Dan McClure, Product Manager in Bloomfield Hills, MI, United States
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Dan McClure

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Product Manager

Bloomfield Hills, MI, United States
Toptal Member Since
December 11, 2019

Dan specializes in programs that merge advanced tech with an original business strategy. For over three decades, he's worked with organizational leaders who boldly respond to disruptive threats and high impact opportunities. These challenges require system-level creativity, often spanning the enterprise. His clients range from global businesses to the UN to startups, and he moves the dial by pushing beyond the conventional use of technology.

Project Highlights

Pioneering eCommerce in the Automotive Industry
Built a consumer-to-dealer sales channel was the “highest ranked” online lead generation program among vehicle manufacturers.
Personalizing a Billion Dollars a Month
Broke through long-established business silos to redefine operating practices and take advantage of deep market changes.
Making Government Move Like Business
Delivered millions in annual savings on over $100 million of public-sector purchases.


Work Experience

Complex Innovation Architect | Product and Program Management

2018 - PRESENT
Practical Clarity, LLC
  • Provided hands-on leadership of strategic innovations from discovery through agile execution.
  • Built unique organizational perspectives of complex challenges and opportunities.
  • Architected solutions by envisioning and designing disruptive new strategies that merge business with cutting-edge tech.
  • Iteratively developed complex systems that span multiple domains, leveraging pivots that capture unanticipated opportunities.
  • Redesigned traditional organizations, leveraging agile principles to creatively respond to new threats and opportunities.
  • Developed innovation programs and capabilities in organizations facing fast-moving changes.
  • Worked with organization leaders and change agents to hold strategic vision workshops to envision new opportunities and responses to disruptive change.
  • Developed new strategies that respond to opportunities in a wide range of international contexts.
  • Held collaborative workshops that fostered a highly collaborative workshop approach.
  • Authored multiple papers on advanced innovation practices and the evolution of new methodologies focused on complex system change.

Global Innovation Design Lead

2010 - PRESENT
  • Served as the global innovation design lead for ThoughtWorks, an international technology consultancy that has pioneered agile practices in 40+ offices around the world.
  • Provided product and service vision based on a big-picture view of the market and the enterprise.
  • Transformed narrow product ideas into more impactful market opportunities that integrate both business and tech.
  • Led efforts to architect innovation strategies for some of the world’s largest retailers, entertainment companies, finance organizations, educational innovators, social change leaders, and aid sector actors.
  • Developed and led in-depth discovery models that combine individual, small group and workshop approach to build in-depth insights into challenges and opportunities.
  • Leveraged visual models of complex problems and strategies to clarify and share sophisticated ideas.
  • Developed approaches for integrated UX and ongoing research that continually tests ideas, develops responses, and adaptively implements pivots. Provided an alternative to upfront waterfall UX.
  • Developed strategies that integrated business as a key actor and not just a "user." Strategically planned for business change, not just "adoption."
  • Developed strategies in executive workshops that pushed beyond incremental change.
  • Led efforts in a wide range of industries to envision ambitious new strategies in response to fundamental market disruption. Strategies leveraged system changes that established compelling new value propositions.
  • Acted as a thought leader in the development and evolution of the product manager, product strategist, and choreographer role. Provided frameworks for moving from project manager to product management thinking in technology and business teams.
  • Worked with industry-leading thinkers in technical architecture on strategies for creating flexible technical strategies that enable an ongoing agile response to changing business needs.
  • Developed frameworks for enabling an agile response to rapidly evolving markets across the entire enterprise. These original practices have been captured in the recent book "Edge" by Jim Highsmith, et. al.
  • Developed strategies for implementing agile transformations in large organizations, with a focus on vertical slices that engage executives along with on the ground teams.
  • Served as a senior leader in methodology development within ThoughtWorks, itself a pioneer of agile practices, led global initiatives to shape new practices around agile UX, agile product development, service innovation, and complex system innovation. Featured speaker and writer on agile strategies.
  • Worked with pioneers in agile AI and big data to develop enterprise-level strategies for capturing value from big data. Evaluated opportunities for broad digital ecosystems and associated risks of digital harm.

