It’s usually about this time in January where I start feeling guilty, either for not having set any New Year’s Resolutions, out of belief they would not last or feeling guilty for not keeping the Resolution I so optimistically set just three weeks ago. Each year I vacillate between these two states depending on how I felt the previous year. It’s a cycle I’ve become comfortable with, even if it means being comfortable with wearing yoga pants to the office, a direct result of eating a breakfast not unlike that perfected by Buddy in Elf.

 This year, however, I’m feeling something different. Something far more exciting, actually: the feeling of focus and challenge. Last week we had our 2018 Kick-Off Meetings for Ameritest and while that may not sound exciting, getting the company together to reset and focus together on our mission and values was really quite invigorating.

Our challenge for 2018 is to focus and build ourselves around the mission to See What Others Don’t. We defined and embraced what that means for us and for our clients.

If we challenge ourselves to see what others don’t, we can see everything in a whole new way. For me, the most exciting part of this statement is the mission it defines for our technology and innovation. I’m specifically picking these words for their buzzworthiness, because it’s something people say without truly understanding the broader meaning of these words. Our CIO, Martin Rascon, shared with us the true definition of those words and gave me a new way of seeing things.

First, technology. The word comes from Greek root words Teknē and Logia. Taking these words, Teknē, meaning art or craft, and Logia, meaning study or interest, we see that when we talk about technology we are really talking about so much than devices, computers and programs. It’s about taking our art and our craft and applying the right systems and treatments to it. It challenges us to see beyond the technology buzz of today and look at all of our systems—yes, those that drive our business and our process, but also those drive our thinking. As a consultancy, the power that drives us forward can be aided by what we think of as the true technology; the art and craft of what we do is in our people.

Next, innovation. “A new idea, method or device.” Why does this matter? It matters because innovation isn’t just about that new phone you have in your pocket today. It’s about coming up with new ideas and methods too. It is also “the process of translating an idea or invention into a good or service that creates value.”

 This means innovation is really about challenging ourselves to harness our creativity and turn it into value for our clients. This creativity can come in many forms, but for me as I spend my time working with clients and building our Client Services team, it takes shape in pushing ourselves to see what others don’t, through studying what’s often dismissed. Looking at something more closely or at something we might have previously rejected, gives us the opportunity to innovate, to find something new and establish new value. These places, found often in the outliers, are where we find some of the most impactful insights and can help cultivate true creativity in collaboration with our clients.

Just writing this makes me excited for the coming year and I hope helped you see something others don’t. Because the idea of see what others don’t is much more than a mission, it’s a challenge and I hope you will accept it as we have.

Abigail Hollister, Vice President – Client Services