Case study
Publishing Concepts

Unlocking the Firm’s Potential

Success can breed complacency, but if you stay focused on always getting better then you never give yourself room to get complacent.

That is what The Developmental Sprints® and 3D Workshops do for PCI: keep the team focused on helping each other get better at getting better every day, which means that every day we unlock more of the company’s potential.

– Drew Clancy, CEO, PCI
Desire to impact others


For over 100 years, Publishing Concepts has been helping educational institutions and associations to engage their alumni and membership through data collection, directories, marketing programs, engagement initiatives, and fundraising campaigns. The firm has over 350 associates of which 225 are in Inside Sales roles.

PCI is consistently rated as a great place to work by trade and business publications, but for CEO Drew Clancy that was not enough: “I wanted to create a Great Place to Grow.”

  • Operationalize the core value of Unlocking Human Potential
  • Impact people on a personal and professional level

After reading TDE’s An Everyone Culture, Drew reached out to TDE CEO Andy Fleming to understand how to achieve the growth cultures studied in the book.

Plan for success


“My job as a leader is to help everyone in my company to learn and grow, and achieve the most that they can for themselves,” says Drew. “When they unlock their potential, they unlock the company’s potential. We all get better by getting better together.”

Within Drew’s company, the 225 Inside Sales Representatives manage the accounts that determine the health of the company. This makes the 20 Inside Sales Leaders, who are their supervisors and motivators, lynchpins of the organization’s success.

Drew and Andy implemented two programs, both run at work during the normal course of business, to propel both the company and its members forward:

Raise up everyone

Developmental Sprints®

Developmental Sprints® to surface, address and change issues in individual performance, increase feelings of teamwork within the organization, and ensure resilience of the sales team longer term.

Propel the company forward

3D Workshops

3D Workshops with Drew’s top management team to focus intensely on and solve core business issues, often through evaluating the assumptions around that business issue and determining whether or not they are valid.

Shift desire to action

Operationalizing the Lessons of An Everyone Culture

TDE created The Developmental Sprint® process after their research for An Everyone Culture, says Drew: “Developmental Sprints® give you a framework for operationalizing what otherwise can be an abstract concept: Who doesn’t want to unlock their company’s full potential? The Developmental Sprint® shows you how to do this.”

Initially, PCI ran an open Developmental Sprint® where each of the 20+ participants could set their own improvement goal. When that proved successful, Drew worked with TDE to dovetail it with the corporate vision of Unlocking Human Potential. Every quarter, a new cohort launches, each with a theme that supports this corporate vision. So far about a third of the company have started the process, with full participation expected by mid-2020.

Feedback was immediate and positive. Participants wrote:

  • “Stimulates ideas, accountability and growth”
  • “It’s a great opportunity to reflect and focus on areas of opportunity that we often overlook or think we don’t have time to improve”
  • “The process is effective and the impact is lasting”

Simultaneously, the 10-person top management team has been conducting 3D Workshops every two weeks. The team comes together for intensive sessions on current strategic issues, such as restructuring Sales Team Territories and Incentive Plans. “This work enables us to tackle core business problems from the main company viewpoints – finance, sales, marketing – and determine how to move forward together,” says Drew.

In both the Developmental Sprints® and the 3D Workshops there are common themes:

  • Identifying core areas of improvement – either individual or company-wide
  • Leveraging TDE’s Developmental Sprint® and 3D Workshop frameworks to dissect these issues
  • Working as a team to gain multiple perspectives as well as support and accountability for rapid experimentation and reflection
  • Quickly iterating to a positive outcome
See Positive change

Measuring Results

“We took this 4-Week process and initially worked on personal improvement goals with 20 individuals – a test run,” says Drew. “When that proved successful, we worked with Andy to dovetail it with our corporate vision of Unlocking Human Potential. We are running multiple Developmental Sprints® simultaneously around specified themes. We see the impact it makes on the individual and the team – communication, transparency and engagement have improved.”

The impact on those key Inside Sales Leaders – the gatekeepers of success within the company – has been profound. Stronger teams. Better retention of better-trained employees. “It creates an environment where people want to stay,” says Drew.

“As well, results from the 3D Workshop have been fantastic. Andy taught us a method, a framework, for deconstructing our issues. We use it every two weeks to quickly identify and solve problems. This is incredible, meaningful momentum – and we all get a strong sense of satisfaction from how quickly we now move forward,” says Drew.