Product Manager

2023 - 2023
  • Developed and led a customized leadership-level workshop that developed next-generation business and technology strategies. Enabled the client to break through barriers to growth and move to a new level of market engagement.
  • Integrated a big-picture strategy. The client had several fragmented business activities, each working independently of each other. Developed a big-picture model of how all the pieces are tied together to deliver an integrated value proposition.
  • Delivered market need-driven initiatives. The status quo marketing model focused on technology product features and use. Worked across the leadership team to create compelling new market propositions based on urgent customer needs.
  • Leveraged a collaborative engaging approach that helped deliver a team-building experience alongside the strategic work. The workshop included all areas of the client's leadership team.

Digital Product Strategist

2020 - 2020
Strategic Business Advisor to Healthcare Industry
  • Created a vision for a new area of business (Enterprise). A regional healthcare insurer was diversifying its long-term business operations into mental healthcare delivery. Developed a clear market-driven framing of the opportunity for a board presentation.
  • Integrated a legacy/new venture business design. Developed an integrated model of how legacy business operations and new venture acquisitions would work together to deliver value and leverage organizational capabilities.
  • Aligned enterprise technology architecture. Provide the business architecture needed to develop an aligned enterprise technology architecture. Collaborated with the Toptal technical architect to design a future extensible technology platform.

Innovation Strategist (Complex System Delivery)

1998 - 2010
Accessible Information, LLC
  • Enabled cutting edge technology strategies at large traditional enterprises. Worked with diverse collection of national and global organizations to develop enterprise level strategies for both market disruption and rapidly emerging opportunities. Engaged senior leaders in business and technology to develop and implement original initiatives that enabled organizations to escape their status quo operations and culture.
  • Integrated advanced new technologies into enterprise initiatives, enabling large tradition bound organizations to engage with new markets with new services. Developed strategies that took advantage of the organization's size and resources, rather than yielding cutting edge opportunities to more nimble startups. Coached organizational leaders on new opportunity spaces and created end to end technology strategies that could be quickly implemented to establish market leadership.
  • Designed and developed pioneering initiatives in B2C personalization and customer insight. For very large corporations with international markets, created award winning sales channels, customer engagement platforms, and 360 degree integration of legacy customer data. Pioneered use of high speed personalized offers with complex legally binding logic that targeted nearly one billion dollars of incentives each month.
  • Supported aggressive Merger and Acquisitions (M&A) strategy with flexible technology systems that could integrate widely varied business acquisitions, often at a rate of one per week.
  • Created agile delivery and testing pipelines in large enterprises with business critical technology operations. Deployed automated testing systems and redesigned support teams to manage backlogs bass on client value. Improved agility while still complying with industry standards for secure software delivery.
  • Acted as enterprise change agent and evangelist for original initiatives that cut across multiple business silos in large global organizations. Built consensus and support across functions as diverse as production, financial planning, audit, marketing, sales, and consumer finance. Led efforts to integrate the strategies and operations of internal business units, outside vendors, and hundreds of external business partners.

Founder | Entrepreneur | CTO

1988 - 1998
IQ Solutions
  • Served as a founding principal of a business and technology services firm that enabled agile business strategies. The startup posted sustained growth of 40% per year, in a highly competitive market and achieved Inc. 500 recognition as one of America’s fastest-growing companies.
  • Created innovative public sector operating strategies, capturing opportunities which at the time only available to large commercial firms. This real life example of "government operating with the speed and agility of a business" enabled federal, state, and local public sector clients across the United States to capture millions in annual savings on over $100 million of government purchases.
  • Built and sustained flexible collaborations among thousands of semi-autonomous public sector facilities. These large networks were enabled through a tightly integrated combination of business and technology services. This success only occurred after a prior vendor had failed with a technology centric solution.
  • As CTO and founder, developed the vision for technology systems that could support rapidly evolving and highly customized operating strategies. This responsive use of technology was enabled through the early use of agile style development practices and flexible technical architecture.

