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Columbia Business Monthly

Top work Places #1 Small Company - Think Up Consulting

May 03, 2018 01:40PM ● By Makayla Gay

By AnnaMarie Koehler Shepley

  In the world of consulting, most companies fall into one of two camps: creators and producers. According to Michael Allard, one of two principal owners of the company, what sets Think Up Consulting apart is its finesse in blending the two. The Greenville-based company was founded in 2002 and specializes in conceptualizing brands through trainings, events, and consulting services.

“We’re unique in that we definitely work hard and put in long hours, but we manage to intersperse it with fun and support each other in the process,” Allard said. “There’s a sense of comraderie and that we’re all in this together.”

Think Up’s other owner, Ron Doney, both founded the company and serves as its president and is particularly invested in cultivating a positive work culture.

“We are extremely proud to be honored as a Top Workplace in S.C.,” Doney said. “We are committed to growing our business in Greenville, a city we have adopted as our hometown for the last 15 years. We have a vested interest in attracting top talent to this state and work hard to create a work environment that can compete head-on with organizations nationwide.”

Allard agrees and says that being recognized as a Top Workplace is a great indicator that their strategies are working.

“We know that it’s a special place from our own myopic perspective,” Allard said. “But it kind of validates that what we’re doing is the right stuff and that we’re different from your average company.”

When Allard began, Think Up was a lean five-person team that has since expanded to include more than 30 employees. The company just celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2017, and as the company has grown, it’s become even more important to foster a culture that keeps everyone happy and on the same page about the company’s mission.

To keep things fresh and exciting, Think Up has a team of spirit ambassadors who represent a variety of different departments and who work to boost morale in the office. They meet regularly to explore different avenues of team member appreciation, which can range from simply boosting energy levels at crunch time to providing support on an individual level to team members experiencing personal challenges.

Whether it’s their Thursdays on the Deck wind-down, where everyone meets on the deck of their building overlooking Cleveland Park and the Greenville Zoo, or a traveling margarita cart that doles out happy hour drinks in the summer, Allard says that there is always something in the works.

Outside of the office, the team gets together regularly for casual dinners at Doney’s home or engage in the community, participating in events like United Way’s Hands On Greenville and taking on projects like river clean-ups as a team.

“It makes it feel not as much like a work environment; I do believe that everything we’re doing also taps into the creativity of our thinkers as well, so having this more relaxed culture-driven environment allows people to do their jobs more effectively and they’re excited to come to work,” Allard said. “Creating a culture that drives that really lends itself to bringing that [excitement about work] to the top of mind for everybody.”