Is this the most ridiculous job advert of all time?

We just rediscovered this fabulous barrage of bollocks in the Doris and Bertie swipefile of corporate tommyrot. We don’t recall if it did the rounds at the time it was posted on LinkedIn. But even if you’ve seen it before, it bears rereading. It’s a warning of what happens when no one’s prepared to call claptrap when they see it.

Normally, we’d pick out some highlights to pour scorn on, but there’s so much here we wouldn’t know where to stop. It reads like someone trying (and failing) to sound intellectual by adopting the prose style of a second-rate sociologist cobbling together a last-minute grant application.

And it gets more and more pretentious and impenetrable as it goes on.

Wonder who got the job in the end?

Job Title: Human & Cultural Futures Director

Salary: Competitive

Benefits: Agile Working, Bonus, Healthcare, Pension

Location: Blackfriars, London


We are currently recruiting a Human & Cultural Futures Director within our CMI /Marketing Function.

In this role, you will lead a team of non direct reports across MC/MD CMI and external partners. You will drive & motivate collaborative leadership across strategic nodes of CMI and CMCO. We believe that the ability to motivate and lead teams is critical to our success, as we come to better answers in teams than as individuals. You will direct, motivate and lead your team, and have a passion for developing and coaching the team and CMI organisation at large, in order to build superior talent in CMI.

The CMI function’s vision is to inspire & provoke, importantly, to enable transformational action. Our mission is to show the business how and where to win, doubling impact while halving cost & time. In this role you will define & lead the establishment of a critical new strategy to CMI vision by instating leading edge Human & Cultural insights & trends capability into CMI. You will drive its outcomes through key parts of UL organisation to enable transformational action – in both business and function.

Our Compass in a VUCCA world demands increasing awareness of emerging changes, and profound distinctive insights into human tensions ahead of product/brand/technology. Only this can truly unlock meaningful magic with our brands, open up creative spaces in strategy, innovation & market/channel development, and reduce decision making blind spots & vulnerability to challenging surprises.


As a Human & Cultural Futures Director you will be responsible for:

INSPIRE HCF perception & momentum throughout UL & CMI: - build & leverage continuous detectors of short, medium, and long-term changes arising across society, culture, technology, economics, politics, and the environment. Understand sources and processes of change relevant to Unilever and its stakeholders. Monitor signals of change throughout human communities and cultures. Identify deep universal and unique human tensions, cultural Symbols and Codes across UL top brands & markets.

PROVOKE movement in Strategy, Insight & Innovation – identify profound cultural tension platforms for Brand Development & Building. Explore how overlapping changes and impacts create new opportunity spaces (new products, services, markets, etc) and can drive market-creating and market-leading innovation. Use data and consumer connection on emerging change as a feedstock for creativity and innovation within Unilever. Explore the social processes of change to map emerging areas of potential rapid adoption as well as potential sources of resistance to innovation.

TRANSFORM ACTION in business and function - generate business & brand action with deep insights about Unilever’s relationship to emerging change: going beyond provoking a more insightful and nimble brand and innovation process, to understanding how Unilever brands can shape emerging change and create new trends. This builds upon the two previous activities. Using insights about change within Human and Cultural systems to help Unilever shape a better future.

BUILD HCI capability in CMI/CMCO: introducing and applying new skill sets in HCF detection, visioning and adding cultural meaning in codes & symbols. Build lasting external alliances for HCF capability, and collaborative platforms across with CB4L, Media, R&D, SC & Finance leaderships.

ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCE, SKILLS & QUALIFICATIONS Relevant experience would include strategic insight planning, brand equity research, human and cultural insights, long-range foresight projects that encompass horizon scanning for signals of emerging change, technology road-mapping, topical communities and cohort insights and futures studies, applications of change life-cycle analysis, systems analysis, social change research, socio-cultural and ethnographic surveys, multi-disciplinary research in long-range change, innovation and market/channel development research.

REQUIRED LEADERSHIP BEHAVIOURS Accountability & Responsibility Growth Mindset Consumer and Customer Focus Bias for Action Building Talent & Teams