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Sr. Director Enterprise Process Automation

  • 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.


Regarded as an expert in developing, identifying, analyzing, and improving existing, complex, and unique business processes to improve product/service quality, increase efficiencies, reduce costs or waste, decrease errors or delays, and increase customer satisfaction. Influences and contributes to the development of strategic business decisions and leads implementation of process improvement opportunities across the enterprise at all organizational levels.

Primary Duties & Responsibilities:

Delivers superior business performance by relentlessly pursuing process excellence on behalf of our employees, field, and clients.  Architect experiences using business process management and automation to design, analyze, implement, and control processes.

Drive Business Performance

  • At an expert level, measures, analyzes, and evaluates existing processes, collects data to identify root causes, performs cost benefit analysis, and identifies improvement opportunities.
  • Drives improvements with notable risk and complexity that have a broad impact on the business, while maintaining business and enterprise perspective.
  • Anticipates business and regulatory issues; develops, recommends, and implements unique solutions for process improvement, system enhancement, and operations efficiency that are aligned with business strategies.
  • Proactively monitors the holistic health (control parameters) of processes within the respective journey, implements action if degradation occurs, and adjusts controls as necessary
  • Designs, guides, and promotes process architecture that aligns with business strategies and priorities.
  • Implements best practices on process improvement activities across the organization.
  • Implements process improvement tools, techniques, and automation technology to determine potential impact and opportunities to provide additional value to the organization.
  • Demonstrates highly empathetic, customer-centric service while aiding others in their learning and execution of transformational activities.
  • Demonstrates independent, expert level command of business process principles and methods, and guides improvement initiatives and mindsets for business partners with expert level emotional intelligence and political acumen.
  • Collaborates with, and persuades business leaders, technology, and other stakeholders to connect process architecture roadmap with operational decisions.
  • Guides highly complex process reengineering and technology implementation to enable process redesign and innovation.
  • Develops and deploys strategy for execution of business process architecture and management framework that provides measurable impact across the organization through principles, best practices, patterns, guidelines, standards, methods, techniques, and models.
  • Demonstrates digital savvy and engages the business and technology experts to innovative future state processes with high first-pass yield, high field/client satisfaction, and a frictionless employee experience.

Subject Matter Expertise

  • Provides expert-level subject matter expertise in process improvement to product, operations, and/or technology teams in collaboration with other disciplines.
  • Exhibits a mastery of end-to-end processes within respective journey (e.g., volume, AHT, costs, cycle time, defects within processes, processes that are defects)


  • Integrates expert knowledge of own discipline with knowledge of other disciplines and business strategies to provide solutions to the most challenging, unique, cross-organizational problems, which span multiple priorities, experience journeys, departments and functions.
  • Integrates staff from various functions and leads large-scale, complex, cross-functional projects with an enterprise perspective.
  • Builds commitment and understanding required to accomplish the improvement goals for the organization.
  • Serves as an improvement coach, expert and mentor by senior management throughout the organization.
  • Leads others through ambiguity with confidence and engagement.
  • Persuades senior leadership in setting the strategic direction for process improvement capability and ensuring maximum business outcomes are achieved.
  • Develops and manages relationships with key corporate partners to advance engagement, alignment, and understanding of the benefits of business process excellence for their teams and the business as a whole.
  • Assists with change management, communication and training plans for field and home office on projects and process improvements opportunities.

Talent Development

  • Proactively coaches, trains, and mentors leaders and staff at all levels of the organization on principles, behaviors, methods, and tools to promote and sustain cultural transformation.
  • Mentors, teaches, and guides others in business process excellence.


  • Bachelor's degree or an equivalent.
  • Minimum of 10 years of project management and process transformation experience, with numerous experiences leading complex, large-scale improvements and projects.
  • Preferred: Experience in hyper-automation design and delivery, including but not limited to robotic process automation, desktop automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning
  • Strong communication at various levels of the organization to increase engagement and understanding of business process excellence strategies, processes, goals, and benefits.
  • Strong project management skills with the ability to lead or manage highly complex projects involving multiple stakeholders, process improvements, communications, and difficult change management.
  • Superior oral and written communications skills with the proven ability to build relationships and successfully negotiate issues with the home office and field.
  • Superior business and political acumen.
  • Deep experience with utilizing various systems to collect and analyze data.
  • Previous Facilitator and Coaching experiences where problem solving, process development, and/or behavior change methods and tools have been demonstrated.
  • Recognized expert-level experience (i.e., Master Black Belt equivalent) with Lean, Six Sigma, or similar methodology.
  • Proven track record of analyzing current state issues, determining root causes, and designing transformational experiences aligned to a strategic direction, ensuring stabilization and sustainability.
  • Demonstrated superior leadership skills and a high degree of self-motivation and initiative.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead, direct and influence with authority at all levels of an organization.
  • Strong leadership experience in a transformational, fast-paced environment.
  • Experience in designing and implementing large high-impact roll-out efforts to ensure sustainability of individual efforts as well as of business process excellence.
  • Proven ability to lead decision making process through idea sharing and consensus building.
  • Proven ability to build rapport, negotiate, gain the confidence and work successfully with leaders in a variety of areas across the company.
  • Ability to generate new ideas and go beyond the status quo; recognize the need for new or modified approaches.
  • Proven management skills including negotiating, leadership, delegation, planning and organization



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W e 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.

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