Head of Leadership,Learning & Culture

Job Title:  Head of Leadership, Learning and Culture
Division:  CEO Office
Reports to:  Director, HR
Contract:  Open-ended
Salary:  Competitive
Location:  Preferably Brussels, Amsterdam or Paris. London, Utrecht or Berlin will also be considered
Start Date:  ASAP
Apply by: 25th October 2017
Business Background

Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest public-private partnership addressing climate change through innovation, comprising of over 250 leading partners from business, academia, the public sector and NGOs. Our ambition is to contribute to creating a prosperous, inclusive, climate resilient society with a circular, zero-carbon economy.
We focus on levers of systemic change and a selection of priority areas where innovation is most needed to achieve deep decarbonisation (fossil fuels) and effective adaptation. We act as a platform to catalyse cross-sectoral, transformational change through innovation. This entails providing funding, composition of innovation consortia, working together with our partners to take a portfolio approach to innovation options, enrichment of business model design and tailored support for experimentation, implementation and scaling as well as incubation of very early stage ideation and pre-seed innovation.

In order to make ourselves accessible to key actors and ‘problem owners’, we work along four priority themes: urban transitions, sustainable land use, sustainable production systems, and decision metrics and climate finance. In all four areas, we place a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation design, education in leadership, governance, new skills and capabilities and a commitment to policy innovation. We run programmes for students, start-ups and innovators across Europe via centres in major cities and regions, convening a community of excellence in people and organisations.

We balance strategic innovation, aimed at driving systemic change, with a significant portfolio of bottom-up innovation – e.g. through our start-up accelerators – in order to learn, evaluate and continuously adjust our efforts to impact climate change. Ultimately, we aim to become a leader in systemic innovation that contributes to a paradigm shift from a linear, industrial metabolism to a circular, regenerative model, leveraging the power of our unique community of innovators and inspiring change beyond it.

Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

Purpose of the Role

The purpose of this role is to build leadership and organisational capability in close alignment with our mission and strategy. The person in this role will work closely with the CEO, Director of HR, Executive Team, external consultancies and with the whole organisation to design and create the conditions for effective leadership, suited to working in complexity, and an adaptive and entrepreneurial organisational culture able to deliver on the ambitious and challenging objectives of Climate-KIC.

Climate-KIC’s mission is made possible by our community of people – passionate about innovation for the purpose of transformation, curious and rigorous in the search for effective solutions and learning through experimentation, skilled at enriching the value proposition of innovation projects and working effectively with partners, expert in building trust, and reliable, thorough and professional in our handling of public funding to support innovation. The creation of a Leadership, Learning and Culture function is intended to enable and support the achievement of our mission through enhanced development of uniquely skilled, flexible and resilient people.

This role will be charged with creating the conditions for people at Climate-KIC to:

•    grow the mindset, skills and knowledge needed to work effectively as a complex, adaptive, developmental system;
•    take end to end responsibility for facilitating innovation;
•    learn, listen and sense-make, exercising and guiding choices to support experimentation;
•    intervene in the design and behaviour of systems;
•    build and sustain partnerships and work through co-creation with others;
•    identify and learn effectively from unexpected outcomes, promoting a growth mindset in all encounters;
•    generate trust and bring transparency and fairness to all activities;
•    work effectively within the constraints and expectations of stringent regulatory frameworks associated with the management of public and private funds;
•    and develop personal and professional resilience and balance when managing a constant demand for time and effort;

This responsibility will entail design and implementation of experiential learning and development practices, rituals and feedback loops, targeted coaching, group dynamics and teaching in effective leadership, management and design capabilities as well as execution discipline. It will also entail making sense of the patterns of assumptions and expectations, explicit and tacit, expressed in behaviours across Climate-KIC, helping people across the organisation see those patterns and nudge them towards a culture that nurtures and sustains while delivering impact. This same capability will be useful in identifying the needs and assumptions of funders in order to design processes to work effectively with them.

