Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What About 360 Feedback?

Most leadership performance and development processes now include some type of 360 degree feedback instrument. These tools are important. However, 360s have a limited scope and only tell part of the story. They describe what and how performance behaviors are observed – citing external perceptions from performance stakeholders. Frequently, feedback from 360s alone creates confusion or disconnects for the recipient. The difference between a leader’s intent and impact on others can be substantial.

The CDR 3-Dimensional Assessment Suite®, especially the CDR Risk Assessment developmental feedback, digs beyond 360° feedback and reveals the "whys" behind performance behaviors. The CDR 3-D Suite cuts to the chase by identifying individual character traits, inherent personality-based risks, and motivational needs that trigger performance behaviors. This helps leader feedback recipient to understand the root causes of their behaviors and why these behaviors manifest in the ways they do in various situations. The mysteries, gaps, and confusion created by 360 feedback are cleared up by the CDR 3-D Suite. Developmental paths are clearly revealed when an individual understands their own inherent risks, strengths, acumen, and motivational needs.

For example, consider a leader who receives a “needs improvement” rating for innovation. Given this feedback, developmental plans may be made to send this leader to a “creativity” class or to participate in a “think tank” or the like. However, in digging into the Risk Assessment results, we often find a myriad of explanations that would make the prescribed creativity training the wrong course of action – wasting time and money while resulting in further frustration.

By measuring one’s risk factors, we are able to determine the root cause behind one’s reluctance or inability to innovate. Perhaps there is a high risk of “Worrier” where an individual has a fear of failure and over-processes or overworks all issues and decisions. Or, frequently, we find that leaders who are Cynics tend to shoot down or prevent ideas from taking root by virtue of their constant negativity, doubting, and nay saying. By identifying these types of characteristics (and most people have several combinations of risks) we can narrow the focus of development, action, and determination of the most effective tactics to improve and minimize the risks from interfering with individual and team performance.

When equipped with the essential, robust, and accurate insights about one’s own inherent tendencies, leaders are able to focus on their strengths, understand and manage their risks more productively, and re-fortify relationships. Leaders can then concentrate on building a more positive and productive work environment, designing developmental action plans that are accurate and productive, and on concentrating on those aspects of work they find most rewarding and fulfilling.

~ Nancy & Kim