partnered with the Technology Strategy Board (Innovate UK) on the Director of
Operations. This role is central to TSB’s strategy, accountable
for the delivery of all activities that select recipients, deliver and monitor
TSB funding streams. This role will improve and develop processes to ensure on-
going cost-effectiveness, scalability, excellence in customer service and
capture of data to support impact evaluation
Our candidates were
hugely diverse, identified by extensive and creative market mapping across
blue-chip industry, cutting-edge SMEs, applied academia, infrastructure and
major projects, private finance, consultancy and professional services,
government and media and the creative industries. Candidates were targeted both
for their fit with the relevant field of each role as well as their
responsibilities as part of the Executive Board. We understand what a balanced,
effective Board looks like.
challenge was to identify candidates with strong, passionate and visionary
leadership style that could drive innovation and shape strategic partnerships,
through strategic influencing and facilitation. Our success was, critically, dependent on
individuals who had the ability and credibility in the
public eye, who could deal confidently and assuredly with diverse stakeholders
companies and researchers in various markets, public sector funders of
innovation etc., and establish a
future-proof solution framework in some of the most rapidly developing areas of
calibre and diversity of candidates’ experience on the search-led shortlist
- Strong academic
backgrounds embracing the complexities that surround the technology, commercial
and government environments.
- Proven track record of
successful leadership in commercial exploitation of science and technology
against a backdrop of significant market change and engagement within complex
stakeholder environments across the world.
- Senior level customer
service delivery, with a wide delivery portfolio in a segmented customer market
- Significant experience
in driving innovation across a range of public/private sector bodies and SMEs
and has credible experience in strategizing international business developments
- Significant experience
in identifying long-term technology trends and transferring knowledge into
strategy along with excellent understanding of market behaviour and commercial
issues pertaining to innovation (e.g. disruptive technologies, globalisation)
- Significant experience
of leading strategic decision-making, stakeholder engagement, major strategic
transformation programmes within industry and governments along with
significant track record of working
third parties in order to deliver joint commitments
- Experience in strategic aspects of various nationally significant
programmes, business and research communities, maximizing the commercial value
of high level collaborative networks across industry and government sectors.
candidate, Anne Dixon brought operations background as the Head of Science Funding & Operations at
the Medical Research Council. With
significant experience in handling complex stakeholder arrangements as
part of major TSB programmes such as the Biomedical Catalyst and the Catapult
programme, Anne conveyed a strong sense of leadership gravitas with an
ability to see the end game in terms of organisational skills, customer
insight, market analysis and intelligence. She had a clear communications
style and a very business-like approach. She had excellent customer
facing experience and resource management ability.
risk and challenge
- We worked closely with the Technology Strategy Board
to devise a robust and complete recruitment process, advising our client candidly
about the market in the public and private sectors and feeding back to them
perceptions of the roles and the projects in general.
- Regular communication and progress updates were
provided and our clients made themselves available to manage issues and
queries; strong partnership is critical to managing risk and expectations.
- Our screening of candidates was focused on ensuring
they could withstand the scrutiny that comes both from the appointment process
and the roles itself.
- Each candidate report and recommendation was clearly
aligned to each point of the role description to provide rigorous, transparent,
and candidate screening
- Comprehensive brief and effective stakeholder
engagement facilitating creative and diverse search. This role had very complex
and diverse user/stakeholder relationships at its heart; we focused our search
on candidates with proven track records in a scalable environment.
- Refining the role descriptions and materials; we
provided constructive challenge and experience of what has worked in comparable
assignments to produce first-rate information packs that enabled strong
applications and clearly defined the search parameters through the role’s
priority skillsets and experience.
- Market testing and benchmarking: identifying potential
candidates and concurrent recruitment activity in the market.
- Informed, candid and sensitive candidate care,
managing their risks and expectations at each stage of the process
- 360 degree candidate
profiling throughout the search so that our weekly meetings with the clients
were in-depth and risk-led. We were able to test out potential candidates and
refine the search as we progressed, rather than reach the closing date with an