- San Francisco, CA, USA
- Permanent, Full time
- Credit Suisse -
- 21 Aug 18
Head Of Lab Operations - Director
The CS Labs Mission:
Help Credit Suisse explore and build its future. Show the power of small autonomous teams of engineers and scientists working together towards clear common goals. Leverage new tools and new ways of working to build new businesses and refresh old ones in a way that benefits both Credit Suisse as well as society as a whole.
The CS Labs are a new entity within Credit Suisse, a leading global bank. We are in downtown San Francisco. We intend to do great things, and we have an amazing organization to help us.
While our team is a necessary mix of varied experiences and perspectives, we look for several common behavior patterns across all our team members:
You are fundamentally an optimist, and while you respect and articulate risk (and have a lot of common sense and practicality) you focus as much or more on the potential positive outcomes of trying new things, finding new collaborators and building new technologies.
You are insatiably curious with an insurmountable appetite for learning. While understanding the desired outcome of a venture you find yourself compelled to fully comprehend and question its purpose. You impart with skill what you have learned and can clearly explain the technical to the non-technical. Indeed, you are a natural teacher and diffuser of knowledge, and so your colleagues are constantly learning from you, as you do from them.
You are brave enough to challenge the status quo while your imagination, insight and experience compel you to speak up when you know changes can be made for the better. You have the confidence to perturb the old ways of thinking to bounce systems and processes out of local minima. You strive to do so with courtesy and understanding, but never become a slave to the nuances of an organization's culture.
You respect and understand the role that banks play in society, their history and the constraints under which they operate. You find irresistible the challenge of rethinking them from the ground up.
You are someone who thinks as much about the posing of the problem as the clever solution to it, and while your tenacity makes it tough to give up on a challenge, your higher reasoning tells you when it's time to quit. Your reputation of successfully solving problems, following through on promises and delivering above expectations when others are in doubt, precedes you.
Head of Labs Operations
As Chief Operating Officer and Head of Labs Operations, you work to insure that the Labs runs smoothly at all levels.
Institutional Processes and "Org-Hacking":
CS Labs operates within the larger context of Credit Suisse, a global bank. You will build trust and empathy with the owners of business processes in the USA, APAC and Zurich for HR, hiring, performance management, vendor management, contractors, contract generation, budget, compliance, e-learing, etc.
You will also master and understand the regulatory environment in which CS and the CS Labs operate, and understand policy and the procedures that implement them. As you repurpose or re-build CS Labs procedures to meet policy, you will earn the respect and collaboration of policy owners and compliance functions.
You understand which processes can be re-used for Labs purposes, which need to be re-built from the ground up and which are a compromise between the two. You are excited by the prospect of building truly exceptional processes for Labs that upholds corporate standards and are still flexible and dynamic enough to make sense in the business context of Silicon Valley. You are an expert and passionate "org-hacker", and you can build operations in such a way that the process outcomes are attractive to all stakeholders, both within the Labs and outside of it.
Building and Running the Idea Factory
A key function of CS Labs is operating as an idea factory. This entails learning about the businesses which CS operates, the rapidly changing technological and cultural landscape as well as identifying business and technology opportunities that might be "moon-shots". Core processes to define and manage include:
- Thesis Generation: You will build and run a process for managing how we learn and convert that learning into an investment theses for CS Labs. The process will support all forms of learning but heavily favor prototyping and learning by doing.
- Investment Committee: You will run a committee consisting of labs leadership that performs portfolio allocation across labs efforts.
- Killing ideas quickly: You will build and enforce processes that help passionate researchers, engineers and scientists refine good ideas and let go of the ones that aren't good enough.
- Intermediate value generation (i.e. tech transfer): You will build a process to identify, socialize and then transfer technology that the CS Labs office produces as a side effect of its explorations.
- Goal team launching: The CS Labs is set up to identify, provision, staff and launch larger, more sustained efforts that the labs identifies as suitably lunar. You will build and run a process to seek patronage and support from core CS business stakeholders as well as a process for negotiating and executing the launch of the larger, more directed team.
- Goal Team Management: You will build a process to manage Goal Teams once they are launched. This process will include demos, accountability and milestones, a mechanism for the CS Labs to "lend" SMEs to the goal team, a process for declaring success of the goal team and a mediation process in case of disputes about that success.
- Vision to Reality: CS Labs is a new venture within CS. As such, its role with the company will need to be established and adapt over time. You will lay the foundation for converting the vision of CS Labs, provided by the CEO and other key CS stakeholders, into operating reality.
- Governance: Develop a working relationship with CS managers and directors that challenges norms, but preserves corporate form and allows CS Labs to function effectively.
Culture and Soul of the Lab
The Head of Labs Operations is also responsible for making sure that the lab is a place where unintended consequences matter as much as intended ones, and where a sense of directed play is the overarching culture across all aspects of the lab. The Labs should incorporate formal learning, prototyping and other forms of idea generation and validation in a culture where trying things is preferable to just thinking about them, and where experiments in one domain illuminate and inform people working in completely different areas.
Core areas of responsibility you will take on in this respect include:
- Culture: How does it and should it "feel" to be in the core CS Labs office? On a more directed Goal Team? What interaction models are there between projects?
- Internal and external PR: How should CS and the outside world think about CS Labs? How and when do we message?
- Outreach and presence: Participation in conferences, patent applications, external publications, etc.
- Incentives: How does CS Labs motivate performance? How is it recognized and rewarded?
- Streamlining: Implement an operating methodology that removes constraints and distractions from impinging on rapid discovery and exploitation of ideas.
- Internal Governance: Develop a working environment where project teams are empowered to chase their objectives, but still report progress and assist in making open, honest decisions about the future.