I’ve been thinking about the process of getting to there (my way of talking about vision or the preferred future).  In the last two weeks I’ve been wrestling with the idea of where am I really; aware that without an accurate understanding of the present my journey to the preferred future will be tougher (if not impossible).

Wrestling the present includes not only untangling false assumptions but also identifying the truth.  What could that be?  Your strengths, assets, reputation, capabilities, personality…all the things that add up to you.  This is helpful whether you’re talking about your organization or you personally.  Either way, clarity on the present must precede any planning to reach the preferred future.

An important step in the process is some kind of 360 degree review, feedback from "subordinates, peers, and managers in the organizational hierarchy".  Ever gotten that kind of feedback?  What format have you used?

The Truth About Where You Are
  • Availability of 360 feedback is key to understanding our true strengths and weaknesses. Most of us are very good at “managing up”, i.e., keeping our bosses happy, but we usually don’t do nearly as good a job at managing our subordinates. My company ties 360 feedback to the three domains most relevant to our workforce: project management, people development, and selling. The format of the 360 review lists these domains and divides them into questions about the capability of the assessee in each area. It is always eye opening to hear what the people who work for you think about your performance. The next step after receiving the 360 feedback is to develop an action plan to address any gaps that are reported.

  • Two very important ideas: a built-in 360 review and the development of an action plan to address ay gaps. Here’s the million dollar question: is there an accountability structure that checks to see if the action plan happens?

  • Unfortunately, execution of the action plan is not as robust as it should be. However, we do have an annual performance review where assigned mentors should review the plan and determine if it is being followed.