In a former life I worked in large organizations where the HR department would conduct “360 Feedback Programs”. If you’re not familiar with this exercise it works like this: subordinates, peers and your boss are asked to fill out a form to provide “confidential” feedback on your behavior and performance. This is then shared with you by someone in HR. You’re expected to take the anonymous feedback as “constructive criticism” and then develop a plan to improve your effectiveness. This well-meaning exercise invariably leaves you dazed and confused and wondering what everyone really meant. See Patrick Lencioni’s book “The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive” for his perspective.
Seven years ago, I conducted my first EOS Focus Day with a client. In this exercise members of the leadership team share real-time, face to face feedback with their peers whether they themselves truly “Get it, Want it and have the Capacity to do the 5 major roles of their position. After a person shares his self-assessment, his or her peers give their feedback. It goes like this, “Jim, you demonstrate each day that you truly Get it, Want it and have the Capacity to do your job.” Or, “Fred, I think you Get it, I’m not sure that you really Want it which is a shame because you clearly have the Capacity to do it.” This simple exercise accomplishes in minutes what takes months (maybe years) for traditional 360 Degree Feedback programs to accomplish. It creates awareness by shining a bright light on any issues. There’s nowhere to hide.
In a recent Quarterly Meeting, the head of manufacturing shared that he had completed a real-time “Get it, Want it and Capacity to Do It” feedback session with his direct reports. This also included feedback on how well aligned each person was around the organization’s Core Values. The results? Awareness was created. The air was cleared. Everyone was heard. No one got defensive. And, the team took a giant step towards becoming both healthy and smart.
Could you do this with your team? If not, ask yourself, “Is my team truly healthy and smart? Do I have a team?” Peer to peer trust and accountability is the glue that holds a great team together.