Head of Innovation Studio

  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Full-time

Company Description

 

Common Purpose, Uncommon Opportunity. Everyone at Visa works with one goal in mind - making sure that Visa is the best way to pay and be paid, for everyone everywhere. This is our global vision and the common purpose that unites the entire Visa team. As a global payments technology company, tech is at the heart of what we do: Our VisaNet network processes over 65,000 transactions per second for people and businesses around the world, enabling them to use digital currency instead of cash and checks. We are also global advocates for financial inclusion, working with partners around the world to help those who lack access to financial services join the global economy. Visa's sponsorships, including the Olympics and FIFA™ World Cup, celebrate teamwork, diversity, and excellence throughout the world. If you have a passion to make a difference in the lives of people around the world, Visa offers an uncommon opportunity to build a strong, thriving career. Visa is fueled by our team of talented employees who continuously raise the bar on delivering the convenience and security of digital currency to people all over the world. Join our team and find out how Visa is everywhere you want to be.

 

 

Group Overview

Part of the global Solutions org, Visa Innovation & Design is a global client facing organization that sets Visa’s public innovation agenda, supports our clients accelerate their innovation agenda and transform their consumer digital experiences, and promotes hands on incubation and rapid prototyping to demonstrate the art of the possible for clients and partners. Innovation & Design runs innovation centers in various regional offices, this function focuses on Visa’s CEMEA region.

 

Position Summary

The Visa Innovation & Design group in CEMEA hosts and co-creates with a wide range of guests including Banks/Financial Institutions, Merchants, Technology Providers, the Fintech and Startup community. Operating out of the Dubai Innovation Center, Moscow Studio and the soon-to-be-launched Nairobi Innovation Studio, the team acts as the “front of shop” for Visa innovation engagements.

 

The Nairobi Studio serves the needs of the large, fast-paced and strategically important Sub Saharan Africa market. It advocates Visa’s innovation vision and priorities, understand clients and partners’ needs and supports them in their innovation journey. 

 

The ideal candidate brings a deep passion for technology and payments, a futurist view, the ability to understand and capture trends in their respective industries and a broad understanding of (or aptitude for) Visa’s capabilities and assets. They bring excellent presentation and facilitation skills, and the ability to run high-impact client sessions.  They also bring a strong operational background and interest, including project management, pipeline management, management reporting, event management and contracts. Experience in having run innovation centers, agile sprints and innovation consulting teams is a huge plus.

 

The individual will also work with internal stakeholders to conceptualize and support the go-to-market of new solutions for the Sub Saharan African market.

 

The individual will lead the Nairobi Studio team and serve a leadership role in engagements with senior/executive level clients, across the various engagements types (from 30 minute demonstrations to multi-week co-creations).

 

The individual will also be business’s key point of contact for requesting the Nairobi Studio’s services, and will own the team and Studio’s project pipeline. This will also involve reporting the team and Studio’s updates and projects to global and regional teams.

 

He/she will work with minimal guidance in a fast paced, ambiguous work environment, and will have the ability to independently translate high level guidance into detailed deliverables. He/she will demonstrate good interpersonal skills and executive presence.

 

 

 

 

Job Description

 

A key member of the Innovation & Design Leadership Team for CEMEA and reporting directly to the Head of Innovation for CEMEA and SSA Head of Products, the Nairobi Studio Leader is the face of the Innovation of Visa in Sub Saharan Africa. The individual will be a key point of contact for clients, visitors, internal stakeholders who want to engage the Innovation & Design team’s services.  The individual will also run engagements with C-suite clients and partners, and play a key role in running the studio’s operations and P&L management.

 

JOB DESCRIPTION

Reporting directly to the CEMEA Head of Innovation and SSA Head of Products, this individual is a key member of the regional Innovation team serving 92 countries. A key ‘face of the Studio’ for C-suite clients, partners and internal stakeholders, the individual also helps define and execute the operations of the Studio. This individual also reports to the SSA Head of Products and is a key partner in local solution development.

INNOVATION PIPELINE & REVENUE MANAGEMENT

  • Deliver against value-in-kind revenue targets, established in partnership with the Sub Saharan Africa leadership and CEMEA Innovation Leader
  • Run the studio pipeline, engagement intake, and value-in-kind contract management: Serve as the key point of contact for the business to request Innovation & Design team projects and all Innovation Studio events
  • ­Establish a clear point of contact and intake process for anyone requesting Innovation & Design services
  • ­Work closely with the regional Innovation & Design lead to establish a pipeline strategy & operating model
  • ­Educate internal stakeholders on the Studio offerings and intake process
  • ­Ensure that 100% of engagements are taken in through a programmatic process
  • ­Establish a pipeline review cadence and transparent process for intake and team allocation on projects
  • ­Help the team achieve VIK (value-in-kind) targets by working with requestors to estimate, assign, and draw down VIK through the contracting and billing process

