First 5 LA is looking for up to two Senior Strategists to join the Office of Equity, Strategy and Learning. We are looking for individuals with experience in organizational development and change management using an equity lens. To be considered for the role, candidates should have a variety of characteristics and experience to fulfill the duties and responsibilities outlined in the job description. In particular, we are looking to hire two individuals who:
Can hold both the big picture and concrete details concurrently to move work forward
Are comfortable with and can navigate ambiguity and complexity
Are flexible and able to adapt to rapidly changing contexts and tight timelines
Are influential, able to support colleagues across the organization in embracing and navigating organizational change
Place a high value on producing quality work
Have strong written and verbal communication skills
Have excellent attention to detail, accuracy, and completeness
Learn quickly and are proactive and creative problem-solvers
Are highly organized and able to manage multiple tasks and priorities simultaneously
Are self-aware, humble, empathetic, and committed to continuous improvement
Work well with others, treats people respectfully and fairly, and maintain confidentiality
The Senior Strategist is a direct report and key advisor to the Chief Transformation Officer. As a member of the Office of Equity, Strategy, and Learning (OESL), the Senior Strategist is a thought leader and a doer responsible for designing and implementing organizational development and change management strategies that strengthen First 5 LA’s organizational effectiveness and facilitate continuous improvement. In addition to broader organizational change efforts, the OESL Senior Strategist facilitates First 5 LA’s strategic planning and refinement efforts and establishes practices for effective cross-functional working relationships across the organization. The OESL Senior Strategist also develops infrastructure to support collective organization-wide learning and ensure progress on the organization’s commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The successful candidate will demonstrate successful leadership in facilitating large-scale, multi-stakeholder organizational change efforts and exhibit adaptive leadership, systems thinking, change management, communication, and people management skills. The individual must possess high level of emotional intelligence to cultivate and maintain trusting relationships with both internal and external stakeholders and partners.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
The Senior Strategist is expected to exemplify the organizational values of collaboration, integrity, learning, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the execution of their key areas of responsibility:
Key Areas of Responsibility
Strategic Planning, Prioritization, and Strategy Refinement
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Organizational Culture
Strategic Planning, Prioritization, and Strategy Refinement
Works with the Chief Transformation Officer to develop and implement collaborative processes to engage internal and external stakeholders in First 5 LA’s strategic planning and refinement efforts
Develops and facilitates organization-wide processes for annual work planning and resource forecasting to support organizational priority setting, fiscal year budgeting, and long-term financial planning
Leads three-year strategic plan review and refinement cycles to simplify and adapt First 5 LA Board-approved strategic plan based on data and learning
Guides colleagues through a reflection process to assess alignment of current and emerging strategies and projects to First 5 LA’s organizational values and investment guidelines
Serves as a thought partner to colleagues in the Office of Data for Action (ODFA) to develop and refine First 5 LA’s Impact Framework and track progress on strategic plan implementation
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Organizational Culture
Works with the Chief Transformation Officer to develop and implement an organization-wide diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) plan, tracks key DEI metrics, shares observations about where First 5 LA is doing well and areas for improvement to inform adjustments to the DEI plan
Develops and manages a cross-functional workgroup to coordinate, monitor, and assess progress of DEI efforts across the organization
Promotes practices that create safe and brave spaces for colleagues to build relationships, reflect on learning and insights from their work, and improve organizational culture
Connects First 5 LA’s DEI work to other DEI efforts in the County to build internal knowledge, inform internal and external strategies and processes, and contribute to the field
Works in collaboration with Human Resources and Talent Management (HRTM) as a check and balance, to ensure human resource policies, practices, and processes are aligned with First 5 LA’s organizational values
Develops and facilitates organization-wide learning exchanges that help staff understand the context in which they do their work and that invite external stakeholders – including grantees, strategic partners, community members, and consultants – to help First 5 LA test its assumptions and inform strategic plan implementation and refinement
Works in collaboration with HRTM to identify the organizational knowledge and capabilities needed to achieve operational effectiveness and advance First 5 LA’s systems change work
Works in collaboration with the Office of Communications to explore and implement ideas for effectively communicating what we are learning and insights from strategic plan implementation internally and externally
Presents to First 5 LA Board and other stakeholders, as requested, to communicate progress and provide opportunities for engagement on the various aspects of the Office’s work
Works with the Chief Transformation Officer to design, implement, and evaluate change management strategies, tools, and communications that support adoption of mindsets, procedures, and practices to improve organizational culture and achieve strategic plan outcomes
Develops and institutionalizes feedback loops to promote continuous learning from our internal and external work to improve policies, practices, and strategies
Partners with Senior Strategist, Operational Excellence to support continuous improvement and apply learning for operational improvements
Works in collaboration with the Executive Director’s Office on organizational engagement and internal communication to share best practices, highlight bright spots and areas of improvement, and keep colleagues apprised of organization-wide initiatives and activities
Contributes to the development and improvement of structures, practices, and processes to strengthen operational effectiveness of OESL
Contributes to the preparation of the budget and long-term financial plan for OESL and assists the Chief Transformation Officer in the management of resources in accordance with First 5 LA policies and procedures
Works with the OESL Project Manager to provide direction on the procurement and management of contracts with consultants as needed and provides strategic direction to hired consultants and contractors
Represents First 5 LA on relevant external committees, work groups, and at conferences/meetings.
