experience with at least two years of relevant experience
• Functional or industry exposure is not necessary but an ability to quickly move up the learning curve will be key
• Strong analytical experience and financial acumen are a must to be successful in this role