I’ve been talking the last few days about getting to there (my word for vision).  Wrestling with the issues that surround getting clarity about where you really are as the first step in the process.  In a couple very insightful comments Anjuan spelled out his organization’s prescription of a 360 degree review as a way to identify the truth about the way things are followed by the development of an action plan designed to narrow the gap.  What’s missing?  Accountability on the implementation of the action plan.  And there’s the rub.

Here’s the thing, as my friend Eric Swanson says, "You need to have a system that operationalizes your values.  Otherwise, they’re really only sentiments."

First step, determine where you really are.  Second step, begin to think about where you want to go.  Third step, identify the values that you must embrace to get there.  Fourth step, put in the systems that will operationalize the values that will get you to there.  Otherwise, what you dream of being is only a sentiment.

Without a System It’s Only a Sentiment
  • Thanks for the reference. I have one more point about 360 feedback. One sure way to make sure the action plan that results from the 360 feedback is to tie its execution to the annual performance review. That means that an employee’s salary, bonus, promotion, etc., are impacted by his or her effectiveness in following the action plan. This also means that a person’s subordinates could potentially negatively affect that person’s progression in the company which is a concept that few organizations are willing to introduce. However, if implemented, I believe that many managers would begin to value their direct reports in ways that would otherwise be impossible. Also, managers who already “take care” of their subordinates would probably have a chance to be recognized for the fact that people actually like working for them.