One Word Can Inspire Change

One Word Can Inspire Change

Published Apr 23, 2021 by Rick Cundiff

Are you one of those people who can’t quite get your day started before that first cup of coffee in the morning? You know, that little bit of caffeinated inspiration that gets you moving, fuels your creativity, and lets you say “OK World, here we go.”

I know that feeling, for I am one of you. Just can’t quite get the mental gears to mesh until after that first cup.

And sometimes, the muse feels far away in the afternoon as well. Just need some little extra kick to fuel the ol’ blog post like this one.

But it’s not usually coffee that breaks the midafternoon malaise. It can be something simple.

A word, perhaps, from a page, or from a colleague in the office. A phrase, a song. Just that little kick.

In the early 1900s, businessman Thomas J. Watson wrote one word on a easel in a staff meeting at the National Cash Register Company, in all caps.


In 1914, Watson took the same slogan with him to the company that became IBM. I’d say it worked out pretty well for both him and the company he became CEO of.

Watson famously refused to make the slogan, emblazoned on signs throughout IBM, more specific.

“I mean take everything into consideration,” he said. “If a man just sees THINK, he’ll find out what I mean.”

And there you have it. One simple word. Five letters that a titan of American industry believed would spur his associates and his company to greatness. A word that helped lead IBM to a position of international leadership in computing.

Who would have thought one word could do so much?

Now imagine what one word on a custom patch can do. Any word. Express yourself with one single word. Make your mark with a word on your jacket, shirt, cap or vest.

You could inspire the next Thomas J. Watson. Or the next Bob Dylan. Or the next Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

You never know what will make people THINK.