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Columbia Business Monthly

#12 - Intellectual Capitol, Inc.

Dec 20, 2018 08:04AM ● By Kathleen Maris
Year Founded: 2003
Founders: Traci and Barry Newkirk
Headquarters location: Greenville
Number of other locations: 1 (Columbia)
Number of employees (start): 1
Number of employees (present): 44

Intellectual Capitol connects top-notch talent to its clients, provides significant opportunities for its candidates, teaches the strategy to drive organizational culture, builds top-shelf custom application software, and has organized an award-winning security services team. Intellectual Capitol’s desire is to be a local services company that brings a deep understanding of the IT sector to its clients across the state of South Carolina.

What are your firm’s biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
Barry Newkirk (Co-founder): Our biggest challenge is continued growth without debt or outside investment. We have to be smart money managers and strategic thinkers.
Traci Newkirk (Co-founder): One of our biggest challenges is a shortage of talent. We have to be skilled in our recruiting and hiring to find these needles in a haystack.
 
Do plan to add any employees in the coming year? If so, how many?
Barry and Traci: We have already added over 20 employees this year with more to come and plan for more talent growth in 2019.
 
What trends and innovations do you see down the line for your industry?
Barry and Traci: Trends: Corporate culture awareness, an incredibly tight talent market, and the use of assessments to make better, more informed hiring decisions. Innovations: Artificial intelligence, business intelligence, and technical security software.
 
What word of advice, if any, has shaped your career and who gave it or where did you read it?
Barry: “There’s a thin line between brave and stupid, and you are flirting with it.” —Drill Sergeant Chavarria - Fort Gordon, Ga., basic training
Traci: “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” —Ralph Nadar
 
How important is continued learning to your success and if so, what do you do to ensure that you are always learning about your industry, your company, and yourself?
Barry and Traci: We put great emphasis on hiring a culture of learners. The ICAP Book Club, started three years ago, is a weekly program where our team collectively reads 10 books a year with active discussion/homework and implementation. We truly believe if we are not growing, we are dying. Additionally, we also send our team to national and international conferences, trainings, and other education events around the U.S. on a very regular basis. As owners, we look for two seminars a year where we can work on the business and not just in the business.
 
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started your professional career?  
Barry: I wish I knew to start our own firm earlier.
 
Given the ease and ability to be engaged in work 24/7, how do you and how often do you break free from the job?
Traci: I don’t meet with anyone on Fridays who makes me weary. I reserve those days to have lunch with people who help me recharge my battery and go into the weekend on a positive note.
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