The Smith Institute was founded on the belief that successfully harnessing mathematical ways of thinking creates innovative and effective solutions to the most pressing challenges in business and society. Our commitment to this approach has never wavered.  The value we deliver to customers comes from being able to frame and understand complex problems, to describe and analyse them mathematically, and to communicate the outcomes in actionable terms. 

The strength of this intellectual positioning is what makes us distinctive in our offering and it is a strength that is growing in recognition. We are currently experiencing rapid growth of profile and opportunity in sectors such as energy, security and transport, which are faced with unprecedented challenges, often not yet fully understood, where business as usual is simply not an option. We are in the ideal position to offer the fresh innovative thinking that is required.  

The Smith Institute are looking to make a new appointment of Director of Operations and Innovation, that can strengthen and build two of our business functions that are critical to providing these services and to our growth as a business. The Director of Operations & Innovation will play a vital role in shaping the company’s future success, sitting on the Executive Group and reporting directly to the CEO. We are looking for an experienced Operations Director, with a track record for designing and implementing transformative operational strategies and systems, in a workspace that is highly technical and innovative, and that put people and culture at the top of the agenda.  

We encourage candidates seeking part-time or fractional positions to apply, in particular for candidates that see their strengths and interests in one of Operations or Innovation, but not necessarily both. 

Key responsibilities include: 

  1. Strategy 
  • Optimise the Smith Institute’s operational strategy and processes as we grow in size, capabilities and the impact we can have. 
  • Develop the strategy for our Innovation Programme, taking it from its formative stage to scalable and self-sustaining business function, and which is efficiently and effectively integrated into our core business. 
  • Collaboration with the CEO and the Executive Group, to align strategies with the business strategy against the Smith Institutes’ vision, mission and values. 
  • Representing Operations and the Innovation Programme on Exec Group, working alongside the other Key Area Leads to monitor the health of the business and to scrutinise, challenge and make decisions on the direction of the business at the Executive level. 


2. Operations Management 

  • Develop and implement efficient operational systems, policies, and procedures to maximize efficiency, productivity and profitability, and which deliver against the short- and medium-term operations strategy. 
  • In particular, assess our current operations systems and requirements for change, then research, identify and implement new systems to meet these growing requirements. 
  • Management of the Project Management function, including the review and improvement of our PM procedures. 
  • Oversee daily operations, including systems, resource management, project management, staff development and recruitment. 
  • Analyse key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to identify areas for improvement and implement corrective actions. 
  • Monitor project profitability, and in collaboration with the CFO, ensure cost-effective operations. 


3. Innovation Management 

  • Develop, communicate and deliver against practical and effective action plans that enable the realisation of the Innovation strategy. 
  • Foster a culture of innovation by encouraging creative thinking, collaboration among team members and cross-pollination across the business. 
  • Identify emerging industry trends, technologies, and opportunities for mathematical innovation. 
  • Lead cross-functional teams to drive the development of innovative tools, and services. 
  • Analyse Innovation KPIs and metrics to measure return on investment in Innovation and take action where required. 
  • Protect our intellectual property and identify routes for optimal exploitation. 
  • Develop and monitor budgets from internal profit and external funding, against return, which is expected to have some delay in realisation. 


4. Team Leadership 

  • Build and manage high-performing teams by developing talent within the business and recruiting to grow the Operations and Innovation functions. 
  • Enable a fluid Innovation team personnel, allowing skill development across the business and to provide greater flexibility in our resource management. 
  • Set clear performance expectations, provide regular feedback, and promote a culture of accountability and continuous improvement, in balance with a culture that supports failure and curiosity. 



  • Bachelor’s degree in Business, Operations Management, or a related field; MBA preferred. 
  • Proven practical experience in operations management within an SME in professional services. 
  • Track record of successfully leading innovation initiatives and driving change within an organisation. 
  • Strong analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills. 
  • Excellent leadership, communication, and interpersonal abilities. 
  • Proficiency in project management and process improvement methodologies.


Salary: circa £75k + 25% bonus and generous pension contribution.


Why work at the Smith Institute?

  • Flexible working for all – work your contracted hours at times that best suit you and our customers, at home, in the office or as a mixture of both
  • Health and well-being support – the Smith Institute provides up to three months’ contractual sick pay, have qualified Mental Health First Aiders, a Mindful Employer Plus membership and offer additional leave allowance to care for close family members
  • Social events – most months our Social Committee organise events and we also have ongoing activities, including pub socials, a book club, a fantasy football league and a board games library
  • Employee benefits – employee discount platform and Employee assistance programme
  • Enhanced leave – bereavement, dependency, maternity, paternity & shared parental leave
  • Mentoring – from colleagues and leading academics
  • Generous pension scheme with Life Assurance and income protection
  • All IT equipment provided and maintained
  • Interesting and challenging work with purpose


Excited to be part of our business? Email us your CV and covering letter, explaining why you are the best person for this role, at