Director, Innovation Programs

The Lean Lab - Kansas City, MO - Full time

The Lean Lab - Kansas City, MO - Full time

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MISSION: To attract and develop high potential education entrepreneurs, so that game changing innovations are launched from Lean Lab programs.


  • Find and recruit high potential education entrepreneurs - Develop relationships with education entrepreneurship support programs locally and nationally to source high potential education entrepreneurs and maintain a well respected, visible and professional presence at education innovation conferences and on relevant digital media channels to attract high potential education entrepreneurs.
  • Develop world class education entrepreneur support programs - Research emerging trends in effectively supporting education entrepreneurs. Develop world class programming supporting early stage education entrepreneurs from concept to launch, through our Incubator Fellowship program and innovation workshops.
  • Facilitate and directly support Lean Lab education entrepreneur fellows and alumni to and through launch- Facilitate world class education entrepreneurship support programs so that all Lean Lab fellows and alumni are able to achieve a successful launch, growing sustainable and impactful ventures for years to come. Cultivate and nurture a close community of radical thinkers and entrepreneurs supportive of our fellows’ long term development.

GOALS: The Director of Innovation Programs will help The Lean Lab implement its 5 year strategic plan, so thatby 2021, Lean Lab will have launched 35 new ventures from 2017-2021, 30% of which will still be operational and creating measurable impact for students on a local and national level within 2 years of launch.

In doing so, the Director of Innovation Programs will work toward the following goals:

  • Cultivate talent. Provide access to ongoing training/development opportunities for aspiring education innovators.
    • Develop at least 40 idea stage education innovators annually through weekend Innovation Workshops (occurring quarterly)
    • Develop referral and partnership opportunities with other education and entrepreneurial support programs both regionally and nationally.
  • Create local impact. 30% of innovations launched are sustaining and making measurable gains within 2 years of launch in Kansas City.
    • Select, matriculate, retain and support at least 5 high potential education entrepreneurs into The Lean Lab Incubator Fellowship program.
    • Design, implement and facilitate rigorous curriculum for the Incubator Fellowship and weekend innovation workshops.
    • Cultivate a top tier funding and mentorship network to support Incubator fellows.
    • Support at least 2 fellows to launch in the KC region with seed funding support.
    • Research the creation of an Entrepreneurship In Residence program.
  • Develop local leadership. 75% of KC based Lean Lab alumni are continuing to use skills learned during The Lean Lab Fellowship to continue their ventures or to lead educational change in the KC landscape.
    • Design and implement alumni support program, with the goal of at least 50% of KC based Lean Lab alumni still active in venture of KC education within 2 years of launch.
  • Create national impact. 20% of total Incubator Fellowship alumni organizations are sustaining and making quantifiable gains on a national level within 2 years of program completion.
    • 5% of alumni are sustaining and making quantifiable educational gains within 2 years of their launch.
  • Cultivate a leading brand. Recognized as thought leader in education innovation by being published in both national and internationally recognized media.
    • Highlighted in 2 national publications/conferences

COMPETENCIES: The Director of Innovation Programs personifies the following core values and competencies:

Core Values of The Lean Lab:

  • Boldness. We are fearless, unafraid to push boundaries and chart new territory to transform outcomes for kids.
  • Equity. Inequities in education persist. We work unapologetically to create just circumstances from which innovations are born.
  • Human Centered Design. We design with parents, teachers, students -- the humans at the center of education.

Aligned Core Competencies:

  • Outcomes obsessed. Works urgently and drives toward outcomes. Will not stop until all children in Kansas City have access to amazing learning opportunities.
    • Aggressive. Moves quickly and takes a confident stand without being abrasive.
    • Efficient. Able to produce significant output with minimal wasted effort.
    • Persistent. Demonstrates tenacity. Can persevere through a long and arduous project to the end.
    • Takes Initiative. Takes a proactive approach to finding new programs, people and resources that support personal professional growth and/or support the strategic growth of the organization. Acts without being told what to do. Brings new ideas to the org.
    • Strong work ethic. Possess strong willingness to work hard and sometimes long hours to get the job done. Has a track record of working hard.
    • High Standards. Expects personal performance and team performance to be nothing short of the best.
    • Fastidious. Consistently delivers meticulous and excellent work. Detail oriented. Does not let important details slip through the cracks or derail a project.
    • Calm under pressure. Maintains stable performance when under heavy pressure or stress.
    • Intelligent & Analytical Learns quickly. Can efficiently absorb new information, and process qualitative and quantitative data to draw meaningful insights. Exhibits a probing mind.
  • Extremely Professional. Consistently on time to meetings, dresses appropriately and presents with eloquence. Able to command a room, meet deadlines, and communicate promptly.
    • Strong communicator. Speaks and writes clearly, eloquently and articulately. Not overly verbose or curt. Maintains this standard in all communication, including email.
  • Team Oriented. Works collaboratively with other staff members to achieve outcomes.
    • Enthusiasm. Exhibits genuine passion and excitement over work.
    • Recruits A players. Sources, selects and sells top talent to be part of our org.
  • Strategic thinking/visionary. Able to see and communicate the big picture in an inspiring way. Determines opportunities and threats through comprehensive analysis of current and future trends.

Please submit a cover letter expressing your enthusiasm for the role and a resume to by August 30, 2017.

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Experience Level

Senior Level

The Lean Lab

The Lean Lab is a Kansas City-based community that launches transformational education innovations. We work tirelessly to ensure that community members work with entrepreneurs. 

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