360 degree feedback, organizational trust, change & sustainability
Best Practice in 360 Degree Feedback: No. 7 - Who delivers the feedback?
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Wednesday, 26 September 2007
What about the 'boss' that everyone loves - and who wants to deliver the feedback? If it's just limited to delivering the feedback to the manager (recipient) that may be OK. Much better if the manager can receive it from someone further removed and more independent. Later, they can talk to their boss - but not necessarily show them the profile. We put a lot of emphasis on confidentiality, it improves the quality of results. On the other hand, the boss has every right to know about action plans and check that they are carried through.

In general, an independent person should hand back and discuss the profiles and facilitate the interaction between manager and team - which is the critical part of the 360 Facilitated® process.

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posted by Dr Ron @ 11:03   0 comments
Best Practice in 360 Degree Feedback: No. 6 - Maintain confidentiality
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Friday, 21 September 2007
The 360 feedback profile is the property of the manager. It is valuable information for him or her to use for development purposes. Profiles are not intended for blaming or for comparing managers. They are not intended to 'show someone up'. Anything of this nature reduces the cooperative change that should occur and damages the climate in which everyone works. Whatever the supposed short-term gains, the long-term will be negative.

In our 360 Facilitated® process, we encourage the manager to share their profile with their team - but we shred all copies afterwards, whether 'good' or 'bad'. Why shred the 'good' ones? 1) because they're not really 'good', just a snapshot of manager, team (and organization!) at a point in time and already by our facilitated session we have changed that, the profile is no longer valid! and 2) because any profile that is passed around, immediately begs the question "what do the others look like?" Maybe some of the others don't look so great - but once used in the facilitation process, they are no longer valid! Our aim is therefore to invalidate all feedback in one powerful team-faciliation session that provides everyone with action plans for a great future.

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posted by Dr Ron @ 10:53   0 comments
Best Practice in 360 Degree Feedback: No. 5 - Safeguard anonymity!
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Friday, 14 September 2007
Since the accuracy and honesty of the survey depends totally on anonymity, defend it! The process must ensure that all responses are anonymous (except the manager's manager(s) - and even that person has been known to want to hide!) and the people involved must take it very seriously. Any loss of anonymity or even just the threat of exposure will greatly reduce the value of the survey.

Simple things can lose anonymity, here's an example: a manager has staff absent and can only get, say 3 responses. The profile is produced and given to them with averaged data only. Another staff member returns and wants to put in his/her response. No! It can't be anonymous, it's easy to work out what's been added. So you ask them "Do you mind not being anonymous?" "Of course not" s/he replies but what else could they say? A "Yes" would make their position rather obvious. So now they will have to play it safe if they feel under threat.

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posted by Dr Ron @ 19:08   0 comments
Anita Roddick - a life well spent
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Wednesday, 12 September 2007
Anita Roddick has passed. This woman ended much of the testing of products on animals and the misery caused (how many products now say "not tested on animals"?). Pioneer of environmental and ethical beauty, she invented Fair Trade - paying an honest price to third world producers - in opposition to the multi-nationals who used their power to drive prices, such as tea into the ground. She started a soap factory in the poorest area in Glasgow (possibly the poorest in Europe) and gave back 25% of the profits for drop in centres, for the elderly, daycare centres, adventure playgrounds. She launched a Stop Violence Against Women campaign.

She came up with the message for Mother's Day: 'God couldn't be everywhere so he created mothers'.
She is all about sustainability and suggests the need for what sounds like Mega Planning.

With so much goodwill she built a vast franchise chain in the UK, the USA and many other countries. She sold it to L'Oreal a year ago and used the money to start her foundation. She has high hopes that L'Oreal will continue her tradition.
Read her last interview, it's badly transcribed but worth it. She hints at markets for sustainable business.

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posted by Dr Ron @ 19:11   1 comments
Best Practice in 360 Degree Feedback: No. 4 - Don't pick on anyone!
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Monday, 10 September 2007
360 feedback is a tool for helping groups of managers (or the whole organization) improve, not for 'straightening out' any one of them. I've seen more than once a manager 'volunteer' for 360 and how that fails, usually with the manager leaving. A lot of money to achieve nothing. Next best thing to cascading from the top is starting with a group of managers. Then they're in it together. They can support one another in the process - and the results may surprise you!

So start as high as you can, or with a group of managers.

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posted by Dr Ron @ 18:24   0 comments
Best Practice in 360 Degree Feedback: No. 3 - Start at the top!
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Friday, 7 September 2007
If senior management really wants a 360 degree feedback program to succeed, then let them start it. Doing so takes a lot of the fear out of the process (and even the very best programs engender some degree of apprehension).

Starting at the top is a demonstration of leadership, it says "I'm not afraid to learn from those who report to me and I expect you to be the same. Let me demonstrate to you how to welcome and receive feedback, and how to put it to good use. We're all in this together".

A feedback program that runs at lower levels only is quite likely to fall into disuse over time. It actually sets a ceiling on communication (this far up and no more) and also demonstrates that only lip service is required from managers in dealing with their direct reports.

To start at the top is almost a guarantee of success because you are opening the organizational culture to dialogue.

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posted by Dr Ron @ 08:31   0 comments
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