Innovation Specialist : District of Columbia



Innovation Specialist
Grade: MGT C

Washington, DC preferred

Annual Pay: $83,218/YR

The Service Employees International Union is a 2 million member organization dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families. The Innovation Specialist will be a key team member in the Innovation and Learning Center, a new unit within SEIU created to drive and support innovation across the union, with a special focus on helping the union become an effective 21st Century organization in a time of rapid change and considerable challenges for working people and worker organizations.

The Innovation Specialist will train and guide teams in the use of innovation methods, tools and practices to enable staff in SEIU’s locals and in its International Union to innovate systematically with method and rigor.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Serve as an expert in innovation methodologies, particularly human-centered design, lean startup and agile
  • Define and facilitate innovation projects
  • Help develop and lead trainings on the use of innovation methodologies

This includes a wide range of duties, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Contribute to the development of an innovation toolkit to enable SEIU staff to innovate systematically with rigor
  • Provide guidance and best practice knowledge to build experimentation discipline and rigor, including defined measures of success and building in accountability and learning collection
  • Provide consultation and practical guidance to union staff applying innovation methods
  • Participate in the selection and management of innovation consultants and facilitators as needed
  • Work with external innovation experts and organizations engaged in innovation to bring the most up-to-date methods and learnings back to SEIU
  • Participate in the development of organizational initiatives that foster a culture of innovation at SEIU

Scope and Nature of Supervision

  • A high level of judgment, ability to take initiative and work independently is required.
  • Must be able to work with elected leaders and staff in complex and sometimes political situations utilizing independent judgment and the highest level of professionalism.
  • Must be able to handle multiple priority projects simultaneously and meet established deadlines.
  • Reports to the Director of the SEIU Innovation & Learning Center.

Education Background
Requires one of the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree and three years of experience implementing and leading innovation project and programs including one year facilitating or training teams OR
  • At least two – three years of experience implementing and leading innovation projects or design sprints and one – two years facilitating or training teams OR
  • Any combination of education, experience and measurable performance that demonstrates the capability to perform the duties of this position.

Previous Work Experience:

  • At least 3+ years of professional experience in innovation, organizational development, design, or social entrepreneurship
  • Working knowledge of innovation methodologies, including human-centered design, lean startup and/or agile, is required
  • Proven experience guiding teams in the use and adoption of innovation methodologies
  • Demonstrated experience developing and leading trainings on innovation practices
  • Previous experience with the labor movement, advocacy organizations or non-profits is a plus

Knowledge, Qualifications and Competencies

  • Proven ability to facilitate teams in workshop settings as well as long-term projects
  • Demonstrated ability to coach and guide others as they apply innovation practices to their work
  • Strong project management skills with the ability to manage dependencies and drive a team together toward a successful product completion and roll-out
  • Strong team player with the ability to engage and influence functional experts from a wide range of functional areas
  • Extremely strong verbal communication skills, in front of large groups and interpersonally
  • Demonstrated capacity to continuously develop knowledge and skills
  • Excellent written communication skills; knowledge of any other language is a plus
  • The ability to work independently; self-motivated and responsible with minimal supervision
  • A genuine and demonstrable interest in interdisciplinary work and intercultural collaborations
  • A positive attitude with the desire to work with people from various backgrounds
  • Must be able to work with International and local union elected leaders and senior staff in complex and sometimes politically sensitive situations

Work Schedule, Travel, or Physical Requirements

  • Work is generally performed in an office setting, but may require work in the field or in other settings to perform the tasks required to complete assignments
  • Must be available for regular travel with overnight stays
  • Ability to work effectively with a team that includes remote colleagues via phone, Skype/Google Hangout, and other digital communications

Application Requirements:
A résumé is required for all applications and a cover letter is highly suggested. Your cover letter should explain your reason for wanting to work for SEIU, an example of how you demonstrated success in a similar position and a description of how this position fits into your long-term career plan.

SEIU staff enjoy top notch benefits including comprehensive health benefits, major medical, dental and vision for employee and eligible dependents, domestic partner benefits, competitive salaries, generous holidays and vacation policies, and both a pension plan and a 401(K) Plan.

SEIU is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Apply Here:


WHEN APPLYING: Be sure to indicate that you saw this information at UNIONJOBS.COM.

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