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Business Ops Strategy Sr Dir

  • Corporate & Business Initiatives
  • Franklin, WI Corporate

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.


The Sr Director Business Operations & Strategy is a key member of the Claims leadership team and serves as a trusted strategic advisor to the Claims department head.  They will help drive the Claims department strategy, vision, mission, and operating plan and will ensure strategic alignment across the department. 

Primary Duties & Responsibilities

Strategic Planning

  • Develops and directs Claims department strategy development, ensuring alignment with key business priorities and outcomes.
  • Leads department strategic initiatives that drive business value. Collaborates, plans and organizes with and through people to bridge strategies across teams and product lines within Claims.  Determines inter-dependencies across the function and organization and facilitates work to support the strategy.  
  • Working with others from across the department, serves as the point person for creating and revising content for SLT/Board/Field presentations.
  • Partners with department/functional leadership team to identify, track and create transparency around priority work to align with strategic priorities.    

Business Operations

  • Responsible for strategy and planning to align business operations with the company's overarching strategy, mission and goals.
  • Helps identify gaps between ideal and current state of operating model and recommends solutions to close the gaps.
  • Partners with other Claims leaders to help facilitate execution of departmental operating model to improve the health of the department.
  • Exhibits expert level and business acumen in order to solve unique, complex problems across the department and function with a broad impact on the business; requires conceptual and innovative thinking to develop solutions.
  • Anticipates business issues; recommends product, process or service improvements.

Meeting Planning

  • Plans and prepares agendas for departmental staff or leadership meetings and planning sessions; guides department meeting structures.
  • Participates in regular department leadership meetings to evaluate barriers to success and develop courses of action to overcome issues at the departmental level.
  • Assists and impacts the direction and resource allocation for programs, projects or services and ensures alignment of functional/departmental priorities to organizational strategy.
  • Facilitates cross-functional initiatives and the flow of information between stakeholders and other teams for developing and implementing strategy.
  • Coordinates requests for information from stakeholders and prepares reports and presentations in response.

Trusted Advisor

  • Represents and provides support to the Claims department head to facilitate effective decision-making which has a significant impact on the organization; this includes strategic planning, support for roadmap development and operational planning, leading key departmental / functional priorities, and meeting planning and preparation. Has a high impact on the implementation of strategic initiatives that carry out overarching departmental / functional and organizational objectives.
  • Establishes and maintains organizational savviness, an executive presence and high level of business acumen in order to unearth issues, opportunities, problems, etc.


  • Minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible business experience.
  • Proven leadership skills working with diverse teams.
  • Superior interpersonal skills to lead groups of people.
  • Demonstrated experience in strategic and operational planning, and leading multiple complex projects with organization-wide impact.
  • Demonstrated organizational agility to work across organizational boundaries, influence, and collaborate with all levels on solutions that benefit the organization.
  • Ability to work horizontally with shared priorities; elevate functional priorities over department objectives.
  • Thinks within lateral accountabilities and interdependence.
  • Proven skills in dealing with ambiguity and paradox, and leading change. 
  • Agility in flexing skills to meet business needs. 
  • Exceptional business acumen and focus on achieving business impact through progressive practices and sound business judgment. Seeks to understand business processes in the Claims department.
  • Ability to translate goals and strategies into executable business plans.
  • Strong integrity and proven ability to treat confidential information confidentially.
  • Demonstrated learning agility and outside-in perspective to identify future trends and practices.
  • Strong organizational skills; able to handle competing demands, and work under tight deadlines and short time frames.
  • Strong problem solving and strategic/critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to identify underlying issues and influence others without formal authority.
  • Facilitation and team building skills; ability to play an active, operational and communicative role. Interpersonal savvy and comfort interacting with and presenting to all levels of the organization, including senior leaders.
  • High degree of self-motivation with leadership and initiative in sharing information, contributing towards group goals, and accepting responsibility for results.
  • Pro-active and an ability to anticipate needs for a range of broad / complex business problems and staying ahead of them; comfortable working in an ambiguous environment.

Compensation Range:

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Northwestern Mutual pays on a geographic-specific salary structure and placement in the salary range for this position will be determined by a number of factors including the skills, education, training, credentials and experience of the candidate; the scope, complexity as well as the cost of labor in the market; and other conditions of employment. At Northwestern Mutual, it is not typical for an individual to be hired at or near the top of the range for their role and compensation decisions are dependent on the facts and circumstances of each case. Please note that the salary range listed in the posting is the standard pay structure. Positions in certain locations (such as California) may provide an increase on the standard pay structure based on the location. Please click here for additiona l information relating to location-based pay structures.

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We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.

If you work or would be working in California, Colorado, New York City, Washington or outside of a Corporate location, please click here for information pertaining to compensation and benefits.


We’re excited about the potential people bring to Northwestern Mutual. You can grow your career here while enjoying first-class perks, benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.