Photos & Video by Ryan Stopera
Meet Meghan McInerny and Nancy Lyons, the leaders behind Clockwork — one of the 12 purpose-driven businesses that have come together in support of Pollen’s mission to change our collective story for the better. Together, they challenge Pollenites to raise $20,000 by Give to the Max Day on November 14, which they will match dollar for dollar.
All About Clockwork
Clockwork partners with clients to thrive in the digital era, transforming business through people, process, and technology. “We do great work, and we work really hard,” says Nancy.
Part of that work is their role as a contributor to the community. “We align our sponsorship and volunteer opportunities with our commitment to racial and gender justice and equity,” says Meghan, “and our desire to really show up in community with our fellow businesses and citizens.” This includes the buildings Clockwork has rehabilitated in Northeast Minneapolis, their MN Tech Diversity events that catalyze workplace change, and their sponsorships of conferences like Follow Black Women.
POLLEN: Clockwork has been recognized as one of the best places to work in our community. What’s your secret?
Treating people like adults. Being as transparent as possible about organizational decisions and direction. Making sure people feel heard. Communicating a lot. Having clear values and using them to guide our decisions. Admitting when we fail. Investing our profits in our people. Keeping the candy drawer full.
POLLEN: How does Clockwork’s commitment to diversity manifest itself in your work?
We design and build systems for humans and there is a direct relationship between the effectiveness of those systems and the diversity of the team who creates them. Clockworkers are aware of this, and are not afraid to talk about it. As an example, during a workshop we asked a client team to write personas describing the customers they wanted to build a product for. After each of the clients had read the persona they had written — a name, a backstory, and a description of what the customer’s needs were — we said, “It sounds like all of the personas you’ve written are white. Does that reflect who your customers are?” It did not — nearly 50% of their customers are Latinx. Our client then looked around the room and realized that no one on their team matched the demographic characteristics of the customer they were trying to serve. That was an important moment of awareness. We don’t have all the answers, and we’re certainly not experts, but our organizational commitment to inclusion and equity allows our teams to notice what type of diversity is present or absent and ask questions that other agencies might not.
POLLEN: Where do you see the intersection between your work and storytelling?
Almost everything we do intersects with storytelling. Sales is about telling the story of who we are, and how we can be of value to our clients. Presenting our creative concepts, or helping a client make a critical technology decision involves explaining our ideas, sharing our expertise and inviting our clients to build something with us. In essence, everything we do is a choose-your-own-adventure that we embark on with our clients. Along the way, we must effectively narrate what is happening and explain the choices to be made.
POLLEN: When’s the last time you made an unexpected connection that turned out to be beautiful and transformative?
If we’re paying attention, we make beautiful connections with the power to transform every single day. We meet people in business who change our points of view. We solve problems and alter outlooks. We elevate thinking and power good ideas. We try to be intentional about change and our values. It’s hard to isolate a single happening because every day brings new challenges and new learning. And learning is always transformative.
Join Meghan and Nancy: DONATE TO MATCH THE HIVE TODAY
Find Clockwork and give them an online hug for supporting Pollen.