Client Highlight: Clockwork
“The Visionary lives in possibility, the Integrator lives in probability.” – Jill Young, EOS Implementer
Nancy Lyons and Meghan McInerny have always had a special partnership. As leaders of Clockwork’s team, Nancy and Meghan believe their complimentary styles are one of the company’s greatest assets. Clockwork is an interactive design and technology agency that builds applications for businesses. The agency conceives, strategizes and builds software for web and mobile environments, and we can say from our own experience – they excel at all they do. (Check out our website!).
Clockwork was started in 2002, and although Meghan didn’t join Clockwork until a few years after its inception, she and Nancy had already worked together once before. “I knew I wanted to work with Meghan again,” says Nancy. “I was aware early on that we had a partnership that was different. The thing that made it different was that we were a compliment to each other and we both saw the value there.” Meghan agrees, but after 10 years of working together at Clockwork their relationship began to wane. The partners came to a time a few years ago where “it didn’t feel like we were in sync and needed to get back on the same page,” says Meghan. Nancy and Meghan acknowledged this feeling to each other, and would even go offsite to lunch or dinner to work on the partnership. “We tried to talk things through,” reflects Nancy, “but as with any close relationship, if you don’t see results and movement you get frustrated. Instead of improving the partnership we were creating more tension, which then resulted in more barriers.”
After attempts on their own, Nancy and Meghan asked me if I could do business “marriage counseling.” Understanding their dilemma, we began working together and they learned about the Visionary and Integrator relationship, a concept that is part of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). They weren’t far off in that the two roles function together like a marriage, knowing each partner brings something vital and distinct to the company. Nancy and Meghan had this kind of relationship all along, but understanding the accountabilities and roles of each of their positions gave them a way to discuss it with each other while providing absolute clarity about where the lines were. This clarity was beneficial not only to Nancy and Meghan but also to the rest of the leadership team and Clockwork as a whole. “Before we were so in sync that we became sort of redundant and needed clarity in our roles,” says Nancy. “It was unclear to our team members,” adds Meghan. “Now there is clarity internally about who they should talk to for what.”
With this shared understanding, Nancy and Meghan now feel more validity in their roles. “The Visionary role was really hard to quantify and EOS helped me do that while validating it in a way that I’d never had before,” says Nancy. “I don’t feel like I need to claim operational aspects of the business anymore. I don’t have to get down in the weeds to prove something. There is value in what I do, and none of us had a grasp on that before.” Meghan agrees and shares that she has also found more value in her role now that it’s been defined in specific terms. “We’ve always defined ourselves as being the perfect compliment to each other,” says Meghan, “but to see that described in detail and how those roles serve the business is really helpful. We’d always known it, yet it wasn’t clear to us or our team.”
In addition Nancy and Meghan have also learned to appreciate their entire partnership. “We’ve realized how rare and valuable this kind of relationship is in a business,” shares Meghan. “We value our relationship even more because it’s not easy to find a compliment who is also a really good friend and business partner.” Their mutual respect is the catalyst moving Clockwork ahead. As the Visionary, Nancy is “the one pushing the organization forward and looking for new ideas. I am outward facing and the one establishing the big relationships as the face of the organization.” As the Integrator, Meghan is “inward facing and makes sure the organization is operating smoothly. I’m the one taking Nancy’s big ideas and making them actually happen. The two of us then decide together how to filter all the ideas Nancy has and what the timeline is for them. We’ll ask ourselves “what do we want to do right now? Is this an idea for next year? For five years from now?’”
Nancy believes the Visionary and Integrator relationship has been the most beneficial part of EOS. She says, “Defining our roles has helped us recognize the value in our partnership and created a whole new level of success for Clockwork. Every single thing we do is measurable, and that’s all due to EOS. We are just a better business all the way around.” Meghan echoes this, and adds accountability has increased now that the Clockwork leadership team is clearer about what they are tracking. “There is transparency in what’s important and what we’re measuring,” says Meghan. “We’ve seen a shift in how our staff thinks about how they contribute to the organization. They have a better idea of how their decisions and actions directly contribute to Clockwork as an organization and the goals we’re working to achieve. They also can see what it will look and feel like to reach them, and are motivated in a different way to achieve those goals.”
With a renewed sense of clarity and value for their roles, Nancy Lyons and Meghan Wilker are ready for even greater success at Clockwork. With EOS and a bit of business “marriage counseling,” they now know how their Visionary and Integrator roles fit together and work to consistently support each other as a unified team. Because of this, accountability, discipline and focus have increased at Clockwork, allowing all team members to directly impact the company’s growth through their efforts every day. To learn more about the powerful synergy between the Visionary and Integrator roles, check out the Rocket Fuel website. It worked for Clockwork, and it can work for you!
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Categories: Client Highlights