Director of Innovation

Corporate Headquarters /
Executive /
The Director of Innovation will build from the ground-up the business function that supports the development and execution of innovation and experience design programs at an operational, function or enterprise level. This role will use research, data and analytics to help influence business direction and decisions.  In short, this position is all about investigating and owning new, disruptive ideas that originate at the executive level in order to drive revenue, increase efficiency, and find new ways of working.  This role will incubate and manage critical innovation project activities including research, discovery, definition, design, project management and delivery. They will provide superior consulting to business partners and peers on new innovation efforts specifically with ideas originating with the company’s executive team. Most importantly, this role will identify customer and analytics, insights and needs and look at platforms, communications, and experiences through the lens of the guest in order to make strategic recommendations on how to improve existing business processes.


    • Sources innovations, partnerships, and investments from within the company and across industry
    • Connects new concepts to current business via opportunity and requirements analysis
    • Creates Frameworks: synthesizes new concept research into insights, opportunities and roll-out frameworks
    • Uses data, analytics and research to understand and shape guest behavior
    • Storytelling: Builds insights and frameworks into a cohesive story to drive change
    • Collaborates with extended, cross-functional team leaders and department heads (Operations, Finance, Marketing, IT and HR) to understand and reframe the original problem
    • Co-creates and implements design concepts in partnership with functional and business leaders
    • Aids in customer research interactions
    • Provides ongoing consulting to the business to ensure program/idea implementation
    • Develops a program roadmap and/or timeline with program team input
    • Leads and facilitates exercises, meetings, or immersion sessions throughout project, i.e. competitive assessments and ideation sessions.
    • Helps formulate customer qualitative research plans and discussion guides
    • Designs and develops tools and activities according to the unique program needs
    • Utilizes design skills to create concepts for new experiences considering all customer touch-points
    • Participates in the development of prototypes and tests
    • Ensures new concept is implemented and functional at project end/completion
    • Tests and revisits concept after implementation to ensure usage and adoption is successful
    • Although the position does not currently have direct reports, the position will consistently work and integrate cross functionally.  Innovation team growth is also largely dependent upon business needs to support functional efforts.   

Leadership Development

    • Develops understanding of big picture strategies within category, division or enterprise
    • Quickly learns about functional needs and organizational structure to seamlessly integrate in to standard business operations and functionality
    • Establishes relationships with fellow program partners, peers and external network to build a path forward
    • Drives projects outside normal responsibilities (i.e. committee leader, manage external partners)
    • Mentors Caruso team members outside of the Innovation Team with an emphasis on primary innovation tracks

Qualifications and Experience

    • B.A. in design or related field and a minimum 7-10 years of experience in an innovative field: Management Consulting, Data Management, Technology or Strategic Innovation
    • Master’s degree preferred
    • Outstanding track record of developing and implementing innovative, differentiated and winning strategies that deliver tangible results
    • Entrepreneurial mindset
    • Strong analytical skills; ability to analyze raw data, draw conclusions, and develop actionable recommendations
    • Experience transforming data and analytics into a story that informs both high level strategy and tactical decision-making
    • Strong background/experience with data mining, statistical analysis, data processing with large amounts of data
    • Outstanding communication, facilitation and presentation skills, including visual storytelling
    • Commercial sense, market knowledge, ability to research and apply market/trend information
    • Must have experience in the process and practice of design thinking and lean processes, including but not limited to learning and test plan writing and implementation
    • Demonstrated ability to work independently with minimal supervision
    • Strong organization and communication skills as well as a high tolerance for ambiguity and the demonstrated ability to influence without authority
    • Demonstrated expertise at problem solving, visualization and strategy development
    • Experience working on multi-disciplinary teams within business, design and research
    • Proactive leader with proven ability to take risks, and challenge the status quo and manage and drive change
    • Advanced computer and tech design system skills including Adobe Creative Suite
    • Experience with data visualization tools/dashboard development (e.g., Google Data Studio, Tableau, etc.)
    • Experience in Real Estate Development is a bonus, but not required
    • Must be a team player, comfortable working in “white space” and with ambiguity; with this new team, roles will evolve and one must be willing to take on incremental responsibilities
Caruso is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.