Head of Design Operations

ONE Design is a hungry-yet-humble team of nearly 450 creative practitioners across 10 offices, supporting four lines of business within Capital One.

We’ve grown by leaps and bounds, starting with about 100 people just a few short years ago. And that’s exactly why we’re looking for a seasoned professional with more than a decade of experience leading similar enterprise team operations—especially for large-scale design orgs—to enable us to get more efficient and coordinated while simultaneously supporting the authentic cultural elements that enable designers to thrive.

Hey, maybe that’s you!

If so, here’s what you could expect as a day in your life as Head of Design Ops at Capital One:

  • Get an update from your Head of People Health + Happiness, whose core team partners with our HR teams and others to ensure designers are onboarded with unassailable purpose; recognized for their contributions as people managers or individual contributors; and rewarded for the unique value they bring to their teams every day
  • Check and respond to email—you’ll get a lot of this
  • Get an update from your Head of Practice Strategy + Analysis, whose core team partners with Finance and Design Program Managers to ensure the right designers are working effectively on the right priorities as directed by their Design Lead—for the benefit of our strategic initiatives across the business and for our customers, too
  • Have lunch at What’s Up Thursday, a weekly design share-out where we introduce new folks who’ve joined ONE Design, hear from guest speakers, and/or see some of the ridonkulous work that’s happening across the full team (YES bringing ridonkulous back!)
  • Lead the creation and evolution of central reporting methods—including a dashboard our managers use to see real-time data on the health of their people and practices—so we can know with confidence that our designers are happy, healthy, and working on stuff that matters
  • Identify ways our Design Operations can be more efficient, coordinated, and measurable; that includes creating and executing a clear plan to deliver on your vision, in collaboration with the Head of Design, your peers, your team, and your partners
  • Coordinate with the Chief of Staff of Design to understand organizational strategies and priorities—from diversity and inclusion initiatives to Enterprise Tech needs and communications—to ensure our Design Ops are aligned to support those strategies
  • Have 1:1’s with one of your direct reports (the Head of People Health + Happiness, Head of Practice Strategy + Analysis, or the Head of ONE Design Studio) to understand what they’re working on and why, and to clear their way

 

You’ll be successful in this role if you:

  • Embrace ambiguity. You don’t need a pre-defined scope or process (or a consistent backlog of requests to be executed) to do great work and make progress. This is a heavily vision-oriented role, so bring your inclusive proactivity and ace communication skills.
  • Tend to stay in the “say” level of operational strategy rather than “do.” You’ll need to balance your natural information architecture talents with execution and follow-through so our entire ONE Design team knows your vision for an efficient operation and sees the results you drive (individually and with your team) progressively, day after day.
  • Don’t just recommend or make decisions based on what looks best on paper. Instead, you use that as a jumping-off point for decision-making, but always include what’s best IRL given the leadership qualities, team needs, and overall organizational direction.
  • Can share stories of how you’ve pressed forward in times of uncertainty or change. This is a consistently evolving organization, and you’ll be expected to question assumptions, find compromises, AND proactively do the hard work that contributes to Design’s ability to make a huge impact on our business and our customers

 

We’re especially keen to talk if you’ve got:

  • Tons of stories that demonstrate how you’ve taken disparate pieces and made a whole from them—including tales of hard lessons learned
  • A healthy sense of humor
  • Experience in leading operations that support people outcomes like high retention and upward professional development, and practice metrics like funding gaps or experiential risks (as measured using a framework our Experience Design Research team made)
  • A knack for bringing people from confusion to clarity and then consensus
  • A relentless desire to define better ways of organizing, communicating, and making what needs to be transparent, more transparent
  • A love of or background in design, and especially in supporting design cultures
  • A scrappy creativity to prototype new routines and processes, gather feedback on how they’re working, and iterate to arrive at more effective results

 

Sound intrigued. GREAT! Then let’s talk.

To get the conversation going, email steph.hay@capitalone.com with a few sentences describing why THIS job … of all jobs on Earth … has really piqued your interest.

And P.S., This isn’t a remote gig, but we’re definitely flexible on location as long as it’s one of our primary Capital One offices where designers sit: HQ/McLean, VA; NYC; SF; Chicago; Dallas (Plano); or Richmond, VA. We’re also open to relocation.

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