An experienced Executive PA to support the global executive leadership team.
History and purpose
Cognician is a multi-award-winning online learning company with offices in Cape Town, London and San Francisco. Our founding belief is that people are capable of great things when their behaviour is driven by powerful ideas and deeply felt emotions. Driven by this belief we bring together a unique approach to learning and a world-class tech platform to activate behaviour change in large, global organisations. What does that mean? It means we deliver significant, measurable behaviour change to our clients in 30 days or less.
Cognician was founded in 2010 by Barry and Patrick Kayton, who grew the company and platform out of their previous instructional design agency, Bright Sparks, founded in 1999. After being joined by Robert Stuttaford, CTO, and Michael Leeman, CFO, the core founding team went on to grow Cognician into a team of 60 strong, and the world’s best-kept secret in corporate learning. And now we’ve had the good fortune of expanding our Leadership Team to include Colin Sloman, as our inaugural Chief Strategy Officer.
Our primary global partner and client is Accenture. Via Accenture and other partners we have acquired an enviable list of Fortune 500 clients. Our aim now is to accelerate our growth through content marketing, driving the sale of our packaged products and maintaining a compelling dialogue with clients and prospects.
Online corporate learning, operating at the intersection of learning and change management.
We’re looking for an experienced Executive PA (aka overall administrative ninja) to reliably and accurately organise and support the global executive leadership team here at Cognician. You’ll be collaborating with senior management to maximize productivity.
You will report directly to the Chief Strategy Officer.
What experience do you have?
We’re looking for someone who has a proven track record in:
- Delivering a high level administrative service in a fast-paced environment which includes organising diaries, meetings, minute-taking, communications, drafting correspondence and producing complex documentation.
- Maintaining accurate and efficient records.
- Planning, organizing and problem-solving to complete multiple deadline-driven projects efficiently and on time across time zones.
- Hyper-responsivity to stakeholder needs and requirements
- Successfully dealing with competing demands while maintaining complete confidentiality.
You’ve worked for a minimum of two years in an Executive PA role doing exactly the above.
What will you do?
You’ll order chaos and unleash x10 potential! Through expert planning and coordination you’ll support leadership in creating the space to focus on the deep strategic work that drives the company forward.
How do you know this job is for you?
Here are some things that folks might have said about you, or that you might believe are true about yourself.
You’re a fantastic organiser. Managing multiple diaries makes your heart go faster. In a good way!
You’re the Master of the Calendar Matrix and the Ruler of Executive Inboxes.
You’re incredibly practical and empathetic. You have a sixth sense for the needs of others.
Also, think about the extent to which these statements apply to you:
- You get stuff done. Always. On time or before.
- You’re hyper responsive. If there’s a phone ringing in the room, you answer it. If you see someone who looks lost in your office, you’re the first one who asks if they need help. When you see an email land in your inbox, you respond almost immediately.
- You’re a connector. When you’re at parties, you’re the one getting to know everyone.
- Service would have to be one of your love languages and supporting is your superpower.
- You take curveballs, setbacks, disappointment and stress in your stride. These are all part of the terrain of the working world, and you’ve developed a fitness for long distance journeys across this landscape.
A typical day
[Before you kick off, we hope you’ve had a good night’s sleep, a good breakfast, and perhaps a walk, a cycle, or a run, with lots of fresh air. We value wellbeing, and it starts with how you organise your day.]
- You pop in on the team channel and warmly greet your fellow Cognoscenti before diving into your Asana inbox for some happy triaging.
- Ever watching the Executive’s inboxes, you’re quick to respond to key engagement requests.
- You enter and tame the Executive Diary Matrix - schedule and reschedule to bring efficiencies.
- Next up – stakeholder catch-ups across time zones. They run like clockwork as you anticipate, confirm and action requirements, trusting Asana and your calendar to keep you honest.
- Because you’re a pro at prioritising, you quickly craft an OOO message for Chief Strategy Officer, Colin, who will be flying out to the Big Apple later in the day. You make sure that you have a clear communications escalation process.
- You dial the hotel for the 10th time to ensure no last minute changes or booking gremlins have crept in. And you send Colin a Whatsapp with a reminder of the booking details, including the best route to get there.
- As a lover of proactivity you prepare the organisation wide Team Time meeting agenda doc for distribution later in the week. You schedule a task for yourself to collate the appreciations recorded over the last quarter to share with the Head of HR.
