What do you think is the most effective feedback mechanism?

There are lots of types of feedback; about individuals, tasks. I would say, if you’re talking about developing individuals to become better at their jobs, probably the best feedback mechanism would be 360 feedback, in which people don’t just get feedback from their boss. It’s a structured questionnaire; you get feedback from your boss, typically three to five peers, and two or three direct reports — because it’s great to get all those angles.

In companies where all assessments about an individual are coming from the boss, you tend to get a very obedient, static organisation in which everyone just wants to please the boss, and you don’t want an organisation where everyone wants to please the boss. They want to build a great company, delight customers, solve problems; not just necessarily the problems the boss gave them but problems that need solving. Having a culture in which people know their career depends on being a collaborator, being a good leader of their people, and pleasing the boss is a much healthier culture than one in which people are only trying to please the boss.

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