Job Opportunity: Studio 3 Chief Operating Officer

Studio 3 are our clinical partners.  We work closely with them in shaping bespoke plans for people with complex reputations.  They provide the clinical insight that enables us to design ways to really be alongside people and to shape the least restrictive support arrangements.  Studio 3 are now recruiting for a Chief Operating Officer.  It’s a role that will link closely with us at LivesthroughFriends so we’re keen to help them find the perfect person.  The job description and information on applying are below.   

Role: Chief Operating Officer, Studio 3
Full time, Salary: £50,000
Location: Flexible, main Studio 3 Office is Alcester, B49 5ET

Studio 3 is a leading provider of person-centred training, clinical assessment and support in the field of autism, intellectual disability, adverse childhood experiences, trauma-informed care and the reduction and elimination of restrictive care practices.

Founded in the 1990s, Studio 3 promotes the ideals and benefits of positive psychology and we are the originators of Low Arousal Approaches. We operate across the UK and internationally, with a strong reputation for values-driven, practical work that directly improves people’s lives.

After a period of growth and as we look to the future, we are looking to appoint a Chief Operating Officer to help drive our organisation forward in support of the founding CEO, Professor Andy McDonnell and the managing clinicians and professionals in the organisation.

This is a crucial appointment. We are looking for someone able to play a unifying role across management, business development, finance, marketing, recruitment and delivery. Our COO will take on the co-ordination of our operations such that our founding CEO can be freed up to focus more on the development and promotion of non-restrictive practices.

Our dream COO is someone who brings world-class organisational skills, but also the gravitas to provide internal leadership to the staff team. They will be driven by both business nous and a commitment to the values of person-centred support.

Ultimately, done right, the COO role will make the rest of our team’s lives better, by creating the conditions for them to flourish, and for the organisation to make informed strategic decisions that ensure we are making the most difference in the years ahead.

This is a big job, in an exciting organisation, at a pivotal moment.

The Chief Operating Officer’s Key Responsibilities
This is a new role so the shape of the priorities and duties will develop over time. Top of the ‘To Do List’ as it stands includes:

Reviewing and tightening up our business processes: as a complex human services organisation we’ve numerous processes that ensure work is secured, allocated, delivered and funded. Some of it works well, some of it could probably work better. As you get to know your way around the organisation, you will identify and implement ways of making it all flow efficiently.
Ensuring policies and processes support a positive company culture: you’ll put in place and oversee the necessary infrastructure for us to operate efficiently, but in doing so you’ll also ensure that we remain an agile organisation, that our values are front and centre, and that colleagues are listened to, highly motivated and well supported.
Reporting on our performance to inform decision-making: sitting at the heart of the organisation you’ll be continually capturing data and insight into how things are going. You’ll share this in a way that helps us understand how we are performing and analysing it all to identify what can be done to make things even better.
Helping us bring in new business to ensure we’re generating enough of the right work: you’ll know what we do, our skills and our capacity so you’ll be well placed to review tenders to determine if we should bid and be able to co-ordinate responses from across the organisation to those we go after. You’ll also bring your skills to meetings with commissioners and other referrers to identify what needs doing and how Studio 3 could deliver. The bottom line is that you will need to impact positively on our bottom line.
Developing clear plans for how we communicate: this covers both external audiences, in our marketing, and internally so our team knows what they need to know. You’ll collate the key messages to be shared and ensure there is a consistent and engaging way of reaching those we want to communicate with.
Ensuring we have the right people in our team to deliver: in understanding the capacity and skills we need to fulfil our commitments and grow our business you’ll be able to develop plans for the structure of our team. You’ll know where and when we need to boost our team and will oversee the processes to recruit the best people and to bring them into the organisation so they complement the wider team.
Developing the team to help you fulfil all this: There’s a lot to do and you won’t be able to do it single-handed. So as you get to know the team and the business, you will allocate and delegate key tasks and responsibilities so you can maintain the overview and ensure we’re all pulling in the right direction.
Ultimately, you’ll take over day to day operational oversight: you’ll be co-ordinating our activity and responding to questions about delivery from our operations in UK and Ireland. You’ll have a handle on the detail and ensure there are clear lines of responsibility and communication for our teams so that the CEO and other Directors are freed up from doing this.

Your Skills and Experience

To thrive in this role, you need to be passionate about what we do. You don’t need expertise in psychological services, although that would be a great asset.

It’s most likely that you will have a ton of experience leading services and/or organisations. You’ll know your way around the public or third sector as well as understanding the role the private sector plays in providing care and support.

So your CV might feature roles as a service lead, a head of operations or senior management in a charity or statutory organisation. You’ll be able to give practical examples of delivery, business development, marketing/communications and working through others.

You’ll have natural assets of common sense and an enthusiasm that you can instil in others. You’ll be good at designing processes, but good at the people stuff too. You’ll be comfortable working on your own initiative as well as advising the senior and clinical teams.

Person Specification

To succeed in this role you will need the following attributes:
Essential – candidates will have to be able to evidence these attributes to progress through the selection process
• Significant experience in running human services organisations, departments or teams
• Experience managing people and demonstrable evidence of doing so whilst creating a positive culture
• Direct experience of developing and implementing policies, processes and procedures
• Experience of overseeing change in an organisation/team
• Comfortable with financial reporting and analysing operational performance
• Experience working effectively with Board / Senior Teams
• Evidence of collaborative work with clients and partner organisations
• A clear communicator – both writing and speaking
• A completer-finisher and a definite details person
• Self-managing and motivating, proactive and solution-focussed

Desirable – bringing these additional elements will strengthen an application over those without these experiences/attributes.
• Experience in psychological services and awareness of non-restrictive practices
• Understanding of public, private and third sectors in respect of delivery of psychological support services
• Previous experience as a Chief Operating Officer
• A track record of successful business development
• Experience of working directly with families and public sector commissioners
• Experience shaping and implementing a communication strategy
• Experience of having led Project Development proposals

Key relationships

• You’ll be working to relieve the demands on the CEO and to improve the working lives of the Directors and senior team.
• You’ll work closely with and through the Finance Manager, Office Manager and Business Manager.
• You’ll establish strong relationships with the management team and work with them to bring stability and predictability to the organisation. You’ll lead regular meetings of the leadership team.
• You’ll be visible to and in regular communication with the whole staff team.

• You’ll have oversight of service delivery agreements with external agencies and maintain positive relationships with key decision makers and professionals in other organisations.
• You’ll connect regularly with organisations we have a close relationship with and who refer work to us, notably LivesthroughFriends CIC and Access Social Care.

Next Steps
Fit and feel will be a big part of selecting the right person to be our COO. As such we’ll be looking to have a range of conversations with you and various people in our organisation and network. We will hold a final interview with those that there is a good connection with to explore experience, capability and understanding of the role.

For the first conversation, please contact the office on 01225 334111 or to arrange a time to speak with either Andy McDonnell or Dave Walker to find out more, express an interest and for information on how to apply.