Senior Business Manager - Discovery, Virgin Unite

Virgin Unite is the entrepreneurial foundation of the Virgin Group and the Branson family. We started Virgin Unite with the aim of bringing people together to encourage them never to accept the unacceptable, to turn challenges into opportunities and to always push boundaries that make both business and the world better.

This role will manage the development and delivery of Virgin Unite’s process for discovering our next set of unacceptable issues and the entrepreneurial, collaborative solutions we will deliver to tackle them. 

  • Lead the development of Virgin Unite’s ‘discovery process’, including identifying and incorporating best practice for co-creation and solutions-led innovation.
  • Lead the organisation’s insight and innovation capability, ensuring a breadth of knowledge about global issues, emerging trends and innovations, and determine the best role Virgin Unite can play in addressing gaps.
  • Establish formal collaborative mechanisms to engage both external partners and the Virgin family in Discovery.
  • Develop and manage relationships with a wide array of stakeholders, experts, funders and partners. To include proactively identifying and building relationships with partners who can contribute expertise, funding or other types of support to the discovery phase and beyond.
  • Lead the development of business plans, strategies and proposals for how Virgin Unite can best engage in social and environmental issues and systems change for consideration by Branson Family, Trustees and Senior Leadership of Virgin Management.
  • Develop compelling presentations, briefing papers, blogs, reports, and other types of communication to connect with diverse internal and external audiences.
  • Project management to include developing and overseeing strategic plans, timelines, budgets, resourcing, funding requirements and branding/communications (in liaison with Brand Team). Will also include regular delivery and facilitation of private meetings, gatherings and large scale events.
  • As required manage due diligence and preparation of investment papers for investment committee and poste investment process, including negotiation of grant agreements.
  • Manage reporting on performance of projects, programs and investments against objectives, KPIs and budget to key stakeholders.
  • As required to best manage our projects, programs and investments, act as a Board Member, Advisory Member or other governance role.

Skills and Experience Required

  • Extensive entrepreneurial experience, especially during early insights, ideation and innovation phases
  • Strong track record of thinking/working at scale, including systems thinking or systems entrepreneurship
  • Ability to “work in white space” and create new ideas and concrete solutions
  • Experience with successfully delivering design workshops or other methods for co-creating solutions, as well as large convenings and events; facilitation experience a plus
  • An insatiable curiosity about global social and environmental challenges, emerging trends and innovations, and an ability to write and present succinct, compelling summaries of opportunities for engagement
  • Extensive experience in roles that requires multi-disciplinary strategic thinking and cross-sector fluency
  • Strong interpersonal skills, experience working with and influencing multiple stakeholders at all levels, and ability to bring together and lead teams
  • Strong listener, willing to learn from others and embrace different perspectives; ability to collaborate as a team player and work with people at all levels
  • Must be solutions-oriented with evidence of problem solving grounded in every aspect of operations
  • Exceptional analytical, organisational, strategic planning and project management skills required
  • Excel in a high-energy environment and utilise strong organisational skills when faced with multiple time-sensitive priorities with a willingness to "roll-up sleeves"
  • Thrives when working with high levels of ambiguity; highly responsive, fast paced and proactive with a flexible approach
  • Strong ability to multitask, stay poised under pressure; able to handle a rapidly changing environment and some spontaneous demands of travel – and therefore have a great sense of humour! 

This role can be based in London or New York.

To apply please send your CV and a covering letter telling us why you are the right candidate for this role to people@virginunite.co.uk.

Applications will be considered as they come in until the role is filled.

 

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