End of Year Review – Top 10 Blog posts from 2013

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As we approach the end of the year, we thought we would mirror those myriad of ‘Top 50 countdown’ shows you find on TV about now, reminding you of all the reality shows, scandinavian thrillers, and period BBC dramas you missed.

Here is the top ten countdown of our most popular blog posts over the last year, ranging from tips on what makes for a successful 360 degree feedback process, to embedding values within your organisation, through to how to design a performance appraisal form.

So, put those brussel sprouts to one side and tuck in…

1. Busting some ‘Urban Myths’ with 360 degree feedback

2. How to take a strategic view with 360 degree feedback

3. How to keep values and behaviours alive…an employee’s view

4. Be careful what you wish for when it comes to Performance Reviews

5. Values, employee behaviour and your brand

6. How the design of your performance appraisal form affects the appraisal conversation

7. Using social proof as a means of embedding your organisational values

8. What’s your Achilles’ Heel?

9. What single thing would most improve your performance appraisal process?

10. 360 degree feedback; objects in the mirror are closer than they appear


And with that, we are signing off for the year with our blog posts; we look forward to sharing our thoughts, insights and our new look  website when we return in 2014!

Merry Xmas and a peaceful New Year from all the team at Bowland Solutions






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Are 360 degree feedback questionnaires about leadership outdated?

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This great article in the Guardian digs into perceptions of leadership and asks ‘Are our ingrained assumptions about leadership outdated?’ The insight came to the author when he was being asked to complete a 360 degree feedback questionnaire.

It’s an interesting point and we do see many 360 degree feedback questionnaires which seemingly reflect something of this notion, most notably due often to the absence of ¬†now much recognised leadership success factors around ‘Emotional Intelligent’ behaviours/indicators such as empathy.

The idea that there is an ‘off-the-shelf’ approach to leadership is outdated; the nuances and complexities of life inside every organisation and a new world of business which is volatile and uncertain, mean that desired leadership qualities in one place may be very undesirable in another; 360 degree feedback questionnaires need careful thought and consideration of the organisational culture (current and desired).




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Don’t set yourself up to fail at Performance Appraisal time

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A punchy and interesting article on the looming prospect for many of the annual Performance Appraisal; again it reiterates the common sense refrain that ‘One annual performance appraisal, doesn’t make a Performance Management process’.

Critically the article outlines why many organisations may line themselves up to fail by placing too much expectation on the Annual Performance Appraisal, and then not unsurprisingly, having those unrealistic expectations not met; a recipe for failure.

We are busy again as we approach the end-of-year performance appraisal cycle for many clients who wish to ensure this conversation goes well – but what is different this year and which is great to see, is a firmer commitment by clients to extending the training of Line Managers beyond just the appraisal.

Clients wish to broaden the skills, capability and confidence of their managers to be able to set effective objectives, be adept at giving feedback as the next year progresses, and be able to coach team members to improve their performance as well as develop their skills.

Please get in touch if you wish to find out more about our suite of ‘Meaningful Conversations’ training programmes for Line Managers and employees.


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