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Employee Engagement: My 3 Word Theme – Spark Grow Write

Three Word Theme for 2013/2014: Spark, Grow, Write


History of the 3-word theme. I first heard of the 3 word theme from Chris Brogan. I have been using a 3-word theme for my work for five  years and will be entering year six this month.  Previous themes were:

  1. In 2009 my theme was: authentic, connect, engage
  2. In 2010 my theme was: engage, mobilize, produce.
  3. In 2011 my theme was: engage, educate, enliven.
  4. In 2012 my theme was: stop, focus, and finish.
  5. In 2012/2013 my theme was: discern, invite, engage

Benefits of a 3 word themeA three word theme is succinct and easy to remember and leverage as a tool for work. It offers a quick guide and evaluation for work completed. It is a nice reflection tool for work and progress. It is also a great planning tool to get a tighter focus on the year ahead while offering flexibility in how those 3 themes are actualized.

3-Word Theme for 2013/2014. My new 3-word working theme is: spark, grow, write. These 3 words will govern my work from September 1, 2013  to August 31, 2014.

Spark. I like the the compact and cogent image of a spark. I love what we can do in moments to spark ourselves and others at work. A spark, to me, can range from a word of encouragement or a few moments of conversation to a short e-book or one hour keynote. I will focus very strongly on creating many sparks over this year.

Grow. I want to grow both myself and others. One change in my career this year is to grow others through individual coaching. My growth theme is moving in two directions at once: singularity and community. I will grow others through individual coaching and development and I have committed a strong focus to grow the global work on employee engagement and to grow the 6000 member Employee Engagement Network.

Write. Writing has been both growing and sparking me. I have spent well over 10,000 hours writing and it is getting a little easier. I enjoy the medium. I enjoy the impact it can have on others. I believe writing is one of my gifts to my employee engagement community. Look for multiple publications coming from me this year and most of them will be small e-books intended to grow and spark others (always nice to braid the three themes into the various ways I work).

Write Your Own Three Word Theme. I encourage you to compose and act on your own 3-word theme for work. Here are 9 steps to create and apply your own unique 3 word theme.

  1. Don’t hurry, don’t worry. Take time to mull over 3 words that are personally meaningful.
  2. The process of doing this may be of equal value to the outcome.
  3. View a number of other people’s 3-word themes by clicking here.
  4. Voice your intended 3-word theme to other people to get their impressions and input.
  5. Once you find the 3-words that fit for you for the year ahead declare them to both other people and yourself.
  6. Create an image for your theme to keep it in focus for the year ahead.
  7. Leverage the 3-words to contemplate more focused and productive work.
  8. Apply the 3-word theme as your internal work GPS.
  9. Use the 3-words to evaluate your work.
David Zinger from Canada is an employee engagement speaker and expert. To access his services and workshops email him at

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