At AG Consulting Partners, we value the growth and career development of everyone on our team and recognize this starts with transparent and supportive leadership. Our AGCP Leadership Spotlight series sheds light on the work and experiences of our leadership team, providing a glimpse of who we are as a company and how we stand out in the consulting industry.
For the third installment of our AGCP Leadership Spotlight series, we spoke with one of our founding Partners, Michael Gringauz, about his experience in consulting and the key factors in building a strong company culture.
The Journey of a Consulting Career
As Partner, Chief Delivery Officer, and BPO Service Line Lead, Michael Gringauz focuses on account management, business development, people oversight, and client delivery.
Michael did not originally set out to build a career in consulting. Following his graduation from Concordia University, Michael leveraged his healthcare degree to secure a job at Regence Blue Shield, working in their call center. His time in operations was short-lived, as he quickly transitioned into project-based work. Michael’s first official project focused on revamping the company’s entire IT infrastructure and modernizing their internal systems to bring them into the digital age. His tenure in healthcare gave Michael a taste of project management and allowed him to develop initial expertise in business process transformation and system implementation.
“They needed healthcare industry knowledge and outside consulting to help with the technical lifting. I knew both. This opened a ton of opportunity for learning and growth. [This] is where I got the bug to work and collaborate with people.”
Challenging project work combined with the opportunity to work with others inspired Michael to pursue a career in management consulting. With the help of Alex Goldenberg, he landed a job at Accenture in 2005 as an experienced hire and spent six years working primarily on Microsoft projects. The transition from healthcare into consulting allowed him to explore a variety of contracts that ranged from operations to complex and strategic PMO activities.
After more than four years at Accenture, Michael found himself at a crossroads—either he could continue to work his way up to partner, or he could join Alex in launching and developing AG Consulting Partners. Lured by the opportunity to expand his entrepreneurial interests and the increased autonomy as a business owner, Michael chose the latter.
Cultivating Company Culture
Michael strives to incorporate the spirit of comradery and teamwork into his day-to-day professional life. As he and Alex developed and grew the company, his experiences revealed the value of collaboration in consulting and set the tone for their growing team of consultants. Open communication among peers and leadership is one of the cornerstones at AG Consulting Partners and Michael takes pride in the familial culture that he has played a part in developing.
“Leading by example and working in the trenches with your team will develop a genuine comradery and understanding of the work your employees are doing. Real leadership does not have a hidden agenda, so dive in and listen, be a sounding board for the people working for and with you. This open and honest communication is what has really helped grow a great internal dynamic.”
AG Consulting Partners’ supportive culture proved influential over the last year. 2020 brought a unique set of challenges for business owners and employees. While the technology industry weathered these challenges better than most, the sudden shift to remote work tested the company’s ability to maintain the momentum of peer connection. AGCP quickly pivoted to provide extra support and encouragement to employees, reinforcing the importance of culture to the firm. Quarterly care packages and virtual happy hours, game nights, and music hours allowed AGCP to continue to build its culture while protecting the health of their employees.
“Prior to the pandemic our company had a wonderful dynamic and once the lockdowns were in effect, we were able to pivot relatively seamlessly. If we did not have a culture to build on from the start of the pandemic, then we would not have been as successful in getting through it as well as we did. Employee relations have flourished, and our culture has improved dramatically.”
Great company culture hinges on open and honest communication and ample opportunities for employees to collaborate and share their experiences together. Michael’s passion for our people helped reinforce these principles to better weather the challenges of a remote workforce.
“It goes back to stewardship, one of our primary values at AGCP. There is nothing more vital than genuinely listening and understanding the successes and challenges felt by the people you work with. When someone feels heard, they are more willing to contribute, and in turn play a part in bettering the culture of a company.”
At AG Consulting Partners, we believe in taking care of our people first to enable them to bring their best to every client project. Our employees embrace the entrepreneurial spirit and embody our core values: transparency, stewardship, and intention. Founded in 2009, and headquartered in the Greater Seattle area, AG Consulting Partners is recognized as one of Inc 5000 and Puget Sound Business Journal’s fastest growing private companies.