Chief Operating Officer

  • Job Reference: 00000295-1
  • Date posted: 15 September 2020
  • Recruiter: Nesta
  • Location: Blackfriars, London
  • Salary: £96,000 to £121,000
  • Bonus/benefits: + excellent benefits
  • Sector: Other, International Development & Disaster Relief, Umbrella, Support & Volunteering
  • Job type: Permanent
  • Work hours: Full Time

Job description

Are you an influential, organised and collaborative individual with a track record in an executive-level role with authority for strategic decisions affecting organisational impact, profitability, partnerships, and staffing? Do you have proven experience overseeing large teams across a range of corporate services functions.

If so, Nesta is looking for a Chief Operating Officer to join us and play a critical role on Nesta’s leadership team by transforming our operations and culture and shaping our organisational capabilities, ensuring that our Mission teams are supported and enabled to succeed.

About Nesta
Nesta is an innovation foundation.  For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality. It also means changing lives for the better.  We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society, from the frontiers of personalised healthcare to stretched public services and a fast-changing jobs market. Nesta is based in the UK and supported by a financial endowment.  We work with partners around the globe to bring bold ideas to life to change the world for good.

As part of Nesta’s upcoming new strategy, we will focus on three innovation missions, comprising of work to equalise life chances, to increase the number of healthy lives for people most affected by health inequalities, and to secure a post-COVID-19 economy that works better for people and the planet. 

About this exciting opportunity


As Chief Operating Officer, your primary responsibility will be Nesta’s people – establishing a highly attractive employee brand and employee value proposition, driving the quality of people we attract, and retaining, recruiting and expanding our diversity. You will play a central role in building and championing a rigorous, creative, experimental culture that helps deliver on our strategic goals and advances our diversity, equity and inclusion objectives. You will also be expected to:

  • Support the Chief Executive to shape and deliver Nesta’s strategy, in close collaboration with your Executive Team colleagues
  • Lead Nesta’s corporate services teams, including People, Technology, Building Management and Operations. This will include delivering highly effective, low-friction services to Nesta’s staff
  • Drive the effectiveness and efficiency of our operational functions, making improvements as appropriate
  • Act with transparency, integrity and ethics and ensure you manage risk appropriately

What we are looking for


You will have a strong record of establishing and leading agile multi-disciplinary teams, with experience of leading People functions particularly advantageous. You will also have the demonstrated ability to develop and execute on strategic plans, managing risk and change, measuring results, making data-driven decisions, and adapting as required, plus experience managing multi-million pound budgets and supporting strategic business decisions and corporate management, with a focus on building an agile and inclusive culture across the organisation.

An outstanding communicator, with excellent interpersonal and networking abilities, you will have expertise in experimenting with agile working methods and other innovative practices applied to internal ways of working, and driving operational change within a workplace. An understanding of issues of workplace equity, diversity and inclusion is also vital.

At Nesta, we believe that a diverse workforce leads to an organisation that is more innovative, more creative and gets better results.

We want our workforce to represent the diversity of the people and communities we serve. We also want our workplace to be one where different experiences, expertise and perspectives are valued, and where everyone is encouraged to grow and develop.

This means that when we are recruiting, we actively seek to reach a diverse pool of candidates. It also means that we are happy to consider any reasonable adjustments that potential employees may need to in order to be successful.

We recognise the importance of a good balance between work and home life, so we do everything we can to accommodate flexible working, including working from home, compressed or part-time hours, job shares and other arrangements.

To download the candidate specification and to get additional information on the position, click the 'Apply for this job now' button.

Please just let us know in your application or at any stage throughout the process (and beyond) if these are options you’d like to explore.

Closing date: 5 October 2020.