SHIFT – When Your Journey Is Only 1% Complete

When the Shift Hits Your Plan“Our journey is only 1% complete.” Those words are the internal motto at Facebook. It’s a daily reminder that continuous success isn’t a destination but a journey.


But how would you feel waking up each day knowing you are no further toward your goal than you were yesterday? Depressed and frustrated? Or motivated and inspired by the challenge and opportunity ahead?


Facebook takes its motto seriously. You should too.  In spite of its past success Facebook believes much more needs to be done, much more opportunity lays ahead, and their best days haven’t arrived yet.


It’s a constant reminder that everyone is on a journey and in spite of its phenomenal success Facebook doesn’t believe it has arrived yet. It doesn’t even believe it’s a quarter or half-way there. In a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity – VUCA – it’s great advice.


The story doesn’t end there. Another reminder at Facebook that continuous success isn’t a destination but a journey is the last sign employees see each day exiting the workplace.  It is Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s not so subtle message to his Facebook employees: Don’t end up like Sun Microsystems.


Facebook’s headquarters used to belong to Sun Microsystems, a onetime power-house of innovation that collapsed and was acquired by Oracle in 2009. When Facebook moved in, Zuckerberg made over the whole place, but he didn’t change the sign out front; he just turned it around and put Facebook on the other side. The old sign remains as a reminder of what happens when you take your eye off the ball.


The Facebook-Sun Microsystems sign is just one symbol that change does not even begin to describe what is happening in the world today. Learning to deal with “change” takes on a whole new meaning. It requires us to become comfortable with volatility and uncertainty, to navigate through complexity, to deal with ambiguity. Consequently, the skills that got many us to our current level of success will be wholly inadequate to keep the momentum going.  This is not a future vision of some distant threat or opportunity. It is reality today.

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Ira S Wolfe