The use of 360 degree feedback to aid an individuals development is well established; however, to what degree can it be used to ‘develop’ a team, department or even a whole organisation?
If we consider that the purpose of 360 feedback is to bring about a sustained improvement in those behaviours deemed important to the organisation, and that those behaviours are partly derived from the desired organisational values, then it is possible that cultural change can occur.
Values driven behaviours, which are assessed through 360 degree appraisal, provide a method whereby those behaviours are consistently in view, talked about, and provide the basis for personal development plans.
Ultimately, it is this continuous holding to account of individuals to these behaviours which can help shift the organisation.
Mission, Vision and Values statements are not enough; they need to come alive through day-to-day application.
An interesting article in a Canadian publication called ‘The Globe and Mail’ which offered the insights of an organisational psychologist on what the 10 traits top leaders possess; the data was extracted from 10 years worth of Performance Reviews across high level executives.
The different traits are categorised into intangibles that help in good decision making, how they impact the people they lead and finally those which drive a leader towards greatness.
Of the first group, it is that of ‘Wisdom’ which caught my eye having written a post on this topic a few months ago and the fact it is cited by the author as the one factor which is essential to success in many of the others.
It is described as that ability to intelligently apply all of the knowledge which is available to help make decisions, assessing current conditions, and ensure any learning is brought forward to be used in future scenarios.
A further call to have ‘Wisdom’ as a key competency to be incorporated in leadership 360 degree feedback assessment in the future!
I have touched on this topic before but a recent client project utilising our 360 degree feedback tool to assess their effectiveness prompted some more musings on what is becoming a growing area of interest for both ourselves and our clients.
Working with senior leadership teams demands assessment and measurement both of individual performance and behaviours, as well as that of the team as a whole entity.
High performing teams have long been identified by their ability to handle conflict, engender trust, communicate optimally, hold each other to account and be committed to acheive results.
Using a simple survey to prompt a ’360 degree feedback style’ self-evaluation by all team members on how they perceive ‘the team’ is an excellent exercise and one that can generate real insights into what is working well and what is holding the team back from performing to the very best of it’s ability.
I am just starting a new book called ‘The Mindful Manifesto’ which attracted my attention through the connection I drew between how 360 degree feedback raises self-awareness and can create a state of mindfulness as described in this book.
It seeks to blend a wisdom thousands of years old with new scientific research that shows how mindfulness (often associated through the practice of meditation) can help reduce stress, improve health and manage our behaviour through observation of oneself at work, at home and in relationships.
It is the latter point which brings into focus the nature of 360 degree feedback, which is to provide a means of bringing together ones own perception of how one behaves, coupled with the views of other people, and in doing so results in a new level of awareness.
I am intrigued at this merging between Buddhist philisophies and studies within neuroscience; it offers a means of taking what may have been construed as beliefs into simply a good way to live, work and play.