In my position as President & CEO, I like to reflect on each “word of the year,” and think about how each one came to pass over the last several years. It is interesting for me because you can always see the correlation between the state of the business and our state of mind at the time.
We kicked off this now much-anticipated tradition in 2015 with momentum, a word chosen to honor our efforts as we became 100% employee-owned and proceeded for the first time without the day-to-day guidance of our founders, Sue Butler and Tracy Till. Then in 2016 came build, as we invested in expanding our physical space and developed the necessary infrastructure for continued growth. That was also the year we launched Butler/Till Health and a discrete Analytics Team. After all that “building,” 2017 was our year to dream, which we embraced by expanding our presence in New York City and opening our company’s third office in San Francisco. In 2018, with a renewed focus we recognized the need to direct our attention to initiatives that would have the highest business impact. And last year was all about being agile, as we began a concerted effort to streamline, automate, and expedite our processes in order to maintain our competitive advantage.
Which brings us to our 2020 word of the year: intention. Intention is defined as “a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future.” Intention involves activities such as planning and forethought. Intention guided the new initiatives unveiled at our February all-agency meeting, as we begin the new decade with a new leadership team, a newly articulated definition of our business and vision, and blueprints for our new downtown headquarters. After multiple months of thorough planning and strategic input—from our Board of Directors, from our Senior Leadership Team, and from our employee-owners—I cannot think of a more appropriate word.
After all, it is our intention that creates our reality. And our reality for the coming year looks incredibly bright.