Continuing the power of One Word

Can one word change how you approach work and life? IMO’s CEO Ann Barnes believes so, and has challenged herself - and the company - to find out.

For the second year in a row, IMO is participating in Project One Word, which is based on a book that asks people to pick a single word that will inspire how they work and live for the year ahead. We did this in 2021 and it was so popular with leadership and employees that we are doing it again. Part of why I began this initiative is because at IMO, we are very committed to creating a culture where we can bring our authentic selves to work. Personally, I find it really impactful to have a simple word to guide me for the year.

My word last year was intentional, and I picked it because I wanted to be intentional about everything I did professionally and personally in 2021. I used it to help make sure I wasn’t just reacting to work issues or something happening with my children. I was very attached to this word because it really did act as a guide for me throughout the year and impacted my life in positive ways. It took me a long time to pick a new one because I wanted it to serve me the same way my word did last year.

My word for 2022 is brilliant. Professionally, I want to make brilliant decisions as a leader and work at the top of my license to do brilliant things with my team. I also want to leave every interaction, personally and professionally, a little brighter. It’s so easy to focus on the negative and what’s going wrong, but I want to be more intentional about being a bright light in my relationships.

We discussed this exercise at our recent all company meeting, and the leadership team shared their words and the meaning behind them. The broader team also shared their words virtually, which we compiled into a word cloud. I loved seeing the different words people came up with to guide and inspire them.

Sometimes simple is best, and the One Word project is a great example of how one small act can lead to big changes in how we approach our everyday actions.

To check out what IMO employees chose as their One Words for 2021, click here.

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