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Director of Innovation

Posted by Leading Food Company on 16 Aug 2017 | Share

Job basics

  • Company description: Leading Food Company
  • Location: Norwich, Vermont 05055
  • Country: US
  • Industry Types: Supplier
  • Categories: Other
  • Foods: Baking Mixes and Ingredients
  • Employment Type: Full-Time
  • Reports to: TBD
  • # of Direct Reports: TBD
  • Benefits: Health Insurance, Retirement Plan
Job Description
  • Create innovation framework/process and define guardrails on how innovation is to be managed, from research to insights to project prioritization.
  • Leverage brand positioning, key consumer insights and R&D discovery to develop an innovation roadmap for designated opportunity areas that align with brand’s business strategy.
  • Develop a strong and measurable pipeline: oversee innovation projects through the internal gate process, monitoring and adjusting as needed to ready innovation projects for Commercialization.
  • Build internal stakeholder knowledge and understanding of consumer insights and emerging trends around innovation opportunity areas; understand why consumers act and feel the way they do and can transform findings into recommendations that will drive and support product Development.
  • Define and conduct (or partner with others to conduct) appropriate research activities, and evaluate findings.
  • Manage, direct and align Research and Development Team to ensure a robust flow into the innovation pipeline.
    • Ensure follow-through on the development of new products as well as the reformulation of existing products.
    • Foster process improvements, ensuring adequate resources are provided.
    • Develop and manage R&D budget.
  • As a visible champion for innovation across the organization, provide ongoing leadership to cross-functional teams across a range of projects with multiple components; these may include research and insights, channel strategy, valuation, and business case development - in collaboration with Marketing, Creative, Operations, Sales, and Finance.
    • Plan/facilitate dynamic work sessions to inspire innovative ideas, agile iteration, and effective decision-making.
    • Identify and experiment with new techniques and models for research, product design, testing, and distribution to build innovation best practices and expand the company’s knowledge.
    • Transition strong conceptual ideas into testable business propositions: opportunity sizing, customer & partner benefits, brand fit, and operational feasibility.
  • Manage direct report via coaching, mentoring, training and ongoing feedback to drive individual results and develop leadership skills and influence, challenge and inspire team members to achieve business results.
Job Requirements
  • Must be based near Norwich, VT and/or open to relocation!
  • 8+ years in food industry innovation, product development/design, business development and/or strategy role(s)
  • Previous experience in or strong passion for the baking space
  • BA required (MBA strongly preferred)
  • Demonstrated experiences leading cross-functional teams
  • Highly analytical, motivated, decisive thought leader with excellent execution skills
  • Strategic mind with an ability to think broadly, refine question, and influence multiple decision makers
  • Current consumer packaged goods experience to both identify and initiate appropriate
  • partnership alliances
  • Track record of taking calculated risks for the long-term benefit of the organization and is thereby considered a progressive thought-leader
  • Strong foundational understanding of supply chain and operational effectiveness
  • Demonstrated experience working closely with leadership
  • Proven track record of successful innovations
  • Creative and strategic problem solver with high curiosity quotient
  • Ability to operate fluidly between strategic/conceptual and tactical/execution
  • Ability to quickly evaluate solution viability, courage to fail fast and learn from mistakes
  • Strong and varied communication approaches to explain and evangelize new concepts
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills; dynamic (persuasive) in presenting ideas to teams
  • Comfortable solving problems through a ‘hypothesis’ driven approach using a combination of top-down and bottom-up analyses
  • Must possess rigorous analytical disciplined approach as well as dynamic, abstract problem-solving skills (get to the answer via both 'inspiration' and 'perspiration')
  • Strong interpersonal skills as team leader and team player with experience cross-functional team management
  • Must have a 'change agent' attitude; constantly pushing company to new opportunities, approaches, ideas, and perspectives