IDEO tackles complex sets of challenges across industries, and in order to do that, we form multidisciplinary teams who bring a wide range of expertise and experience.
We are a vast and varied group—entrepreneurs, teachers, doctors, architects, programmers, journalists, anthropologists, engineers, toy makers, filmmakers—and we all bring different perspectives to our work.
No matter the background, everyone thinks like a designer at IDEO. Whether you’re an accountant, a talent recruiter, or researcher, you’re integral to a community that designs the systems that keep our business strong.
We believe that those who work for a company based on purpose and motivation are more likely to be fulfilled in their careers. We support our employees in this way by providing the opportunity to:
IDEOers are diverse in perspective, backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences. We encourage one another to be who we are, and share that with one another. We appreciate and celebrate each other’s similarities and differences—it makes for a comfortable, supportive workplace, and powerful, impactful work.
We are committed to providing a creative, challenging, dynamic environment for employees to explore, work, and grow in. We encourage employees to identify and activate their purpose—and support them in doing so by drawing connections between their purpose and IDEO’s mission.
We believe that everyone regularly flows between states of learning, fluency, and mastery, and want our employees to feel supported and directed as they transition between these stages. We support individuals’ careers in a way that allows each employee to take ownership and align their personal purpose with the work and business needs of IDEO.
IDEO sets new employees up for success from the beginning. We’ve designed a three-day onboarding program called IDEO 101—an immersive experience chock full of institutional knowledge from our leaders, wayfinding, and relationship building with fellow employees from IDEO’s nine global studios. Take a sneak peek into the experience:
We are a community of designers and makers itching at the opportunity to solve complex problems and push solutions beyond what seems possible. Our highly collaborative work style is an encouraging one. We build on each other’s ideas to design impactful, sometimes provocative, solutions for some of the world’s toughest challenges.
IDEO gives its employees the permission and autonomy to reframe questions and ask “Why?”. Why are we designing this? What need are we solving? Who is this for? Every IDEOer—no matter their role or title—is empowered to observe, question, experiment, and create.
IDEOers are unique in that they are designing to address real needs—to positively impact the lives of others. Contributing to IDEO’s work—whether for clients or the organization itself—means making a difference.
The power of Human Centered Design is that it allows us to play and design solutions in many capacities. Our work spans product design, service design, experience design, digital transformation, venture design, and more. Check out some of our case studies here.
It goes without saying that we want to take care of our biggest asset, our people. This is why IDEO is dedicated to providing our employees with a comprehensive benefits package. It’s something we believe allows people to do their best work, which is why, in addition to base salary, we provide a competitive benefits and bonus offering.
A balanced life is a happy one. Our employees enjoy the benefit of:
Taking time off that’s appropriate for their individual workloads
A 401(k) plan with match for all eligible employees
IDEO has seven core values that bind us together, and they are just as relevant today as when we were founded over 30 years ago. Our values shape our culture and space, and drive how we work.
We’re eager to meet candidates who are authentically aligned with these values, so we design our interviews to assess values alignment in addition to skills and experience.
Our values are:
Make Others Successful
Learn From Failure
Talk Less, Do More
I have been working at IDEO full-time
IDEO is a place that can afford you a lot of autonomy in how you want to grow and what you want to do. That being said, it's still a consultancy and is in service of others to drive their ambition. The employee experience can feel like you're thrown in the deep end of a pool, and then realize you're not even in a pool at all. But if you're able to have an open mindset, figure out what tools and levers to pull, understand that collaboration with a POV gets you buy-in, it can be a really rewarding place where you can really push an organization, design, and transformation in many ways.
The people that work here are generally pretty amazing coworkers that you'll be hard pressed to let go of. Build as much community as you can here, and you never know if you might work with another IDEOer again in a future state.
There is a s*load of ambiguity at times. The systems have behaviors don't really seem to rein those in just yet, and you'll often have to figure a lot of initiatives, tools, and relationships out on your own.
Advice to Management
Like many others have said, being transparent helps a lot to understand the fact that we're all human. If full transparency isn't available, then communicate clearly at different levels of management and influence so that everyone gets aligned more quickly, instead of constant backchanneling.
Teach leadership skills, and practice them at the senior levels.
Realize the burden of aspirational leaders who have to demonstrate success on so many levels in order to seek the recognition and rewards of a Director title.
Re-think your comp structure in order to stay competitive for the best and brightest talent.
I applied online. I interviewed at IDEO (New York, NY) in June 2017.
I submitted an application and cover letter via IDEO's website. I was thrilled to get a response, as I know it's very competitive. I was invited in for an in-person interview in their NYC office. The interview scheduling and coordination was courteous and professional.
In the interview, I met with two designers and one design director. I walked the team through 2 case studies. All interviewers were thoughtful and asked great questions about my work. While I did not receive an offer, the interview was a great opportunity to talk with IDEO designers and directors, get feedback on my work, and see their offices. These folks were all very nice and seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say.