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Career At The British Council

Date Posted: 21/Aug/2014
Deadline: 31/Aug/2014

The British Council is currently looking for a suitably qualified and experienced individual to join us in Lagos as:

Director Business Services

Job Ref: (DBS-002)
Location: Lagos
Reports to: Country Director


Other relevant information:


  • There is an MOU between the Nigerian and UK governments that allow partner to work, providing there is no conflict with their diplomatic status.
  • If you are managing a chronic health problem you will need to check if local healthcare is adequate for the condition.
  • Colleagues in same-sex partnerships might want to review the advice provided by ILGA at

External Stakeholders & Key Relationships:

  • FCO and DFID especially in relation to security, risk and facilities management
  • Standard Chartered Bank – local account management team
  • Senior Nigerian stakeholders based in Lagos and the South of Nigeria
  • Security providers
  • Local authorities
  • Legal and Tax Advisers – local
  • State Tax Authorities
  • Procurement Advisers – local
  • Technology providers  
  • Utility companies
  • Contractors and suppliers related to premises and vehicles
  • Corporate teams including Global Estates, Legal, Procurement, Security, Risk Management, Tax& Status.

Role Requirements
Role Purpose & Impact: Strategic leadership of British Council Nigeria’s Business Services enabling cost effective delivery of the country strategy and achievement of impact and income.

Key Accountabilities:


  1. Country Leadership: Contribute to the development of the Country Strategy and Business Plan with particular emphasis on risk, platform, finance and stakeholder management. Ensure strong linkages between priorities for Business Services and the achievement of impact and income targets.Leadership of Lagos and Port Harcourt operations as well general activity across South Nigeria. Deputise for Country Director as required.
  2. Business Services Management: Accountable to Country Director for setting and implementing the Business Services Strategy working closely with regional and global stakeholders. Ensure appropriate performance indicators and targets are developed to ensure the continuous improvement of services.
  3. Income &Growth: Ensure that appropriate frameworks are in place to support the income and growth ambition of the Nigeria Country Strategy (e.g. for security or procurement). Develop innovative solutions to operational challenges created by the Nigeria operating environment e.g. through technology or consultancy.
  4. Governance & Operational Management: Ensure that efficient, effective and economic services are provided in support of delivery of the Nigeria Country Strategy. This includes Facilities, Finance, IKM, IT, Legal & Contract Management, Procurement, Risk Management, Security and Tax. Ensure that all programme teams (including contract teams) have access to the right support and information.Ensure compliance with all British Council Group and external legal and tax reporting requirements.
  5. Quality Assurance: Accountable to Country Director for the development and implementation of quality standards for all areas of Business Services with reference to corporate requirements. Ensure that Business Services teams are familiar and compliant with agreed standards.
  6. Staff Leadership: Accountable for the effective leadership of all relevant staff.  Coach and support the teams involved in delivering outcomes.  Model the right behaviours and ensure that all staff work in alignment with the British Council Mission and Values at all times.
  7. Change Management: Accountable to Country Director for ensuring that the Business Services country level organisation is fit-for-purpose and is designed and developed to deliver effectively, in alignment with regional and corporate planning. Manage change projects (e.g. premises) as required.
  8. Functional, Regional & Global Leadership: As a member of the Regional Leadership Team, contribute actively and co-lead on regional strategy, leadership, policy and decision making, including impact and income. Ensure the dissemination of best practice to corporate, regional and global teams within own area of expertise

Key Result Areas:
These are the headline measures for this role; if you are delivering these, then all key accountabilities will be achieved


  • Effective leadership and management of key internal, HMG and external stakeholders.
  • Provision of an effective security and risk management environment that enables the delivery of the Country Strategy.
  • Provision of fit-for-purpose premises and technology infrastructure that supports growth of impact and income and safeguards the British Council brand.
  • Effective financial planning and management at the business, programme/contract and service level. Costing and pricing models that enable growth in partnership and client-funded income.
  • Ensuring the right status, tax and contractual frameworks are set up and managed to enable the delivery of business strategy and targets.

Person Specification:

  •  Selection decisions will take into account all the elements listed in the Person Specification
  • Applications from candidates applying on promotion will be subject to a shortlisting process
  • Those elements coded ‘SL’ will be used for shortlisting and will also be explored at interview
  • Those elements coded ‘NN’, for Non-Negotiable are these elements considered essential for the role and will be explored at interview
  • Elements that are not coded may also be explored at interview

1.) Expertise: full descriptors can be found by following the link to 1.Generic Skills;
a.) Financial Planning & Management (Level 3)(SL)
b.) Business Management & Development (Level 3)(SL)
c.) Marketing & Customer Service (Level 3)(SL)
d.) Project and Contract Management(Level 3) (SL)

2.) Experience:
a.) Strategy Implementation: depth and breadth of implementing either a significant strategic programme or a significant strategic piece of work, whether in a Strategic Business Unit, at Country or Regional level(SL,NN)
b.) Cultural Relations: proven experience of engaging and managing influential stakeholders and partnerships to achieve agreed outcomes and business results(SL, NN)
c.) Income Generation:  track record of negotiating, agreeing, establishing and delivering income generation through (your business area/s), or other income delivery vehicles/mechanisms
d.) Virtual Team Leadership: experience of achieving outcomes and exceptional results through others, in particular virtual teams and those not in direct reporting lines  (SL, NN)

3.) Behaviours:
Appointees to roles at this level are expected to demonstrate all six Behaviours at the “most demanding” level.  All six Behaviours will be assessed in the selection process with particular emphasis on:  
a.) Shaping the Future(NN)
b.) Creating shared Purpose(NN)
c.) Making it Happen (NN)

4.) Qualifications:
a.) Programme and/or project management e.g. academic or MSP/APM or equivalent
b.) Or substantial experience that demonstrates a similar level of qualification

5.) Job-specific expertise or experience:
a.) Risk Management  in emerging economy/ developing country or other challenging environment (SL, NN)
b.) Resource management of substantial premises or other assets (SL,NN)
c.) Procurement and Contract Management of substantial goods and services (e.g. total current spend in Nigeria is £17 million/year) (SL,NN)
d.) Business/commercial financial management of substantial turnover (e.g. £5 million) (SL, NN)
e.) Consultancy and facilitation skills – both internal and external (SL,NN)

Method of Application

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