Hello there! Thanks for coming to my (newest) site – I've been blogging off and on since 2007, at first about advertising, then about digital strategy, then about organization design.
About My Work
I found my way to this work through practice. When I moved to New York to work for Undercurrent in 2009, we were a practice focused on helping the world's biggest, most consequential firms figure out how to market in a post-digital world. In 2009, we were pushing the rock uphill, but by 2012 we started to realize that the world didn't need guidance on marketing or "digital" strategy, but instead needed to figure out how to reorganize to take advantage of the productivity gains made possible by new technologies.
All of our work was focused on getting new stuff to market – new products, new initiatives, new services – and we stopped telling people what to do, and instead helped them get it done with new ways of working and organizing. We tried labs. We tried separate business units. Sure, we got stuff done, but nothing really worked until we started to change the firm itself by changing its foundational methods: how decisions got made; how work was prioritized; how work was assigned and assessed. It felt like we'd stumbled upon real magic.
In 2015, along with a few friends from Undercurrent, I started August. We pushed this OD magic to the maximum. August continues to be an employee-owned, self-organized and self-managed, transparently operated, B-corp. In 2019, I left August and joined R/GA. Now I'm leading a team that is focusing these ideas back on the challenge of innovating at speed.
I love sharing insights from my work with groups large and small. Just email me and we'll make it happen.
- "Clay killed it! The audience was enthralled and totally engaged. Plus, his presentation style is very confident and at ease, which conveys a nice air of expertise combined with approachability."
- "Clay’s talk gave both a professional in-depth look into the current developments and an entertaining overview of what might be the future. He helped us break with stereotyped thinking and took us to a higher level of leadership."
- "To an audience from diverse industries where the general concept of the ‘Sharing Economy’ was relatively abstract, Clay was able to immediately bring relevance to the discussion. The practical examples and interactive workout sessions ensured that the delegates could relate the implications and opportunities of the Sharing Economy in the context of their business as well as open their mind to new opportunities to maintain and create competitive advantage."
- "As a strategy leader for hundreds of brands across the globe, I need partners that can understand and navigate massive complexity, and deliver simple, executable solutions. Clay does just that, and does it fast."
- The Innovation-Friendly Organization, Anna Simpson, 2017
- "On Point: Amazon And The Future Of American Work" WBUR
- "Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace" The New York Times, 8/15/2015
- Day One Conference 2016
- Percolate Transition 2015
- Planningness 2015
- American Beverage Licensees’ National Convention
- Event Marketing Summit
- 99U – Undercurrent Studio Session
- Trabajando.com Expo Humano Keynote
- Web 2.0 NYC
- Planningness 2009
- Social Media Week: Panel Moderation
Corporate Training Series
- Ogilvy Engagement Strategy Course
- Goodby Silverstein & Partners Strategy Superpowers Course
- General Assembly Social Media Course
Private Corporate & Education Events
- MillerCoors HR Offsite
- Dropbox SMB Forum
- Blue Shield of California CX Offsite
- GE Capital International CMO Meeting
- GE Capital Americas Digital Forum
- Bloomin’ Brands Annual Planning Meeting
- SVA MFA in Design for Social Innovation, Guest Lecturer: Future of Work
- Future of Work Meetup: Autonomy
- IDEO: Evening with Undercurrent x Ada’s List
Large Corporate Conventions
- Sonic Drive-In National Convention: Mobile breakout sessions
- Sonic Drive-In National Convention: Full group session
- Husqvarna National Sales Conference
On the side, I help run and produce a site called To Be Determined. In addition to creating content about cycling, we race our bikes at the regional and sometimes national level, on road, dirt, and gravel. I have a cat, named Ian, and I live in Boerum Hill – a neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York – with my girlfriend.