Do You Have a Business Theme?

legit copyA business theme is like a rallying cry. It helps to align your team and keep them focused on the most important things. I’ve used themes to help teams remember and execute on plans for 15 years, with great results. But, for the last year, I have been playing with quarterly themes, and I think they might be even more powerful than the annual kind.

The power of a theme is undeniable at executing on strategy. Here are a few favorites:

  • The Big Leap
  • Acme 2.0
  • Breakout
  • Hello Beautiful
  • Go For Launch
  • Let’s Get it Started
  • Against All Odds
  • Too Legit to Quit
  • Movin’ On Up

Song and movie titles make for very effective themes because they have rich imagery and quickly evoke a mood. Each of the example themes represented a business plan and was expressed using graphic posters, coffee mugs, t-shirts, and other prop items that brought the plan to life. They helped people to stay focused on doing the right things, helping them to remember the plans. 

If you assemble a team across departments to fully develop and implement your theme, you will increase adoption and ownership of both your theme, and the plan it represents.

So why do I now think that quarterly themes might be more powerful? Because an annual theme can fade in and become background. And, because plans are more effective if you update them more frequently. A quarterly theme is always fresh and relevant, if it’s based on plans and priorities that have been updated for the current situation. You should have clear, measurable goals and actions behind a theme. There should also be a compelling reward when you hit the target. 

My theme this quarter is Too Legit to Quit. It reminds me of my priorities for product development, marketing, operations, cash, and sales. 

What’s important to your business this quarter? What’s your theme?


Bill Gallagher trains and coaches business leaders and teams around the world in programs for innovation, acceleration, and leadership development. You’ll find his full background here: He loves to help teams develop themes and accelerate growth.

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Time for a Course Correction in Your Business - July 15, 2015 Reply

[…] you have the company priorities set, you’ll want to create a theme that captures the spirit, and assign a theme team to communicate […]

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