2017 Word of the Year

2017 marks our 8th year of choosing a Word of the Year. We do that instead of resolutions or other ways to mark the beginning of a new year.

Our “Word of the Year” is a focus point, a rallying cry, a commitment, a guide, a prayer. And it’s an interesting marker to look back on after the year is complete.

Last year’s Word of the Year for Oneicity was “Root.” I looked back at that post again this morning as I was drafting along. It’s funny how much “Root” was a part of 2016. We took so many steps (some that worked and some that didn’t) to Root our company. In 2015, our word was “Dream.” Both words fit in unique ways. We’re still dreaming (Oh, boy are we!), and we’re still rooting for our clients’ success and deepening our company’s foundation.

And now we have a brand spanking new year!

This year’s word was easy to come up with. Typically, Hoots and I begin talking about the Word of the Year in December. We’ll pull out the list of the words we’ve thought about for each year and bat them around. Some years, it’s a challenge that requires a lot of debate and discussion. Some years we’re days into January before we sort it out.

Hoots has a consistent track record proposing the winning word. Last year Hoots pulled “Root” out of the air during a brainstorming session. It was perfect.

This year’s word came to me in the same sort of quick flash. We were talking about what we thought 2017 would require of us. After the Dream year and the Root year, what did we think 2017 will require?




We tossed words like this back and forth until I heard myself say, “Rise.”

It felt right. It sounded right. Maybe we’ve been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack too much.

The kind of meanings associated with “rise” are:

To get up.

To become active.

To stand out.

To spring up or grow!

And of course, there’s that moment when the sun scatters the darkness.

If you “rise above” you’re ignoring difficult circumstances.

“Give rise to” means producing or creating.

Those fit.

In 2017, we rise.

In 2016, Oneicity experienced significant growth again. We moved into new offices and added to our team. Our clients partnered with us for new projects. We built infrastructure and systems to help us stay up with all the changes. Built. And experimented. We had to scrap some plans and started over. We hit some dead-ends. We solved some problems, and we grew.

In 2017, we can rise on that foundation. We can grow from those roots as God allows.

When I announced “rise” to our team last week, I told them about one of my earliest memories of my Dad.

My Dad was pretty typical of his generation. Hard working. Godly. Genuinely loved and consistently sacrificed for his family. He wasn’t outwardly emotional or excitable. Calm as concrete. As a little kid, I remember him waking me on Sunday mornings (that was usually the only morning he wasn’t up and out of the house before I was out of bed). On those mornings, I can remember him coming down the hall of our little house saying with expectation, excitement and joy: “It’s time to rise and shine.”

That’s our belief. Our prayer. That 2017 will be the time to rise and shine. We believe and pray that for our clients, our company and for each of us on the Oneicity team.

And, of course, that’s my encouragement, hope and prayer for you.

Is 2017 the time for you to rise?

How about we rise and shine together?


Steve Thomas
Partner, Oneicity

(photo credit: Steve Thomas)

Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.