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#09. The Rhythm of a Great Place to Work
Episode 912th November 2019 • Rise Leaders Radio • LeeAnn Mallory
00:00:00 00:38:14

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Drew Clancy, President of Publishing Concepts (PCI), is a self-proclaimed ‘cultural enthusiast’. His commitment to the core elements of culture has resulted in year-over-year growth and consistent recognition as a Best Place to Work. As a third-generation leader, he has brought this near 100–year-old family business solidly into the 21st Century through innovation and servant leadership. 


We Inspire Dreams and Transform Lives 

- PCI’s Purpose  

A Successful Third-Generation Family Business

Drew Clancy is President of PCI, a midsize, third-generation family business headquartered in Dallas, Texas. In 2021, they will celebrate 100 years in operation, and like any company that has weathered that much time, they’ve experienced iterations and evolutions. In 1982, Jack Clancy, Drew’s father, breathed new life into the company and gave it a new name: Publishing Concepts, now best known as PCI. They’re in the business of “helping college, university, and association clients engage their alumni and membership and raise money in order to fulfill their mission of educating our nation’s future leaders”.

Drew entered the picture in 1995 after his father suffered a heart attack and could no longer bring his energy and presence to the business. Drew navigated the company past the ‘founder’s trap’ as described by Dr. Ichak Adizes, creator of the Adizes Corporate Lifecycle, and steered PCI toward sustainability. And it’s working – PCI continues excellent financial performance, targeting $50M in revenue this year, doubling 2016’s performance. 

Organizational Culture as a Business Strategy

We spent the bulk of our time discussing Drew’s passion: workplace culture. He is a strong believer in Servant Leadership and sees creating a thriving workplace as a foundational business strategy. His orientation is paying off: PCI has appeared on both Dallas Morning News 100 Best Places to Work and Best Companies to Work for in Texas, nabbing first place in 2015 & 2016. Even with these accolades, he doesn’t take culture for granted, claiming “you have to work for it every day”.

They have a term for the central elements of their culture, theFIVE:

  • 5 Elements of the core ideology: Purpose, Values, Vision, Goals, Commitment
  • 5 Values: Excellence, Unlock Human Potential, Act with Integrity, Innovate a Culture of Relationships & Fun, Lead with a Servant’s Heart

Structure Will Set You Free

A best-place-to-work culture will not happen by wishing for it. It won’t even happen if you articulate your core ideology (Jim Collins’ term for Purpose, Vision and Values) and hang posters throughout the workspace. You have to take action.

Drew is keen on the idea that “structure sets you free”. Liberating structures are created to channel individual or group energy toward a specific goal. James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, guides individuals to make tiny shifts in daily behaviors that will lead to big results.

PCI’s Organizational Rhythm:

“Try a lot of things and keep what works”. This is the advice Drew gleaned from Jim Collins’ epic book, Built to Last. Here’s what is working for PCI now:

  • Annual Planning – Yearly
  • Monthly Extended Leadership Meeting – Trail Blazers meeting for anyone leading a team, project, product, client relationship, etc. This meeting is focused on growth and learning.
  • Weekly – CEO Council. This is an L-10 meeting (Level 10 from EOS)
  • Daily Huddle – 10 minutes at 8:30a, called the 10@8:30. 

These meetings share critical information such as metrics (transparency is key), updates, and progress and also keep team members focused on ‘theFIVE’

Best Companies to Work for in Texas:

Atomic Habits:


Publishing Concepts:

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