Senior Program Manager

1977 - 1988
ANR | American Natural Resources
  • Led the primary technology innovation team charged with responding to multiple waves of deregulation for an Fortune 100 firm's core business. Pioneered fast moving use of new technology in an organization that had previously relied on highly structured system development methodologies.
  • Designed and delivered a highly flexible system for large scale engineering design that enabled a traditionally slow moving national enterprise to dramatically accelerate the expansion of their physical operations, taking advantage of a one time opportunity to capture newly deregulated service areas. Over 2 billion dollars of new facilities were designed using the new system.
  • Designed and delivered a sophisticated operational optimization system capable of guiding the scheduling of thousands of unique suppliers in response to new market conditions, which had slashed pricing across the industry. Other organizations that were unable to master this challenge were forced into bankruptcy.
  • Collaborated with business innovation leads to reimagine how the enterprise could manage a complex web of product tracking, sales, accounts payable, and delivery deviation concerns in a newly deregulated market where the number and types of customers had rapidly expanded. These business practices and supporting technologies were highly influential in establishing industry wide operating standards for the new deregulated marketplace.

Pioneering eCommerce in the Automotive Industry

Built a consumer-to-dealer sales channel was the “highest ranked” online lead generation program among vehicle manufacturers.

I led the strategic design and oversaw the rapid implementation of the OEM’s first fully integrated online sales channel. Working with top tier agencies, I conceived and implemented numerous cross-enterprise projects that sought to disrupt the industry through the creative use of online systems.

Personalizing a Billion Dollars a Month

Broke through long-established business silos to redefine operating practices and take advantage of deep market changes.

The world’s top automotive manufacturer spent nearly a billion dollars a year on marketing incentives customized for each buyer. The challenge was to enable real-time integration of sophisticated personalization strategies across dozens of traditional business silos, hundreds of independent dealers, and millions of online customers.

I architected and led the execution of a new cross-enterprise approach that leveraged new high-performance technologies integrating the real-time decisions and actions of the diverse actors, personalizing billions of dollars of offers for millions of customers.

Making Government Move Like Business

Delivered millions in annual savings on over $100 million of public-sector purchases.

The early days of US energy deregulation strongly favored large industrial consumers, leaving public sector users with thousands of scattered facilities paying high rates. By leveraging business change and technology innovation together, this initiative enabled thousands of schools and government facilities to correct this unfair situation.

The strategy brought together the buying power of various public facilities in a collaborative model that leveraged innovations in technology, official purchasing rules, regulatory permissions, and individual engagement.

Highly Collaborative and Executive Workshops

Held highly collaborative and executive workshops that produced favorable results.

A client's perspective of a highly collaborative workshop.

"I loved the passion that Dan brought and the ability he had to elicit big ideas and real action from us. Dan didn't seem like just a facilitator, but rather it was as if he was personally invested in getting the best outcomes. The sessions were compelling and engaging and the whole executive came together and produced work that felt like it really mattered."

A client's perspective of an executive workshop while I worked at ThoughtWorks.

"Unlike many executive workshops built around rigid formalities and tight structures, the workshop that Dan facilitated produced actual tangible value in an enjoyable, productive, and open approach. We thought at a high level, brought in new perspectives, challenged our underlying assumptions, and created new models that better describe our work."
1979 - 1981

Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree in Business Administration

University of Detroit - Detroit, MI, USA

1973 - 1977

Bachelor of Science (BSc) Degree in Civil Engineering, Computer Science

Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI, USA



Industry Expertise

Nonprofits, Energy, Automotive, Healthcare, Education Technology (Edtech)


Agile, Agile Product Management, Agile UX, Waterfall Development, Agile Project Management, Agile Software Development


Innovation, Systems Thinking, Microsoft PowerPoint, Complex Web Systems, Lean IT, Lean UX, Lean Startups, Agile Transformation, System Design, Systems Analysis, User Needs, Business Systems, Personalization, Business Strategy, Design Strategy, Workshops, Business Cases, Market Fit, Digital Strategy, System Process Mapping, Product Owner, Discovery Workshops, Consulting, Ideation, Conceptualization, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), Product Strategy, Product Leadership, MVP Design, New Product Development, Manufacturing, Education, Media, Smart Cities, Training Materials, Data Flows, Data Analysis, Retail & Wholesale, Enterprise Integration, Startups, Early-stage Startups, User Flows, Growth Strategy, Business Analysis, Roadmaps, Product Roadmaps, Product Management, Stakeholder Management, Prototyping, Process Flows, Team Management, Finance, Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Agile Data Science, Agile Deployment, Databases, Data Pipelines, Enterprise Architecture, Data Migration, Strategy, Business to Business (B2B), Growth Model, Growth, Sales Growth, Innovation Strategy, Competitive Strategy, Presentations, Acquisitions

Collaboration That Works

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