Design Strategy Manager

Location: London/ Woking, GB

McLaren Applied Technologies:

McLaren Applied Technologies is a high-performance technology company which combines fresh thinking and innovation to solve crucial challenges and improve people's lives in industries as diverse as health, public transport, automotive and motorsport.


The Team:

The Design Group collaborates with all Applied Technologies’ Business Units and the wider McLaren Group to create cutting edge, commercially viable products, services and digital assets. We create and develop for our world-class partner companies and our own go-to-market solutions.  Our teams work together in three key functions to achieve our goals - Insight and Strategy, Product Design, and Design Engineering 


This position sits within the Insight and Strategy function which transforms market, technology and user insights into design directions and business opportunities. This team delivers design and technology based strategies and user experiences based on insights, needs, opportunities and requirements identified through trend, technology, user and market research. 


The Role:

Reporting to the Head of Design, you will be an integral part of the Design Group’s leadership team and recognised as an authority within Insight and Strategy. You will be an advocate of Design Thinking, Design Research and Strategy as well as a thought leader representing Design, McLaren Applied Technologies and the McLaren Brand.


The Design Strategy Manager will be responsible for the leadership and growth of a team of Design Strategists and UX Designers who are in increasing demand across the business as McLaren expands it's product and technology portfolio. You will ensure the team deliver design, market and technology strategies, gather insights and requirements and develop user experiences, interactions and product/service concept design applications across a variety of projects and markets.You will work in close collaboration with other team leads, project managers and technical experts to deliver product and service solutions to a range of different markets.


This role would suit a confident leader who is passionate about developing others and able to integrate quickly and easily into our own multi-disciplinary design and engineering teams. You will be a highly focussed, high energy individual, who thinks creatively and shares openly to produce workable ideas and novel solutions. 


There may be some domestic or international travel required from time to time.



  • Line manage and develop the Insight and Strategy team to achieve objectives through effective development and deployment of resources.
  • Team talent management and succession planning by forming and agreeing annual objectives, key performance indicators, and career outcomes of individuals across the team.
  • Plan and forecast resource and capability requirements to meet business needs, both short term and longer term, liaising with key stakeholders and involving team leaders as appropriate.
  • Champion Design Thinking across the business.
  • Anticipate skills and competence requirements for the future, ensuring that commitments are within the competencies of the team.
  • Attract new talent, recruit, develop and manage performance and recognition within the team to meet own growth strategy and future business requirements.
  • Increase team value and project opportunities within the organisation.
  • Participate in early engagement with potential clients and internal meetings to understand and define project needs in terms of design skills, people and time required, and value to deliver.
  • Manage project bid phases, creating proposals and time/resource estimates.
  • Support team members in delivering projects by acting as a trusted knowledge base and mentor.
  • Enhance our external network of agencies and suppliers to support the team’s evolving activities.


Skills and Experience:

  • BSc, MA, BEng in any Design area (Product Design, UX Design, Business Design)
  • Demonstrable/Considerable experience in design/creative industry.
  • Previous experience managing, developing, and growing creative teams.
  • Confidence in providing Design input.
  • Confident conversing about the value of Design with an internal and external audience.
  • Ability to create reports, project proposals and other documentation to a high standard, with the ability to write and deliver impactful strategic presentations with confidence.
  • Support team and company strategies for profitable expansion into existing and new markets.
  • Demonstrates a high level of creativity and innovation, ideally captured in a personal portfolio.
  • A track record of working with design, technology and technical teams in business-to-business and business-to-client situations.
  • Excellent ability to understand complex challenges and translate them into opportunities, plans and strategies for the team to work on.
  • Appreciation of brand value and working to high design standards.
  • Proven experience of ability to manage change.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • Abilty to proactively seek learning opportunities and manages development of career, with support from line manager.


Work Environment:

We are based in the world-renowned McLaren Technology Centre and in London. Our Woking campus includes a subsidised restaurant, a café, a gym with a pool, break-out spaces and more. Our Design Lab within the Technology Centre allows us to explore, collaborate, form and incubate breakthrough ideas and it fosters our own unique culture of innovation. We offer a unique and inspiring environment full of talented people in high calibre teams.


Recruitment Process:

  • Please submit a portfolio to accompany your application.
  • If your application is successful, you’ll be invited for a phone interview with one of our experienced technical recruiters.
  • If our recruiter believes you’re suitable for the role, you will be invited to meet key members of the team to talk though your CV and portfolio.
  • For the next step, you may be asked to complete a design-related challenge in your own time.
  • You will then be invited to share your thinking on the design challenge and for a face-to-face interview with other members of the Design Group.

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