Senior Innovation Manager

Philadelphia, PA, US

September 6, 2018
Responsible for providing leadership, guidance and delivery for all projects in the Innovation Center’s portfolio. Includes people leadership, workstream management for innovative, complex, unconstrained, multi-stakeholder proof of concepts. Scope includes: management and coaching of 5 proof of concept project teams, guidance on application of innovation methodologies such as Human Centered Design and Lean Startup models, vendor management, onboarding and hiring, as well as presentation to senior staff and external advisory panel for governance and portfolio management.

Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Manages and leads staff. Provides strategic direction and guidance on development of work in progress, monitors and counsels POC leads on application of innovation methods. Hires, evaluates, and counsels crew and POC teams.

2. Manages crew, contractors and consultants. Builds, leads and develops a strong, diverse, talented team. Supports and coaches project leads while creating a positive and engaging team environment that fosters creativity, unconstrained thinking, and the effective/efficient resolution of issues. Provides best in class management and development of crew. Proactively set performance expectations and help Innovation Leads manage and coach POC teams and business partners to yield high quality, expeditious, and consistent outcomes.

3. Partners with the Strategy team, business partners, external resources and other key stakeholders to drive impact and deliver outcomes for each project or initiative. Provides leadership, judgment and decision making admist uncertain, evolving, and aggressive goals, common to an innovation environment where the operating model and the portfolio of work may continue to shift.

4. Manages change management, communication strategy, and governance presentations for the project portfolio. Ensures best practices and methodologies around innovation as well as change management, governance, and decision making are being applied.

5. Tracks progress and provides updates on metrics for each project within the portfolio. This may include but is not limited to the crafting of success signals during proof of concept development, preparation for business case for launch (impact & costs of solution when scaled), as well as the recommendation of the most appropriate business structure/model and delivery to drive maximize impact.

6. Ensures that the scope of the projects in the portfolio remain aligned with client centricity (desirable and effective in meeting client needs), feasibility (enabled and leveraging technology wherever possible), and viability (aligned with business goals and our core competencies). Business value should be appropriately measured to monitor project progress and to help the Advisory Board with prioritization and funding decisions.

7. Leads POC programmatic process improvement and continuously identifies ways to improve our ability to develop innovative solutions, influence innovation culture, and improve upon our operating model.

8. Ensures work is developed in unconstrained, collaborative, and holistic ways while taking steps to ensure that risk/control, compliance, and legal guidelines are being met. This would include engaging with key business partner groups such as Legal, Risk, and Procurement to address any gaps in existing processes or the development of different processes to serve the needs and goals of enterprise innovation work.

9. Maintains working knowledge of the wealth management, Fintech, and financial services industry, understanding the trends of a changing business landscape and translating those insights into potential impacts for our firm and our innovation portfolio.

10. Maintains and expands working knowledge of innovation management techniques and proof of concept methodologies including innovation platforms, crowdsourcing tools, mindset/tools/techniques of Human Centered Design, Lean Startup, and System Thinking. Takes proactive steps to develop self and represent Vanguard at industry events and conferences.

11. Provides thought leadership by identifying strategic topics and presenting compelling ideas for possible research or incorporation into the project portfolio. Stays abreast of developments and trends in the innovation space. Participates in strategic planning for the Innovation Center.

12. Manages and/or participates in special projects and performs other duties as assigned.


  • Undergraduate degree or equivalent combination of training and experience. Graduate degree preferred. Innovation leadership experience preferred.
  • Minimum of 5 years leading strategy work, large scale projects, creation of new teams, products, services, or solutions. Experience with leading external resources i.e. consultants and vendors is a plus.
  • Broad knowledge of Vanguard’s business strategy across all divisions.
  • Ability to lead complex strategic engagements with a high degree of autonomy and sensitivity to deadlines. Works well collaboratively and independently, comfortable providing direct, peer, and matrixed leadership with internal and external parties.
  • Excellent leadership, relationship management, and project management skills, with track record of success line business results, metrics, and learnings.
  • Strong communication, facilitation, persuasion and influence, decision making, and conflict resolution skills.
  • Strong conceptual thinking, strategy, change management, organizational, prioritization, and time management skills.
  • Demonstrated motivation, initiative, judgment, critical thinking, and analytic skills, with the ability to work across multiple functions, lead diverse perspectives and deals effectively with ambiguity and adaptation to change.
  • Proven ability to motivate others and foster teamwork. Demonstrates managerial courage, creativity, poise under pressure.
  • Ability to think in unconstrained and non-prescriptive ways to create optimal solutions with thoughtfulness around implementation impacts. Strong intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.
  • Ability to learn new concepts quickly, complete multiple and diverse assignments with high quality. Excellent research, analytical, and problem solving skills with ability to derive meaningful insights from analysis.
  • Experience with business model innovation is a plus. Digital innovation, culture and transformation work is also a plus.
  • Experience managing large teams comprised of internal parties, senior stakeholders, and external resources (consultants, vendors, startups) is preferred.

Special Factors:

The role will be located in the Innovation Center in Philadelphia. Some travel is required to attend events/conferences, explore strategic partnerships, as well as to aid in the delivery of proof of concept work.

Vanguard is not offering visa sponsorship for this position.