Head of Strategic Opportunities and Insight (Joint) (maternity cover)


19th June 2019

12 Month Fixed Term Contract: maternity cover

About the Role
This role is to provide maternity cover for the role of Head of Strategic Opportunities and Insight (Joint). It is an exciting time for the University: the market is changing rapidly; new private competitors are entering our market; technology is threatening to disrupt traditional models of Higher Education; and the political environment is volatile. In addition, there is a new Vice-Chancellor due to start at the University in October this year.
The position is a full-time 12 month maternity cover starting in August 2019, the role of the Head of Strategic Opportunities is shared across two staff members so it will involve close working with the other team Head. In regards to this role, flexible working (e.g. working 4 longer days rather than 5 shorter days, working remotely 1 day per week, etc.) can be considered for good candidates. Additionally, a part-time role (down to 65%) would also be considered for good candidates.

Key Responsibilities
To act as a senior leader within the Strategy Office and support the Director of Strategy, with budget responsibility for ~£440,000 (jointly with the other Head)
To identify opportunities and challenges for the University and how best to respond to them by:

  • Delivering robust and actionable strategic intelligence insights aimed at broadening the exposure and understanding of the external environment at VCE and throughout the OU. Ensuring the external perspective is not lost during a time of internal change
  • Supporting the development of the OU’s objectives with respect to government in a fast changing policy environment
  • Continuing to develop and deliver the University’s process for assessing Strategic Opportunities
  • Scoping, leading and executing bespoke strategic projects to enable the OU to respond to the challenges and opportunities presented at home and overseas
  • Presenting findings to senior members of the University

To co-lead a team of 5 Strategy Managers and to support the professional development of the team in strategic analysis and the appropriate use of consulting frameworks, methods and tools
To manage relationships with key stakeholder groups across the University (e.g. University Faculties, Marketing, Data and Student Analytics, Business Development Unit)

Skills and Experience
Experience leading strategic analysis and strategy development gained in a commercial environment:
Record of achievements in at least one of the following areas:

  • strategy development
  • in-depth competitor/market analysis at corporate level,
  • assessing partnerships or commercial due diligence
  • Record of providing intellectual direction on unstructured strategic questions
  • Experience of turning unstructured questions into a well-planned and managed strategy projects, by leadership of Strategy Managers, Analysts or other team members
  • Experience of undertaking research and analysis, identifying the best methods to gather any information required
  • Experience of developing outputs in Microsoft PowerPoint format and presenting to senior executive level audiences
  • Experience of strategic consulting to senior clients in the commercial or public sector
  • Knowledge or experience of the higher education or public sector is desirable but not essential

Strong analytical skills:

  • Ability to identify strategic questions and form hypotheses based on limited information
  • Understanding of analytical frameworks used in strategy development
  • Experience of quantitative modelling and analysis, including the ability to confidently manipulate and analyse data in Microsoft Excel to an advanced level
  • Understanding of qualitative research and analysis
  • Experience of financial modelling and forecasting is desirable but not essential
  • An understanding of statistics and experience of statistical software packages such as Tableau is desirable but not essential

Excellent interpersonal and leadership skills:

  • Ability to manage and communicate clearly with a wide range of stakeholders in a large and complex organisation
  • Experience leading diverse individuals to solve complex business problems
    A strong interest in social justice

For information and to apply please click here