- You touch up the last slide in the Chief Strategy Officer’s strategic communication piece you’ve been working on for company wide distribution. You ping him to let him know it’s ready to go!
- You turn your attention to financial recon. The glow of satisfaction radiates as you find that last lunch slip to resolve for reimbursement. And firing off the Financial Focus Session email ahead of your scheduled accountants call the next day is a happy triumph.
- While in email mode you check the email@example.com inbox and upload the latest resumes to GD for review. A quick pivot in the hiring dashboard to confirm recruitment data is up to date and you’re ready to line up a few visits to local Universities for the Head of HR to attend.
- Shifting gears again, back to stakeholder calendars - you notice that current bookings in your UK CEO calendar will mean he won’t have time to breathe, never mind stop for lunch in the day. As an innate problem solver you creatively rearrange meetings, inform those concerned and enjoy the order you’ve created.
- Meeting multiverse managed you AFK for a moment to take a walk before lunch, because as much as you LOVE ticking off your to-do’s, you value your wellbeing and a walk refreshes mind and body!
- From the UK to CT and a quick inventory of the CT office parking remotes prompts you to order another two for recently hired folk in anticipation of their start date. You coordinate with the landlord and maintenance manager to make sure all is recorded and settled.
- As you sip the last of your coffee shop bought cappuccino you consider adding the venue to the list of possible places to host the next team build. You jot it down and ping the Head of HR to review together with proposed gifting for those celebrating their work anniversaries next month.
- Grocery shopping time! The CT office management fun concludes with you refining and saving the monthly list and before you click the purchase button, you make sure to add the office medical supplies identified from your last audit.
- Time warp to the US! You review the Asana tasks captured previously to offer a status update for the US office to digest at the start of their day.
- Wrap up the close of day check-ins with your stakeholders.
- Prep for the next day:)
- Wave goodbye to your colleagues on Slack.
You will work closely with our CEOs and senior management team to organise and prioritise work efficiently to ensure smooth running of schedules and commitments. You’ll have a hand on the CT office administration (from celebrations to the prepaid electricity metre). And we’re expecting you to not only maintain efficient ways of working but improve them too!
In general, you will be responsible for:
- Maintaining stakeholder calendars, travel arrangements and communications.
- Managing agendas and meeting minutes to build institutional memory.
- Working closely with HR to ensure recruitment workflows are efficiently executed, CT office administration is effectively managed and events are feats of seamless coordination.
- Representing our executive leadership, brand and company to best advantage.
- Excellent digital literacy
- Able to prioritise and ensure smooth execution of tasks
- Fluent in English – spoken and written with excellent communication skills.
- Strong attention to detail and accuracy
- Maintain high levels of professionalism, confidentiality, and initiative
- Well organized with an understanding of priorities and changing demands
- Organisational, planning and multi-tasking skills
- Information gathering and information monitoring skills
- Problem analysis and problem-solving skills
- Judgment and decision-making ability
- High attention to detail and accuracy
- Ability to manage multiple projects and relationships simultaneously
- Negotiation, listening, communication and presentation skills
- Time Management skills par excellence
- Expected Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration or a Diploma in Office Management a minimum.
- Previous experience of working within a UK company or UK environment would be desirable.
- We’re a “Top Culture Company”. We have an award to prove it:)
- We value Questioning, Integrity, Excellence, Action, Teamwork, Empathy, People, and Wellbeing. We don’t expect you to recite the definitions, or even remember the list. We hire people who share our values, though.
- There are a lot of parents among us. We do school drop-offs and pick-ups, and we know what it means to balance family and work life.
- We have quarterly internal awards, which we call Mind, Heart and Hands. This is one of the ways in which we recognise and appreciate our people for living up to our values, as well as exhibiting great thinking, emotional investment, and strong action orientation.
- Weekly team meetings end in appreciation sessions, which can often run over time. We genuinely care for each other, and for the ways in which we work together.
- Everything we do is about meaningful work. Our work improves the lives of the people who take our programs. And it improves the organisations who run them.
- We cover your home wifi costs in full.
- You’ll have access to the very best digital coaching programs we offer, and numerous opportunities for learning and development.
- Our Employee Assistance Program enables access to a range of services.
- Every five years you get an extra month of paid leave as a sabbatical.
- We use Macs, so you can breathe a sigh of relief. If you’re not breathing a sigh of relief, we will get you through this.