Status: Closed - Another successful assignment for Oakleigh Resourcing

Role: Head of Partnership and Business Development

Client: British Council

Department: Partnership and Business Development

Location: British Council Offices, Spring Gardens, London SW1A

Duration of job: Permanent

Remuneration: Up to £65,000 (depending on experience) plus London Weighting Allowance, Pension, 32 days holiday and impressive family friendly policies

Purpose of Job:

To lead on the second phase of the British Council's partnership strategy and support the changes in capabilities policies and behaviours required to secure partnership commitments at the increased pace and scale of the corporate plan.  This role will directly, or indirectly, manage some key global accounts, and establish a high-skilled multi-disciplinary team that provides research, tools and support to partnership activity and the network of partnerships leads throughout the organisation.


Context and environment:

Two years ago, the British Council set out a vision to be a partnering organisation in everything that we do.  Our plan is to double our partnership income by 2014/2015 to over £60m and become much less dependent on the HMG grant.  We are looking to establish genuine and transformational partnerships - we see the benefits of partnering in terms of income, impact, innovation and influence.

We already have partnerships with some world-class organisations including the Premier League, HSBC, Nokia and Microsoft.  However, to achieve our targets we will need a step-change in our culture and ways of working which puts our partners' needs first.  We also need to make sure we develop attractive product and service portfolio which are commercially viable and attractive for partnerships.

The role of the central Partnership and Business Development Department is to drive this change through the organisation and, specifically, to:

  • Set the organisational strategy and framework for partnerships.
  • Incubate a business development approach for UK trusts, NGOs, Arts sponsorship, and some UK based global partners.
  • Support partnerships work in the network and SBUs by providing tools, collateral, research and consultancy, with a particular focus on the top 30 global partners.
  • Drive a step-change in the global partnerships team and in the organisation's partnering culture and capability.

This role will manage a core team that lead on capabilities, internal communications and planning, market research insight, and external communication, cultivation and account management, and will work closely with the wider partnerships network based in the UK and internationally.

Accountabilities, responsibilities and main duties

As manager of a small, central team, the role is accountable for development and implementation of the Partnerships and Business Development plan, covering the four core roles of the departments as above.  Key responsibilities for the role are:

Organisational planning and strategy around the second stage of our partnership vision and strategy

  • Ensure that all colleagues, especially senior SBU and Global Network stakeholders, have a clear understanding of, and buy-in, to our partnership vision, objectives and 2015 corporate plan targets, and that this is reflected in the annual and five-year corporate planning processes.
  • Put in place the policies and processes necessary to be a high performing organisation, particularly account management, CRM and due diligence.
  • Develop our ability to monitor, and produce insightful analysis of, partnership performance across SBUs, regions and sectors.
  • Update our internal communications strategy, to raise the profile of the partnerships agenda, of case studies and stories to progress, and of the tools and support available.

Market-facing account management and business development

  • Work with senior SBU and account management stakeholders to review corporate strategies and business needs, and existing partnerships, to drive more value from top 30 global partnerships across the four 'I's.
  • Account manage a small number of UK-based partners, developing a better British Council understanding of their business and vice versa, in order to grow existing or develop new aspects of partnership with a quantifiable contribution to the four 'I's.
  • Build systematic relationships with the top management of global organisations, and work closely with partners to understand the current and future business needs, their strategic plans and objectives and grow new and existing projects.
  • Line manage and support staff to develop income-generating partnerships among key UK-based partners.

Providing professional tools, collateral and research to add value to partnerships activity across the organisation

  • Work with External Relations on a joined-up approach to cultivation of UK based stakeholders through events, publications and other touch-points.
  • Manage a refresh of the suite of marketing materials to use globally; e.g film presentation, leaflets, web.
  • Manage a programme of in-depth research to consolidate and extend the British Council's knowledge and insight of existing and potential strategic partners, with a focus on areas and sectors of high internal interest and high external potential.

A quantifiable step-up in the organisation's capability around partnering

  • Working with staff across the organisation to create an active and high skilled network of partnership leads.
  • Work with internal stakeholders and HR managers to identify the key skills and gaps, and to capture this in a 'baseline'.
  • Manage the development and implementation of a programme of activities, including regional and SBU workshops, online training modules, and the development of practical toolkits and guidance based on external best practice.
  • Develop a clear consultancy 'offer' from the team to the wider organisation, based around a suite of toolkits and guidance, and hands-on consultancy for opportunities of strategic importance.

Leading and up-skilling a multi-disciplinary core team

  • Recruit and develop the team so that it has the right technical professional skills to add value to the organisation's partnership agenda.
  • Provide clear plans and performance management for 6-8 FTE focused on where the team can add value, in line with Partnerships and Business Development corporate plan.
  • Manage and review departmental finances and operational plans.

Key relationships

Internal:  Senior SBU and country/regional staff; 10-15 global account managers; Corporate HQ; Global Finance.

External:  Existing and potential partner organisations; sector forums.

Other important features or requirements of the job

  • Travel likely to be required across the regions
  • The postholder must have the right to work in the UK

Person Specification

Behaviours (the Behaviours Dictionary can be viewed on the British Council website)


  • Creating shared purpose
  • Connecting with others
  • Making it happen

Skills and Knowledge


Partnership Development expertise

  • An excellent understanding of the capabilities and processes needed to develop income-generating partnerships; e.g. account management, market insight, cultivation.

Market insight

  • Good understanding of a range of corporate and trust sectors, and best practice in cross-sector collaboration.

Relationship building

  • Proven ability to identify, develop and manage relationships with potential major partners across a range of sectors and industries.

Organisatioal policy and planning

  • Able to develop and monitor operational plans, set relevant KPIs etc.
  • Understanding of relevant policy and process areas; e.g. HR, due diligence.
  • Effective writing skills.

Leadership and management

  • An understanding of how to manage staff individually and as a team, especially through periods of change.
  • Can identify how to add value and review impact of an 'enabling' team.

Financial planning and management

  • Able to analyse and interpret complex financial data in order to make appropriate recommendations/proposals to business plans/projects.

Organisational awareness

  • Understands how to leverage the British Council's strengths, servie and products to meet partners needs.



  • Managing and developing a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Experience of working across a matrix structure to drive and deliver a substantial change agenda.


  • Senior management experience in a large (e.g. £10m+) business development/fundraising department.

The Assessment Process

The assessment process provides both parties with the opportunities to assess the cultural and team fit, individual and organisation aspirations, and details of key objectives and priorities for the role.  Elaine Rippon is the retained consultant for this assignment.

To apply for this position please email your CV with current remuneration details, stating which role you are interested in, to Alison Harkness at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Elaine Rippon on 01477 5344491 to discuss further.  Closing date: 24th September 2013.