Finally, the Leadership, Learning and Culture function will work in close partnership with Climate-KIC’s Education team and education partners, with a view to mapping and professionalising skills and capabilities in strategic innovation and systemic change that will eventually become part of the Climate-KIC community’s offering and unique value proposition.

Background to the Role

In 2017 Climate-KIC set up a People Task Force, a cross-functional project team tasked with finding out what our people care about and believe Climate-KIC should offer as an employer. The taskforce developed a series of recommended actions aimed at enhancing the employment experience and building a strong culture of performance, recognition and development.

These recommendations include:

1)    Building leadership capability
2)    Creating people-centric processes – in particular around decision making and role clarification
3)    Creating a culture of recognition and reward
4)    Providing novel learning and development opportunities
5)    Building a shared understanding of our organisational strategy, progress and impact
6)    Creating time and space for investment in people  

The Leadership, Learning and Culture Manager will be responsible for driving forward, and building on, many of these recommendations.
Furthermore, in our 2018-2021 strategy, Climate-KIC’s journey will take us from our current starting point: an organisation almost wholly funded by the European Union and primarily focused on Europe to becoming a financially self-sustainable, multi-sided marketplace enabling innovative solutions globally to address climate change. The Leadership, Learning and Culture manager will play an important role in making this journey happen. As part of this strategy, we have committed to implementing a comprehensive programme of training, coaching and experiential learning for people across Climate-KIC.

In 2018 this will build alignment and capabilities in the following priority areas:

•    Core skills in grant, funder, and partner management with a view to increasing effectiveness and efficiency and raising compliance standards with respect to contractual and policy requirements;
•    Key transversal skills and mindsets in working collaboratively, thinking systematically and learning effectively – elements of working culture that enable a networked organisation and community to function effectively and increase connections;
•    Recognition and mitigation of unconscious bias, building cross-cultural competence to enable more effective leverage of diversity. These activities will be part of concrete innovative steps to measure and improve the gender balance (among other dimensions of diversity) in participation and management of activities across Climate-KIC.
•    Widespread managerial skills specifically adapted to working with and through others in a complex matrix organisation and multi-stakeholder environment. This will include change management approaches in support of operational excellence and high performance culture;
•    Emotional intelligence and strategic leadership qualities specifically adapted to dealing effectively with complexity and to delivering innovation in complexity. Targeted 1:1 coaching and structured peer feedback will also help to ensure our leaders have a constructive impact on the culture of our organisation.

Key responsibilities:

Observe and shape organisational culture

•    Research and monitor needs, assumptions, expectations and behaviours across the organisation
•    Build greater self-awareness and practices of self-reflection, both individual and organisational
•    Build capability in seeing systems and noticing group dynamics
•    Help colleagues understand how to intervene in systems and manage polarities to drive positive change and impact
•    Work with colleagues to design habits, practices and understanding that build respect for and proficiency in grant, funder, and partner management – excellence in bridging cultures of innovation and administration
•    Work with the HR team and the Executive Team to encourage widespread appreciation of others, recognition and reward
•    Creates conditions for joy

Create a learning organisation

•    Build human-centred design-thinking capabilities to enable widespread practice of empathy, needs-based ways of working, managing activities and executing on responsibilities, from document design to conversation design, co-design with partners and funders, to systems design
•    Work with colleagues to design habits, practices and ways of framing activities to enable greater alignment with intent and greater satisfaction from learning and from collaborative work
•    Lead change management approaches based on understanding and responding to needs
•    Work with leadership and Communications teams to teach and institutionalise balcony reflections and feedback loops in daily work
•    Promote growth mindsets individuals and in the organisation as whole
Develop skills and mindsets to empower and enable people
•    Develop widespread managerial skills specifically adapted to working with and through others in a complicated matrix organisation and multi-stakeholder environment.
•    Support ongoing organisational design work to ensure continual alignment of roles and responsibilities with decision-making and operational processes
•    Encourage and develop skills and competencies to support appropriate delegation of authority and empowerment of Climate-KIC people