Actively seeks to build own professional skills and competencies to fulfill essential duties and responsibilities and improve performance
Adheres to all First 5 LA policies and procedures, ensures behaviors align accordingly, and contributes to learning that supports improvements
Keeps apprised of all laws, regulations, statutes, rules and policies that govern and affect First 5 LA
Other duties and responsibilities may be assigned. The duties and responsibilities listed are designed to provide typical examples of the work performed; not all duties and responsibilities assigned are included here nor is it expected that all similar positions will be assigned every duty and responsibility.
Change Management: Knowledge of change management best practices, methodologies, and techniques; able to lead others through complex change efforts within an organization; skilled at building strong relationships and credibility with internal stakeholders across functions and levels; able to work through obstacles and course correct as needed; models the mindset and behaviors needed facilitate and sustain organizational change
Data Use: Able to gather and review quantitative and qualitative data to inform strategic planning, internal policies and practices, strategy development and refinement; able to use data to test assumptions, prompt new ways of thinking, and use it to help stakeholders design and refine their work
Adaptive Leadership: Is flexibleand accepts change as part of the organization’s evolution; embraces complexity and uncertainty and is nimble enough to shift direction as needed; open to feedback and welcomes a variety of viewpoints; encourages creativity and innovation aligned with the organization’s strategic priorities; able to communicate persuasively, both orally and in writing, in varied settings and different audiences
Strategic Management: Able to manage projects of various sizes, complexity, resources, levels of risk, and timelines in a highly organized manner and with attention to detail; able to navigate internal and external constraints and address workload issues within and across teams; demonstrates effective administrative planning and prudent management of resources
Emotional Intelligence: Demonstrates self-awareness, humility, empathy, and personal accountability; has a temperament that inspires trust, collaboration, and partnership between individuals, teams, and levels of leadership; ability to navigate divergence, find common ground among team members, and resolve conflict diplomatically
Commitment to organizational mission and values: Mission-driven and self-directed, with a demonstrated passion for First 5 LA’s work to strengthen families and improve child outcomes; strives to model organizational values through daily actions and behaviors.
Possesses Customer-Focused Mindset: Ability to identify appropriate and relevant stakeholders; identifies internal and external stakeholders needs (customers); is responsive to stakeholder needs, considers impact when making recommendations.
Collaborative: Collaborates with peers to drive results in alignment with organizational and operational goals in support of the organization’s mission; is able to work in cross-functional teams; is able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with co-workers, public officials and the general public.
Communicates Effectively: Communicates effectively both written and oral; strong presentation skills; demonstrates ability to develop and deliver relevant and appropriate communications; delivers messages in a direct manner; able to tailor messages appropriately to various audiences.
Demonstrates Integrity and Judgment: Follows through on commitments letting others know of his/her true intentions; ensures decision-making or recommendations are fact-based, and others understand the decision/recommendation before moving forward; considers the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Demonstrates Critical Thinking: Applies critical thinking, logic and reasoning to analyze complex problems and information; identifies relative strengths and weaknesses of options, solutions or approaches.
Demonstrates Strategic Thinking: Identifies key issues and relationships relevant to achieving long range goals or vision; develops alternatives based on logical assumptions, facts, available resources, constraints, and organizational values to develop a point of view on a course of action to accomplish goals; develops priorities with the right balance of short and long-term wins.
Demonstrates Contribution to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Supports equal and active participation and mutual respect; supports participation of people and groups with diverse identities, races, ethnicities, abilities, characteristics, cultures, socio-economic statuses, opinions, and beliefs; continuously challenges assumptions, and is mindful of unconscious bias, and leverages differences; understands historical and current context and root causes of inequities within society, systems and institutions
8+ years of experience in one or more of the following areas preferred: organization development, strategic planning, grantmaking, research, and/or evaluation
5+ years of progressively more responsible leadership in managing strategic planning, organizational learning, and/or diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in a workplace or community context
Significant experience working in collaboration with colleagues and external partners with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, political and religious views, cultural backgrounds, lifestyles, and sexual orientation with demonstrated experience of treating everyone with respect and dignity
Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in the fields of social science, health, education, or a related academic field
Advanced degree preferred but not required
Proficiency in MS Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
Ability to use virtual engagement formats (e.g. Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Sli-do, etc.)
Ability to use widely supported internet browsers
Certificates, Licenses and Registrations:
Valid California Class C Driver License or the ability to utilize an alternative method of transportation when needed to carry out job-related essential functions
Valid automobile liability insurance
This position may require travel locally, statewide, and nationally as needed
First 5 LA requires that all covered employees provide proof that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS / WORK ENVIRONMENT
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The employee will sit, talk, hear and use hands up to 2/3 of the time. The employee will stand and walk up to 1/3 of the time. The employee is routinely required to carry and/or lift up to 10 pounds.
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.