August 1, 2018

Uncharted navigated major transition last year. We experienced a number of mistakes and learned the hard way but—as always—embraced the awkwardness of being beginners. We want to candidly share these mistakes and learnings with you so that you might be able to use these lessons as you charge forward into your own uncharted territory.


It takes courage to step into the unknown: It was very uncomfortable to step into unfamiliar territory of being brandless before settling on a new brand that we loved. It’s easy to stick with what’s already familiar, and it’s hard to take that first courageous step into what’s unknown (but ultimately better than the status quo). We learned how important it is to not get too set in our ways, how valuable change is, and how trying new things, no matter how uncomfortable, can be the catalyst for organizational and personal growth.

  • Commitment: We don’t plan to rebrand again, but we are challenging ourselves to evaluate what are the ways we have always done things and is there a new and better way. We’ve revamped our hiring process this year and reimagined how we combine the elemental building blocks of our programs and initiatives (more on this below).

Making decisions with hindsight from the future: It’s remarkable the decisions we stressed about in the rebranding process that now seem less consequential (we talk about it in detail in this guide). We often got stuck in short-term thinking and spent way too much time debating issues that ultimately didn’t matter in the long-term. We have been challenged us to take the long-view and insert our future selves into our present minds when making big decisions about the future of the organization.

  • Commitment: One of our values is to “Take the Long View” and we’re adding that decision-making criterion for all major (and minor) decisions.

Rebranding is still happening: We officially changed our website and name on July 25th, 2017, but rebranding is a process that is still ongoing. We’re still telling people that we are formerly the Unreasonable Institute and “no, it’s not Unchartered; it’s Uncharted.” We’re still rebuilding our reputation and presence externally through a new marketing strategy. One mistake we made was to spend so much time focusing on the exact moment of the rebrand and probably not enough time on the brand-building in the months that followed. A major change of any kind is often a series of small changes strung together instead of a “turn-the-switch” moment in time.

  • Commitment: We’re taking the pressure off of change to happen all at once and are giving ourselves the time and space to build projects of transition with timelines of small connected changes.

Read the whole story on Medium!