Strategy Manager                                         

Start date:         April 2018 or ASAP from this date

Location:          Waterloo, London

The Challenge

The Challenge’s vision is a more integrated society where there is understanding and appreciation of each other’s differences. We design and deliver programmes that bring different people together to develop their confidence and skills in understanding and connecting with others. We believe everyone benefits when people from all walks of life come together to better know, understand and trust each other. This also applies to the people we employ to work with us. As an equal opportunities employer our aim is to have a diverse workforce to reflect the communities we work in.

This is a unique opportunity to join a dynamic, rapidly growing organisation, working with young people and local communities across the country. 

About the role

The Strategy team are accountable for defining the medium and long term corporate strategy of The Challenge, supporting the organisations in delivering strategic initiatives within this, and for developing and rolling out the impact measurement approach of the organisation. The team also supports directors and teams across the organisation with ad hoc support on fast moving special projects where strategic thinking, project leadership and analytic skills are needed.

The Strategy Manager/Senior Strategy Manager will be particularly focused on leading strategy projects for our programmes, and supporting The Challenge on setting and revisiting its long-term strategy. The successful candidate will have highly developed analytic and strategic thinking skills likely gained through 2+ years management consultancy or comparable experience.  They will have strong communication skills and will be confident in communicating with senior stakeholders (e.g., The Challenge Senior Leadership Team). The candidate will have mastery of relevant toolkits associated with these skills (Excel, Powerpoint etc.); be passionate about The Challenge’s vision to create a more integrated society; and be comfortable in an environment working with uncertainty and on new ideas.     

  • Status: This is a full-time, permanent role, reporting to the Head of Strategy who is an ex-top tier management consulant


  • Support The Challenge and its programmes in defining and refining long-term strategy
    • Lead projects that help our existing programmes to define and secure their long-term strategy and improve their ability to grow their impact, including identifying new funding opportunities, evaluating and improving business plans, evaluating and setting long-term goals of our programmes; and supporting our programmes through government procurement processes
  • Lead strategic projects that help The Challenge’s programmes improve in year performance
    • Work with Head of Strategy and relevant operational leads to scope out the most critical projects where strategy team support can have impact
    • Lead and work on some of these projects, pulling in relevant colleagues, in order to deliver timely, accurate and insightful outcomes that improve The Challenge’s ability to deliver on its programme targets.
  • Co-lead process to identify and develop ideas for new programme interventions, that The Challenge could deliver in the future
    • Work in partnership with policy and research team and impact manager to ensure that there are clear criteria for success for any new programmes to achieve, signed off by The Challenge’s executive leadership team
    • Work with policy and research team to identify upcoming opportunities for new programme funding from external sources and develop ideas, proposals and business plans to deliver these
    • Lead internal process to identify potential ideas for new programmes, lead feasibility studies and develop business plans to deliver these, delivering a proposal for at least one new internally-led proposal for board review at end of 2018 and regularly as required beyond this.
  • Support The Challenge and its programmes to define annual strategic objectives each year
    • Work with the finance team to ensure that strategic objectives are consistent with budget scope
    • Support the executive leadership team in drafting overall strategic plan and annual strategic objectives for 2019 and on an annual basis following this
  • Play a leadership role in improving The Challenge’s capabilities to think and act strategically
    • Periodically refresh or develop, and deliver training programmes aimed at improving other employees’ capabilities in thinking and acting strategically
    • Coach operational teams on strategic and analytic approaches and skills when working with these teams and their leadership on projects


  • Structured, logical, strategic thinker, ideally gained through 2+ years in a management consultancy or similar working environment
  • Highly analytical and excellent attention to detail
  • Clear and compelling communicator, credible with members of the senior leadership team
  • Excellent stakeholder engagement and management skills; ability to build productive relationships across an organisation and to project manage and influence effectively beyond organisation reporting lines
  • Ability to drive a strategic agenda within an operationally focused organisation
  • Strong project management skills; experience and capability to drive projects independently with limited support from Head of Strategy
  • Strong personal resilience
  • Comfort with ambiguity and ability to work flexibly, moving between projects where required
  • Passion for The Challenge’s vision of a more integrated society
  • Embodies The Challenge’s behaviour sets: professional; respect; empathy; trust


  • Experience of working with public or social sector organisations

Safeguarding Statement

The Challenge is committed to safeguarding and protecting the young people that we work with. As such, all posts are subject to a safer recruitment process, including the disclosure of criminal records and vetting checks. We ensure that we have a range of policies and procedures in place which promote safeguarding and safer working practice across our programmes.

We expect all staff and post holders to share this commitment to safeguarding by ensuring compliance with our policies and practices.

Employment Screening

Only applicants who have the right to work in the UK or have a valid visa or work permit for a minimum of 6 months at the time of application will be considered for this role.

Further Details

In addition to being part of a fun, dynamic and challenging workforce, we are proud to offer an attractive benefits package including contributory pension, Simplyhealth cash plan, Ride 2 Work, childcare vouchers, season ticket travel card loan etc. to eligible employees.

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