Behave! Part 2 – Getting the preparation right

Wednesday, 7 July 2013


Creating the right systems and processes to support 360° Feedback in your organisation.

A quick reminder of the headlines:

  1. Most organisations need to constantly flex and change to compete effectively in their markets
  2. Significant changes usually need behavioural as well as structural change
  3. Change without behavioural change is rarely successful or sustainable
  4. There is only way to measure and build a base to develop behavioural change: 360° Feedback
  5. 360° Feedback is not easy to get right

Following on from the introduction to the process in our previous blog, where we covered the six areas for review:

  1. Get the preparation right
  2. Create the right metrics
  3. Ask the right Questions
  4. Obtain the right Answers
  5. Giving the right Feedback
  6. Support the right Development

Today we are looking further into the detail of the first and most important step in the process; Getting the preparation right. The old adage of “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail” is never more true than when introducing 360° degree feedback into your business. The fundamental reasons why 360° feedback needs so much more preparation than any other psychometric are:

  • It touches so many more people in an organisation compared to any other metric
  • It requires more organizational time and resource
  • It requires organizing more people to be briefed and to buy in to the process
  • It covers sensitive ground that can be uncomfortable for some/many

Many organisations use 360° feedback today without paying any great regard to the details involved in this process. Relatively few that we come across put the thinking time into considering the end to end implementation of the process. The time and resource pressures on organisations often mitigate against full planning and thinking. This is the main reason why we created the Behave! framework to provide a simple to follow structure to ensure that all elements of the process are considered.

In truth getting the preparation right can be applied to all steps in the process, since they all need to be considered before implementation. The purpose of the first step in the process is to ensure that the purpose and return expected from the system fits with the resource, budget and organisational culture. It consists of the following areas of consideration:

Clarity of Purpose and Return on Investment

A simple critique of the purpose of the process and the expected returns can often throw up several interesting questions. It is not unusual for the stated purpose to appear threatening or vague when written and examined closely, which helps neither senior management in quantifying the outcome or any of the staff to have the confidence to participate openly and honestly.

Organisational “Feedback Fit” capability

“Feedback Fitness” is an unusual concept, but so important for the success of a 360° Feedback programme. As an organisation:

  • How open are you to receiving feedback from your staff and stakeholders?
  • What are the formal and informal ways in which feedback is disseminated?
  • How honest is the feedback your receive?
  • How do you know?

Resource planning

How much time is it going to take out of the organisation in terms of:

  • HR administration and support
  • Management involvement
  • Staff time to complete the feedback (A BIG Surprise here if you are not careful!!)
  • IT resource
  • Coaching and supporting the development

If you do not take the time to consider and plan for these basic elements, then it is most likely that you are planning to fail, and the sad thing is that in some instances companies are failing without even realising it.

If you have any concerns about the effectiveness of your 360° Feedback process, we would be delighted to discuss any issues you might wish to raise.

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