Chief Strategy Officer
CHIEF STRATEGY OFFICER
FutureLearn Background Summary:
FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform formed in December 2012 by The Open University and is now jointly owned by The Open University and The SEEK Group. Nearly 10 million people worldwide have signed up to FutureLearn courses. FutureLearn uses design, technology and partnerships to create enjoyable, credible and flexible online courses and degrees that improve working lives. It partners with over a quarter of the world’s top universities, as well as organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, CIPD, Raspberry Pi and Health Education England (HEE). It is also the online platform underpinning government-backed initiatives to address skills gaps such as The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education
Role Summary/ Overview - Chief Strategy Officer (CSO):
The Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) will have responsibility for defining the FutureLearn company strategy, reviewing and refreshing the strategy annually and also periodically throughout the year. The CSO will inform the Senior Leadership Team’s (SLT) plans to ensure that they align with the overall company strategy or adapted based on fresh data and market conditions. The CSO will be expected to work with the new role of Chief Transformation Officer (CTO) to create and communicate a clear tactical and operational plan and with the newly created role of Chief People Officer (CPO), ensure this is reflected in the organisation design of FutureLearn.
Purpose of the role:
There will be four key areas of focus for the CSO and in addition, they will be expected to represent the CEO on occasion:
1) Company Strategy:
- To define the FutureLearn Company Strategy
- To define how commercial targets will be met
- To systemise the process for reviewing progress against the strategy and ensure changes are made in line with new data or changing market conditions
- To ensure complete internal alignment of individual team plans to the strategy
- To work with the OU to create aligned an aligned strategic relationship and identify ways to deliver long term value for both partners
2) Research & Insights:
- To lead the team responsible for market intelligence, course evaluation and data science
- To represent and co-ordinate the teams who do research - data, UX research and strategy - to ensure that research yields insights which are useful and useable for FutureLearn
- To prioritise and lead the delivery of strategic research projects drawing on market insights, course evaluation and/ or data science
- To maintain leading industry expertise and identification of trends and applicability of the FutureLearn strategy
3) Content Strategy:
- To assist the Chief Content & Partnerships Officer (CCPO) to build a world class content strategy operation
- To define, review and iterate FutureLearn’s content strategy
- To communicate strategy to drive partnership, portfolio, marketing and product developments
- To develop the target partnerships and supplier strategy and evaluation and analysis of the current portfolio
- To build relationships within and across SEEK to draw upon their data and insight
4) Competitor Analysis:
- To build and lead a team that ensures that FutureLearn can monitor, learn from and build upon competitor and market insight
- Analyse the Higher Education market, monitoring trends and looking for opportunities for FutureLearn to build partnerships or target opportunities
- Understand and analyse developments in the education technology sector particularly relating to the future of lifelong and workplace learning, including the development of alternative credentials
To be successful in the role of Chief Strategy Officer it will be important for the incumbent to have in depth knowledge of:
- Expert: Strategy Development - leveraging internal and external resources and data along with great market insights to build out a coherent and thoughtful strategy; clearly has a strategic mindset
- Expert: Market awareness and analysis - able to identify trends and commercial opportunities and expertly use data Expert: Data analytics management - has shown skill and clear results through the way they have structured data analytics for previous businesses
- Expert: Creates operating rhythms - which lead to efficient and effective approach operations within the company; provides an agile approach to working
- Expert: Commercial acumen and financial literacy - shows sound understanding of the business, the key levers to drive profit and a firm grasp of financial data
- Desirable: Commercial acumen gained in a front line revenue generating role with P&L accountability
- Desirable: Education technology sector knowledge
- Has proven experience of strategy development which translates into clear commercial outcomes
- Has an established track record in market analysis - using insights and data to shape strategy
- Has leveraged internal resources collaboratively and has experience working with associated partners to the business
- Has proven to be a strong connector of teams, leaders and resources to drive business outcomes
- Has a track record for influencing and guiding colleagues rather than directing or managing
- Has shown previously to be adept when communicating with the external market when required to do so
In such a role requiring a considerable amount of collaboration and teamwork across multiple business areas, it will be essential that the Chief Strategy Officer would be:
- Results orientated - clear and collaborative, focused and outcome driven
- Relationship management - articulate and able to quickly win trust and build relationships; self confident and able to challenge and be challenged
- Entrepreneurial - very bright and energetic; able to operate in a fast moving environment which changes quickly
- Resilient, mature and able to handle frustration and set backs and comfortable with ambiguity and compromise
- High levels of integrity and strong values; straightforward, objective, low ego and happy to work in an environment where ‘sleeves need to be rolled up’ from time to time
- Has a globally strategic mindset and is culturally sensitive; able to think and act globally; excellent communication skills - both written and verbal
- Known for being a strong and natural collaborator as a member of their leadership team; has high energy, is proactive and curious; a true agile operator
- High levels of business acumen; possesses strong influencing skills - working through others
- Able to ‘live by’ the FutureLearn Values
- BE OPEN - We’re transparent with our learners, our partners and each other about what we’re doing and why
- EMPOWER OTHERS - We help our learners, our partners and each other be the best they can be, welcoming anyone to the FutureLearn community
- LEARN TOGETHER - We listen to and address the needs of our learners and partners, celebrating our successes and learning from our failures
- THINK BIG - We strive to transform education - and change our learners’ lives, our partners’ businesses and the world in the process
- HAVE FUN - We make online learning enjoyable for our learners and our partners alike, and have fun while we’re doing it!
A comprehensive benefits package is available
Please submit a CV and cover letter. On your cover letter please address the following points;
- Tell us the 3 reasons why you would be an asset to Future Learn.
- Tell us the 3 key skills you have which you believe would be an asset for this specific role.
- Tell us the 3 key reasons why you want to work for FutureLearn.
- Tell us the 3 ways you believe you align with the values of Future Learn.
The closing date for application is the 23rd of July at midnight UK time.
Please contact [email protected] if you require any help of support during the recruitment process.
FutureLearn is an equal opportunities organisation who value diversity, promote equality and challenge discrimination. We are especially keen to encourage applications from people currently under-represented, including those from the LGBTQ+ community, neurodiverse people, people with disabilities, and those from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background.
We value diversity at FutureLearn, and we do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion or belief, gender, sexual orientation, gender assignment, age, pregnancy, maternity and paternity status, or disability status, marital and civil partnership status.