Senior Manager, Footwear Innovation, Asia
Brooks Running Company
Taichung City, Taiwan
Posted on Thursday, April 13, 2023
The Brooks Innovation group is a team of world-class innovative minds collectively focused on improving the performance running experience through product, experiential and performance innovation. They constantly challenge assumptions of how products are made and together they shape the future of running footwear. They stretch the limits of science and human performance with every innovation and are relentlessly focused on changes that benefit the Brooks runner. They pioneer relationships with manufacturing partners and suppliers, uncovering new partnerships with global industry leaders to create innovation and bring new Brooks innovations to life. The Innovation team operates across the full range of product creation, merchandising, brand strategy, sourcing and new business development to relentlessly pursue methods to make better-performing, higher-quality and sustainable products faster and more efficiently than ever before.
As our Senior Manager of Footwear Innovation, Asia, you will be responsible for leading and managing cross-functional, multi-cultural teams across Asia to research and develop new technologies, materials, products and processes.You will collaborate with the Senior Manager of Footwear Innovation at HQ in the creation of strategies, products, technologies, processes and experiences that will fuel the future of Brooks running and enable every runner to run their path to a better self. You will utilize your advanced knowledge of footwear manufacturing technologies and supplier relationships to build a base of key innovation partners that drive innovative concepts to our teams based on our strategic goals. You will manage a collaborative, product creation process from insights to technology transfer to commercialization that will deliver products that challenge thought, deliver new running experiences and exceed runner expectations.
· Lead, manage, mentor and drive leaders in our key Asian innovation hubs (including Vietnam, China and Taiwan) in the creation of new products, technologies, and manufacturing processes that will fuel the Brooks future product engine.
· Lead and represent the Asia Innovation hubs to activate our culture and ensure alignment with our values.
Contribute to the Asia Lead Triad, consisting of functional Footwear leads in R&D, Sourcing, Manufacturing, and HR
· Create organizational structures, develop great leaders, and foster creative teamwork environments for our key innovation hubs in Asia.
· Partner with the Senior Manager of Footwear Innovation, HQ to lead the Innovation Idea to Runner (i2r) process including the execution of project development plans and schedules according to the strategic critical dates that lead to on–time delivery of samples, portfolio reviews, validation, technology transfers and final product/ technology confirmation and transfer. The goal is to make the Innovation process more efficient and results driven.
· Provide career-development planning, coaching, training and support for members of the Asia innovation teams to create and foster a culture of learning, personal development, curiosity and innovation.
· Manage relationships with key external strategic development and manufacturing partners to effectively communicate our vision, goals, and desired outcomes.
· Ensure the highest standards of Fit, Feel, Ride, Quality and Crafted Beauty (Technical, Biomechanical, Experiential & Aesthetic).
· Utilize in-depth knowledge of advanced materials, concepts and the manufacturing processes to to enhance the overall performance of product.
· Act as a technical expert within the Brooks Academy on relevant areas (Innovation, Performance, Technology, i2r process)
· Collaborate directly with the Director of Footwear Innovation and key leaders in the U.S. Headquarters to build and manage the Innovation Portfolio
· Work with the Director and other Innovation Leaders to ensure teams across all locations are aligned and working in harmony.
· Visualize and communicate Innovation concepts and strategy through excellent visual, written, verbal communication and presentation skills to team members, key internal stakeholder, and external partners.
· Make recommendations on relevant opportunities and build effective business proposals to gain buy-in and secure resources to make plans actionable.
· Work to further define, refine and implement the innovation process including the various steps and milestones.
· Contribute to the development and management of the yearly Innovation budget.
· Identify organizational needs in Asia and propose recommendations for people, vendor or technology resources to support the growth of the business and the execution of the strategic roadmap.
Participate in key business and cultural milestones (evaluations, shows, etc.) and organize team training, events, and travel that help build cohesiveness and trust
· Manage and facilitate teams through ideation on concepts, guiding them through synthesis, identifying potential opportunities and solutions, identifying clear action plans and executing against them through “fail fast, test & learn” rapid prototyping.
· Drive the implementation of new systems, process improvement, deliverable formats and so on to make the neXt process more efficient and results driven.
· Provide insights to Footwear leadership to inform strategic initiative concepts, resourcing and development. Assemble cross functional teams and manage projects through to completion.
· Responsible for driving all internal and external strategic footwear innovation meetings in Asia to obtain alignment and readiness for transfer with Product, Business, Manufacturing and R&D.
· Manage effective Tech Transfer plans in conjunction with Product Line Management, Development, Design, Legal and Manufacturing to ensure readiness and efficient transitions of technology and best practices across the organization.
Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Design, Biomechanics or other applicable technical degrees. Master’s preferred.
10+ years of experience in product innovation creating technically driven product
5+ successful years of experience leading teams in the creation of cutting edge, high performance footwear & innovation technology programs. High level Engineering, Development, Project Management or Design experience preferred.
Proven ability to lead and develop global product teams and influence cross-functional teams in a collaborative, team oriented, complex global environment in order to meet strategic business and product objectives.
Superior knowledge and technical expertise in footwear product creation with an advanced knowledge of the total footwear construction process and a strong understanding of manufacturing capabilities, anticipating issues, problem solving with timely resolution.
Excellent interpersonal skills with a demonstrated ability to inspire and develop trust and highly productive relationships with individuals and teams that are made up of diverse disciplines and cultural backgrounds resulting in effective working relationships across the company
Strong verbal and written communication skills in English, with an advanced ability to communicate new ideas, concepts and functional expertise within project teams and to external stakeholders. Has an ability to translate technical jargon into stories that resonate with the laymen. Demonstrates a high level of presentation skills and abilities.
Strong project management skills with proven success building action plans and leading teams to execute against complex projects and multiple functions. Keen attention to detail in planning, organization and execution of tasks (self and through others), while still seeing the big picture and understanding how all of the pieces fit together and affect one another.
Must demonstrate a detailed and extensive expertise and application of business development principles and concepts.
Ability to anticipate how a decision made can affect our customers, our partners, our products or other departments’ operations and/or morale; “connecting the dots.”
Curious and open minded; always open for a challenge, inventive, creative. With the ability to challenge the status quo – always looking at improving our products and processes while also displaying a willingness to dive into the details.
Passionate participation in Brooks’ sports activities a plus, overridden by the ability to understand and empathize with the runner in order to develop loyal, engaging relationships with our customers and the Brooks community.
International and domestic travel as required to achieve a high level of team, product and technology development. Including visits to manufacturing facilities, R&D partners, retail stores and consumers to assist in the creation, development, commercialization and integration of our products. Travel 15 – 20%.
Strong computer skills including experience with Sharepoint, Smart Sheets, MS Office software.
Embraces and lives the Brooks values!
Reports to: Director, Footwear Innovation
Department: Footwear Research & Development - 32
Position Class: Exempt, Salaried
Position Location: Taichung, Taiwan
Brooks Sports, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer and our policy is to maintain employment practices that conform to the intent and letter of the laws regarding equal employment opportunity. Brooks is committed to affording equal employment opportunity to all individuals without regard to race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran or military status, marital status, sexual preference, genetic information or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, or local laws or regulations. This commitment applies to all phases of the recruitment process including hiring, selection, promotions, transfers, demotions, compensation, benefits, or training. Brooks will endeavor to make reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with known disabilities, unless doing so would result in an undue business hardship or a direct threat to the health or safety of any individual.
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