Senior Advisor, Innovation Catalyst

Washington, DC
Jul 22, 2019
Aug 03, 2019
Full Time
Business Unit Description

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into 'Real Possibilities' by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world's largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin.


Plays a lead role in steering initiatives towards the creation of innovative solutions (products, programs, and services) for the 50+ as a big thinker, strategic thinker, team player, problem solver, and articulate communicator. Designs solution development plans and prototypes and is a detail-oriented team member. Supports teams in the development of early stage concepts, as well as participates in the charge for the development of innovations from early stage research through commercialization as a strategic problem solver and innovation expert with design fluency. Works closely with external designers to develop higher fidelity prototypes for beta and in-market testing and validation.

Requires the ability to manage multiple innovation projects across the organization with varying degrees of oversight and guidance. Must possess a great deal of autonomy in decision-making and communications, know when to manage up, and identify key areas of decision-making oversight.

Identifies challenges and develops plans for solution development in order to catalyze the development and creation of ideas with varying levels of complexity and feasibility. Needs to be able to clearly identify the criteria upon which decisions about ideas should be made and helps to steer teams in the direction of making autonomous decisions that will move their solutions forward. Strong coordination, communication, storytelling, and low-fidelity design and prototyping skills are required.

Position involves engaging with stakeholders in a consulting capacity in order to develop their solutions into market-ready innovations. Level of engagement will require strong communication, listening, information synthesis, and storytelling skills. Regularly interacts with members of the leadership team, as well as innovation project teams in a consulting and informative capacity. Will have a direct impact on AARP's success in developing innovative solutions today and in the future. Develops clear and actionable solutions and helps teams move their solutions through the innovation pipeline by identifying key experiments and areas for refinement. Is perceived as the authority on solution development and refinement in moving solutions through the innovation pipeline.

  1. Participates in teams, utilizing human-centered design processes and developing innovations that move ideas forward, leading to tangible solutions.

  1. Develops the right stories and visual elements to conceptualize team ideas in communicating them to stakeholders and potential customers.

  1. Extracts the essence of stakeholder problems and ideas to clearly identify challenge statements and ideas that are aligned with strategic and organizational goals.

  1. Develops early prototypes (e.g., basic wire framing) or 2-D renderings of products in order to better conceptualize solutions.

  1. Designs and implements initial experiments to test and validate solutions for refinement.

  1. Devises clear solution development plans that propel solutions through experimentation, testing, and refinement based on learnings.

  1. Participates in the solution development process for incremental, breakthrough, and radical innovations and work alongside appropriate colleagues to develop and design solutions.

  1. Drives innovation teams to prototype and prepare the case of action for approval and execution.

  1. Empathizes with stakeholders and consumers as they move through the innovation journey and helps them understand how to navigate divergent and convergent phases of development.

  1. Possesses mastery of innovation behaviors and has a true understanding of how to build on ideas, be open in one's thinking, and identify concepts in a real, tangible way.

  1. Finds ways to inspire and motivate teams (without direct oversight) in a manner that propels their solutions forward as an acute listener and people person.

  1. Coordinates and tracks a budget for solution development activities, such as design, prototyping, and research.

13. Directs, reviews, and assigns work to internal colleagues and external consultants on an occasional basis.


Completion of a Bachelor's degree in Design, Engineering, Information Technology, or Business and a minimum of 8+ years of product development experience required; or equivalent experience required.

Must possess a high level of mastery of project leadership, coordination, idea evaluation, and experiment design.

Moderate level of fluency in product design, prototyping, and sketching required.

Demonstrated thought leadership in the practice and application of innovation and agile learning methodologies.

Proven track record of developing solution plans and running idea pilots for results-oriented validation.

Must have superb verbal and visual communication skills in order to help teams understand how to describe and conceptualize their solutions in ways that further development.

Must be a clear and creative thinker, combined with acute listening skills in order to ensure that team needs are met.

Must understand the highs and lows associated with innovation and be able to help teams maintain focus in times of ambiguity and uncertainty.

Benefits Offered

AARP offers competitive benefits with a 401K, 100% company funded pension plan, health, dental, vision and life insurance, STD/LTD, paid vacation and sick, and other benefits.

Equal Employment Opportunity

AARP is an equal opportunity employer committed to hiring a diverse workforce and sustaining an inclusive culture. AARP does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, color, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, mental or physical disability, genetic information, veteran status, or on any other basis prohibited by applicable law.

Similar jobs

More searches like this