Chief Content Officer

Do you obsess over what it takes to run effective organizations? Do colleagues come to you for advice on management challenges? And do you find yourself worried, angry, or otherwise unhappy about the state of the world and the direction of our country? If so, read on: The Management Center (TMC) is hiring a Chief Content Officer (or, if you prefer, “Ruler of All Content”) to ensure that our work is fueled by smart, rigorously thought-out, and easily accessible ideas and that we develop the tools and products to share those ideas with our clients and the broader social change world.

Who We Are

Our mission is to help social change leaders learn how to build and run more effective organizations so they can deliver great results. Founded in 2006, we have helped shape the practices of hundreds of influential organizations and thousands of individual managers, with a particular focus on leading progressive organizations working for social change. Our clients work on issues – like promoting immigration reform, fighting for racial, economic and gender justice, advocating for educational equity, and protecting voting rights – where they face an inherently uphill battle and so must fight more effectively than their opponents if they are going to win. We aim to help them do that by making their organizations as effective as possible, by providing coaching, training, and publications for the broader field.

We work hard to deliver services that produce extremely high levels of client satisfaction, which has enabled us to grow by word of mouth. As a result, we have more demand for our services than we can meet, and part of the way we hope to increase our impact and reach is by creating better resources and new products to make our lessons stick and so that it is easier for our staff and our clients to do their work. And given the state of our country, we are entering 2017 with tremendous urgency to make all of our resources and work as powerful as possible!

What You’ll Do

You will:

  • Lead our efforts to build our knowledge: You’ll be our chief “idea wrestler,” meaning that you’ll lead our thinking on how organizations can best address difficult management challenges. To do this, you’ll engage with our coaches and trainers to rigorously test ideas and formulate practical, concrete solutions that blend nuance with simplicity.
  • Create tools and resources to help our clients: Through your writing and editing you will serve as the voice of The Management Center, making topics like goal-setting compelling and easy to understand (and hopefully even funny).
  • Create new products: You will also bring an entrepreneurial spirit and intellectual rigor to creating new products through which we can generate impact, reputation, and revenue.

We have needed this position for years but it is a new role for us, which means your work will evolve over time and you will eventually set our “knowledge-building” agenda. If you were here right now though you might be working on projects like the following:

  • Leading a revamp of our core training curriculum so that its contents and activities do an even better job of leaving participants with the skills and mindsets we want them to;
  • Conceptualizing and producing version 2.0 of the “TMC Operating System,” a guide that leaders of growing organizations can use to put rigorous, sensible management systems in place;
  • Turning our ridiculously long internal “knowledge map” on managing across lines of difference and power (racial, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) into externally-appropriate resources to give managers practical guidance on how they can lead with an equity and inclusion lens;
  • Designing new training products, like a potential program on “the 7 habits of highly effective boards of directors”;
  • Helping us wrestle with the implications of the “manager-less organizations” movement and what we should learn from it;
  • Overhauling our monthly newsletter to make it even more useful and perhaps funnier (as if!);
  • Observing and likely leading occasional coaching engagements and/or training sessions to inform your work; and
  • Structuring and facilitating discussions across our team of practitioners (coaches and trainers) to foster an intellectual community and to accelerate our learning around what’s working and what’s not.

You may manage contractors to help with some of the above, and you will have the dubious privilege of reporting to our CEO, Jerry Hauser, who will measure your success primarily by the number and import of the products and tools you develop and the degree to which they shape our coaches’, trainers’, and clients’ day-to-day practices.

Who You Are

To be successful in this job, you will excel in five areas:

  1. Exceptional problem solving and rigorous thinking: You quickly grasp the subtleties of issues and come up with insightful and pragmatic ways to address them.
  2. Management and design alignment: You share our approach to management (results-oriented, practical, positive, and direct) and design of resources (easy-to-use, simple, concrete, friendly, neither preachy nor overly “touchy-feely”).
  3. Compelling writing: You write fluidly and can master our “voice” (ideally brilliant and funny!).
  4. Cultural competence and commitment to equity: Because our clients and their teams come from a range of backgrounds and because we’re committed to making our own organization one where people from all races and backgrounds thrive, you have experience working in and creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments. You bring real commitment to those values and a thoughtful perspective on how best to advance them.
  5. Interpersonal skills: You may not be the life of every – or any – party and, contrary to what other members of our staff might say, you need not enjoy karaoke, but you need to be able to engage effectively with our talented and diverse team members to generate and improve ideas and to garner buy-in to your decisions about content-related matters.

We are more interested in these qualities than in any particular type of experience. You do need to understand and empathize deeply with our clients’ challenges and to be able to interact with our team of trainers and coaches as a peer, all of which means that you have real experience as a manager, ideally including at least one significant stint as a senior executive within an organization. Prior experience in the progressive advocacy, educational equity, or broader nonprofit arenas is a plus, but not a requirement. You need to fit well with our culture, which we like to think blends excellence with heart (and a keen sense of humor helps).

What Else You Should Know

We are an equal opportunity employer, and we make a particular effort to recruit people of color to apply for open positions.

The position is ideally based in Washington, D.C., although for the ideal candidate we would consider a different location, and is ideally full-time, although it may be possible to set up a more flexible work schedule. For a candidate based outside of D.C., some travel would be required.

Salary will be in the mid-$100K’s, with the exact figure depending on your experience and demonstrated strengths, with very good benefits and an additional 5% employer contribution to your retirement fund.

What Now?

To apply, send a resume and cover letter to alison@managementcenter.org.


To ward off any confusion: This is the position formerly advertised as Chief Knowledge Officer.