Build leadership capability

•    Develop emotional intelligence and strategic leadership qualities and abilities specifically adapted to working effectively in and with complexity and to delivering innovation in complexity
•    Work closely with senior managers to identify leadership strengths and skills gaps and help with development planning
•    Design and/or procure contemporary leadership development solutions to build capability aligned to the business needs
•    Coordinate targeted coaching for members of the Executive Team and key talents.
•    Provide advice and support to managers and high-potentials with respect to leadership development, culture and engagement practices and initiatives

Create novel development opportunities

•    Coordinate the development and roll out of Climate-KIC’s learning and development programme covering technical, business, managerial and leadership skills
•    In collaboration with the Director, Community Management, support and champion group-wide knowledge and competency mapping initiatives as well as opportunities and mechanisms for knowledge exchange and reciprocal learning
•    Foster the creation of a coaching culture and enhance coaching and mentoring capabilities

Encourage diversity

•    Build cross-cultural competence to enable more effective comprehension and leverage of diversity, particularly diversity of thinking
•    Take innovative steps to measure and improve gender balance (amongst other dimensions of diversity) in participation and management of activities in line with the EIT Gender initiative
Monitor and track progress on leadership performance and culture
•    Develop, with the HR Director, relevant and novel indicators to track progress on the emergence of an adaptive and entrepreneurial culture
•    Capture the evolution of the leadership team’s competencies via our HR system and report on progress
•    Contribute updates to the People Dashboard on a quarterly basis
•    Assist with the development of Climate-KIC’s Reward and Recognition Policy and Programme
•    Formalize feedback loops for managers (e.g. 360 degree, people surveys)
•    Champion Climate-KIC’s performance management process in order to maximize engagement across the organisation

Key Working Relationships

•    CEO Climate-KIC
•    CFO, Climate-KIC
•    COO, Climate-KIC
•    Director, Human Resources
•    HR Team (HR Manager and HR Administrator)
•    Director, Community Management
•    Communications Team, particularly Internal Comms
•    Executive Team
•    People Task Force
•    External consultancies

Required Background & Qualifications

Qualifications and Experience:

•    Relevant qualifications in anthropology, ethnography, learning and development or a related discipline, or equivalent demonstrated experience
•    Extensive knowledge and application of leadership development and engagement interventions and frameworks, particularly developmental approaches
•    Proven experience and proficiency in working with complexity science and systems thinking; deep practical understanding of complex adaptive social systems
•    First-hand experience of human-centred design thinking process and methodology
•    Extensive project management experience in a matrix environment
•    Proven ability to work collaboratively in a multi-cultural, multi-stakeholder environment
•    Experience in evaluating and partnering with external providers
•    Experienced facilitator who has demonstrated ability to deliver fit for purpose content and apply experiential learning techniques
•    Experience in executive coaching
Qualities and Skills:
•    Critical, creative and innovative thinker with strengths in listening, insight, diagnosing capability gaps and in coming up with solutions with entrepreneurial flair
•    Demonstrated ability to influence leadership in a dynamic and diverse environment
•    Change agent – thrives in change and in leading change; encourages others to accept change and gives them an understanding of the reason for change; looks for and highlights potential improvements in current systems, processes and procedures
•    Delivers results – consistently overcomes obstacles to meet goals. Anticipates problems, is proactive to minimise issues and initiates action to deal with problems as they arise
•    Enjoys working well with others – uses understanding of other parties and self to work effectively together through influence and persuasion. Able to negotiate, resolve conflict and convince an audience; uses the power of humour and fun.
•    Skilled at coaching and mentoring others – builds capacity by investing in the development of others
•    Project and change management skills
•    Fluency in spoken and written English and ideally at least one other European language
•    Aware and sympathetic to the mission and purpose of addressing climate change

Application Process

Climate-KIC values diversity and welcomes applications from all suitably qualified candidates regardless of age, gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or ethnic background.

Your application should consist of a full curriculum vitae and a covering letter describing concisely how your profile, skills and experience meet the criteria outlined in the person specification, and outlining your interest in and vision for the role.

Please proceed via this advert on Changeboard.


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