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Director - Continuous Improvement and Innovation

Job Field:
Engineering and Mineral Processing Jobs, Senior Management & Non-executive Jobs
Project Management Jobs, Quality Jobs, Engineering Management Jobs, Operations Management Jobs
Contract Type:
Full Time / Permanent
Salary Description:
on application
Kinross Gold
Job Ref:

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The Kinross Corporate Head Office is located in downtown Toronto and supports Kinross operations and projects worldwide. Corporate functions include Finance, Procurement, Health & Safety, Human Resources, IT and Investor Relations.

Job Description

Accountable for the performance, results, strategic vision and tactical implementation of Kinross’ Global Continuous Improvement (CI) program and new Innovation mandate.


Results-oriented:  Ultimately, this group will only be impactful if it improves performance and results of our sites, such as production results, safety performance, equipment reliability and performance or cost effectiveness.


Continuous Improvement:  Act as the leader and driver for the global CI program, while managing resources that can support sites directly on major performance improvement projects.  Develop and implement consistent standards for CI organizations, training, measurement, etc.  Continually review and monitor program progress, facilitate program improvements and, on an as-needed basis, lead site-level (though sometimes global) cross-functional initiatives that generate significant value. 


Innovation:  Drive Kinross’ High Performance Culture to the next level through the creation, collection and prioritization – through vigorous vetting and study – of initiatives in the digital and non-digital innovation space.  Work across functions and with top Operations management to develop project until their pilot and implementation stages. 


Approach: Manage one direct report, often providing leadership to multiple project teams that include many indirect reports in order to Identify and resolve complex technical and operational problems.  Acts through persuasion and collaboration, through the CI Council and through strong relationships across corporate functions, our operations and projects to accomplish this function’s objectives.  Works closely with other functional leaders, often leading cross-functional working teams to ensure common goals are achieved through coordination of effort and minimization of redundancy.

Job Responsibilities

Lead and administer the global Continuous Improvement Program: 

  • Lead the global CI program:
    • Lead the annual process of establishing CI plans at each site.  Integrate Achieving Excellence work into this annual process.  Audit the CI plans and the year-end results annually.
    • Track maturity and progress of all continuous improvement programs at Kinross sites.  Synthesize and communicate progress to RVPs, and Toronto leadership.
    • Maintain the CI/AE expert-network with ‘council’-style calls, regular one-on-ones and conferences.
    • Work collaboratively to set and draft Global Standards for CI (e.g. initiative valuation)
    • Oversee the development of common training materials for CI concepts and on-boarding.
    • Use all of the above to share best practices among our sites and challenge them to improve.
  • Lead performance improvement projects:
    • Act as the Project Director, Champion or lead Advisor on site-level (though sometimes global) cross-functional initiatives that generate significant value. 
    • Apply broad industry and commercial awareness to drive financial and operational performance across operations

Set vision for and lead Kinross’ new Innovation mandate

  • Create and set up the mechanisms and systems to capture and exploit innovative ideas that help Kinross transform the way it does business. 
  • Develop relationships with academia, engineering firms, etc. to allow Kinross to be aware of cutting edge ideas, both digital and non-digital in nature. 
  • Build capabilities to deliver on these innovation-driven initiatives, including
    • clearly defining our approach,
    • Developing skills, tools and training to support innovative ideas, as well as the funding and time to fuel it.
    • Create and monitor the targets to guide performance, the measures to evaluate performance, the measures to evaluate progress, and the incentives to drive behavior.
  • Work with other functions, especially Tech Services, in order to build out their own innovation projects. 
  • Run pilots at one or more sites, including seeking out the right opportunities and needs that will drive adoption and success.
  • Build a repository of ideas and the blueprint for the ‘ideal’ site that will allow us to build the best when we develop greenfield or major brownfield projects.

Act as a leader and trusted advisor to Operations leadership: COO, CTO, GMs, CI leads, etc.

  • Through formal and informal interactions, help our site General Managers work through tough problems relating to behavioural change management, senior leadership management, etc.
  • Add value to CI programs by sharing from vast experience as an Operator and from running CI programs in other industries and other Kinross sites

Serve as an internal resource to our General Managers and our CI Managers

  • Create CI programs ‘from scratch’ at sites that do not have a program from proposing the org structure, roles and responsibilities, drafting role descriptions and participating in (or leading) the recruiting process.
  • Perform on-site CI training in various areas (e.g. 5S).  Importantly, train trainers to be able to train others.

Serve as an intermediary between CI and other teams and functions

  • Liaise with other Operations Excellence and CI teams to participate in and drive specific improvement initiatives as they relate to maintenance

Education and Experience


  • University graduation in Engineering, Financial or other related discipline



  • 10-15 years of experience in a natural resource industry, in an area that demonstrates experience in continuous improvements projects and/or the execution of turnarounds and/or strong exposure to innovation concepts and deployment.
    • Must have experience in and intuition for managing ambiguity and uncertainty in an operation’s primary input(s).
  • Demonstrated experience in directing the resolution of highly complex or unusual technical and operational problems
  • Demonstrated experience in fostering the development of innovative processes and solutions that address current and future problems and needs



  • Ability to work through influence and persuasion in a decentralized matrix organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate both verbally and written with project management teams and senior management.
    • Ability to make and present high quality presentations
  • Strong analytical skills, including financial analysis, with a good intuition for numbers. 
  • Strong understanding of Project Management, budgeting and cost management within the natural resources industry

Strong knowledge of standard industry approaches with respect to project control systems and procedures


• Strong verbal, written, analytical and persuasive skills and the ability to interact effectively with all levels of employees and management
• Superior leadership and team building capabilities
• Solid project management skills
• Advanced operational knowledge of the mining industry


Kinross is a Canadian-based gold mining company with mines and projects in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Chile, Russia, Ghana and Mauritania, employing approximately 9,300 people worldwide. Our core purpose is to lead the world in generating value through responsible mining.

Job Segment: Manager, Engineer, Procurement, Project Manager, Change Management, Management, Engineering, Operations, Technology

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