 

 

TEAM AND INNOVATION STUDIO MANAGEMENT

  •  As a people leader, demonstrate excellent people management skills and aptitude
  • ­Potentially manage direct reports and indirect reports working on project teams
  • ­ Groom junior talent on the team
  • ­ Establish an inclusive and collaborative culture
  • ­ Make the innovation & design team an employer of choice through a supportive and nurturing leadership style
  • Collaborate with CEMEA Innovation Leader to standardize and evolve the Studio’s offering
  • Establish clear reporting and transparency of Innovation Studio and team activities

CLIENT LEADERSHIP

  • Be the face of Visa for clients and partners looking to co-innovate with Visa
  • Support Sub Saharan Africa solutions and BD teams as an innovation subject matter expert.
  • Develop robust, proactive pipeline of tangible collaboration/prototyping projects with clients/partners that will drive c-level sponsorship and engagement
  • Build trusted advisor relationships with key clients and partners in the industry

 

 

ENGAGEMENT LEADERSHIP

Structure, support and lead client Discovery and Ideation Sessions:

  • Discussing major industry and technology trends and payment innovations
  • Understanding client’s needs, pain points and priorities and be able to link trends and innovations directly to client strategy
  • Identifying payment innovation opportunities
  • ­   Driving positive outcomes and concrete next steps

Co-creations:

  • Lead a team that defines and delivers on Visa Sub Saharan Africa’s co-creation agenda and engagements
  • Deliver against co-creation engagements committed in key SSA client contracts
  • Use best in class design thinking and agile methods to Discover, Design, Develop and Deploy new innovations
  • Demonstrate and be held accountable for actual client impact, client satisfaction, and implementation results post co-creations.

 

Internal Solution Development

  • Partner the local solutions team to develop local solutions for the Sub Saharan African market

 

PLANNING, REPORTING, FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

  • Partner with Marketing & Comms teams to showcase the Visa Sub Saharan Africa Innovation story and activities of the Studio and team
  • ­Build a programmatic marketing / comms plan
  • ­Lead high-quality campaigns to showcase the Studio and team’s work
  • Support the P&L management, financial planning for regional Innovation & Design in partnership with the Head of Innovation CEMEA
  • ­Play a key role in building annual operating plan, multi year plan, and budget asks for the function 
  • ­Work with CEMEA Head of Innovation and Finance Business Partner to ensure that revenues and spending is well forecasted and in-line with run rate
  • ­Help build business models and cases for growth and investment, based on VIK and ROI metrics delivered and forecasted

FINTECH & PARTNER ENGAGEMENT

  •  Engage closely with the Sub Saharan Africa FinTech and strategic partner ecosystem

 

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP AND EVANGELISM

  • Proactively build and curate content on emerging innovation themes to present to in the studio and various other client forums
  • ­Build client engagement content (e.g. use case of a new technology in payment), based on desk research and interviews with Visa’s experts, and engagement material across various media formats (e.g., presentation, talking points, demos, videos)
  • Actively evangelize Visa’s innovation vision and priorities within the organization and at key community and industry events
  • Educate Visa teams on latest innovations and Visa solutions through memos, frequent brown bags and other ways to engage staff
  • Build a vision for how to showcase innovative experiences in the Nairobi Studio. Lead innovation immersions with clients in the studio, to showcase the latest (and upcoming) applications of technology in payments. They will also play a key part in refreshing and articulating the Studio’s tour narrative.

Qualifications

  •  Approximately 13-20 years commercial experience with at least 8 years in a strategy/innovation consulting or advisory roles
  • Proven capabilities in leading design thinking/co-creation engagements with virtual teams that include Managers and Executives at senior levels – communication, presence, thought leadership and gravitas
  • Proven experience in managing large & diverse teams; ideally experience managing creative teams of designers and developers
  • Substantial client facing experience with the ability to translate client and partner needs into meaningful problem statements, engagements and tangible collaboration/prototyping outcomes
  • Experience running customer experience centers focused on helping clients solve real business issues
  • Outstanding facilitation skills, ideally with formal training and sprint management experience
  • Strong project/program management skills to successfully manage multiple, concurrent work streams
  • World-class client-facing skills and proven ability to engage with C-level executives and drive commercial outcomes
  • Degree qualified in business and/or design. Post graduate qualifications highly desirable
  • Experience evaluating a technology landscape, preferably within payments and ecommerce
  • Passion for technology, futurist view and intellectual curiosity
  • Marketing, communications and events experience is a plus

Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Ability to travel within CEMEA Region on short notice once the COVID situation has improved

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