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Building a Culture of Feedback

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Presented by Greg Kunkel, SVP and Co-Founder at Next Jump. Talk given at Next Jump Leadership Academy, Nov 3, 2017

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Building a Culture of Feedback

  1. 1. @thom_fuller@gkunks Building a Culture of Feedback November 3, 2017 TPs
  2. 2. Feedback & Performance 2
  3. 3. Can we measure learning? Feedback data - we can measure what was not measurable before: the amount of feedback someone is getting And correlate feedback attributes to performance: quantity, timing, source, etc 3
  4. 4. LEARNING INDEX 4
  5. 5. KEY INSIGHT #1 5 Getting a lot of feedback doesn’t guarantee performance, but NOT getting feedback guarantees failure.
  6. 6. KEY INSIGHT #2 6 High performance leaders are in BOTH categories: Trending up OR down High performance is dramatically more likely, if you are “on the field” getting feedback
  7. 7. USE DATA TO TRIGGER CONVERSATIONS • Expose data insights with everyone (informate) • When we exposed the index, feedback data points increased 50% • See early signals of burnout, turnover, hiding, learning challenges – giving leaders the ability to inject programs and solutions before it’s too late 7 MEASURING LEARNING … BEHAVIOR FOLLOWS
  8. 8. Challenges that get in the way … 8 ORGANIZATIONAL CHALLENGE PERSONAL CHALLENGE
  9. 9. “Every organization wants to be high performing. But what if, ironically, the most robust route to high performance is to NOT have a performance mindset at all.” 9 • "Entrepreneurs favorite mantra – fail fast, fail frequently, fail forward is usually brought to product development. NxJ is bringing it to people development” • Redefine what “doing a good job” means: Instead of “zero mistake” culture, encourage mistakes frequently & fast and learn from them Getting High Performance
  10. 10. Companies with higher learning rates ”outperform” 10 “Research suggests that individuals will tend to interpret critical feedback on their performance very differently depending on whether they hold a performance or a learning orientation.” Root Cause
  11. 11. LHF “lying/hiding/faking” = Walking on EGG SHELLS What does LHF feel like? Like you can’t say what you really feel. Like people are not telling you things. Like it’s not safe to disagree. Like it’s not safe to be honest. It feels like walking on egg shells. Poor performing teams are surrounded by eggs shells. And poor performing teams destroy value. 11
  12. 12. 12 Leadership training requires the organization to have a learning-orientation (room to fail) But most company cultures are performance- oriented That is the fundamental mismatch (and it is not that performance doesn’t matter. to contrary ... like Kegan said, a practicing mindset does better than a performance mindset) Key insight
  13. 13. The Tension of Feedback HUMANS ARE WIRED FOR LEARNING AND GROWTH HUMANS ARE WIRED TO DESIRE BEING ACCEPTED AND LOVED Receiving candid feedback can feel like it flies in the face of being accepted and loved
  14. 14. PROBLEM : We want to stay in comforting lines line 14
  15. 15. Feedback System (org) 15
  16. 16. Feedback System 16
  17. 17. More (critical) feedback given when EVALS are de-coupled from CONTINUOUS FEEDBACK When feedback is linked to performance eval systems, peers and (often) managers don’t want to share the truth Feedback received is ignored (want to know what comp/promotion they got) Peers often won’t tell truth for fear of “ruining a career” 17 Creating boundaries between feedback & evaluation
  18. 18. 18 Building “Feedback Muscles” – how to start Build the Feedback Muscle in steps We found that building the feedback muscle takes practice Starting with safer feedback on how to make an event better, or your plan better Level 1: Events Not about a specific person. Level 3: Brief What happened (facts) on your project? Level 4: De-Brief (Culture) Self rate the result + your decision making? Level 5: De-Brief (Revenue) Self rate the result + your decision making? Level 2: Skill Communication/ sales / tech.
  19. 19. CIRCLES OF SAFETY Coaching at Scale 19
  20. 20. What have we learned about feedback? How to build to overcome these issues … 1) Fear of giving candid feedback 2) Fear of “looking bad” in front of peers 3) How to “own your feedback” PERSONAL CHALLENGE
  21. 21. Problem #1: Fear of Giving Candid Feedback 21
  22. 22. 22 AM I GOING TO TELL YOU WHAT I REALLY THINK? Will I hurt your feelings? Am I being judgmental? Am I a hypocrite? Will I get in trouble?
  23. 23. “Cultures where everyone is nice are filled with inauthentic kindness” 23 RADICAL CANDOR https://www.radicalcandor.com/ Dr. Jim Loehr Human Performance Institute 1 2 3 4
  24. 24. Give 5 minutes at end of meetings … VISCERAL (FAST) vs THOUGHTFUL (SLOW) 24 LESSON #1 If you give people a lot of time to write feedback – they will logic their way to being nice / political … and water-it-down And get more “empathetic” – and the empathy lowers their directness Often, the more time you give, the less feedback you get. They forget to do it.
  25. 25. People naturally “rate high” (at start) Like Uber or Netflix rating – people tend to “barbell” (high or low) When feedback is new in an organization, people tend to give 3s and 4s 2 = “what you expect from them” NORMALIZE “2” 25 LESSON #2
  26. 26. People are so unpracticed at giving feedback – it is often ambiguous. The number clarifies what you mean. But the number alone is not enough. It does not tell give info about WHAT to improve And the number gives a data trail. NUMBER RATING + COMMENT 26 LESSON #3 “I really liked the summary of results – a good innovation. But overall preso was a hard follow & I think you lost a lot of people” “good job.” sh#t sandwich blow off (amateur-sport back pat)
  27. 27. Problem #2: Fear of Looking Bad in Front of Peers 27
  28. 28. NOT TRYING IS WORSE THAN GETTING A BAD SCORE Leadership has to demonstrate that “taking a shot” is good. And that hiding is bad. Also – it is not intuitive, but we found that “investment in loss” is better than flat. If you are leading, you will get criticized. REDEFINE WHAT IS BAD 28 LESSON #4 Learning NOT Learning
  29. 29. Make hiding uncomfortable Peer pressure is more effective to get people “in the game” INFORMATE PUBLICALLY 29 LESSON #5
  30. 30. LEAD WITH SELF ASSESSMENT 30 LESSON #6 Relieves pressure of “waiting for the punch” Process from Navy “Sortie” Debrief 1) Rate yourself 2) Comment most junior to most senior 3) Group is harder if individual is lying/hiding/faking
  31. 31. Problem #3: How to solicit feedback? How to “own” your own feedback - the basic skills. 31
  32. 32. HOW YOU ASK 32 LESSON #7 Make it easy for others to tell you the truth The receiver is in charge (not the teller) It is up to you to invite the truth. By default you will get “comforting lies” ✘
  33. 33. KNOWN GROUP + ANONYMOUS FEEDBACK 33 LESSON #8 Candid feedback from peers that know you Easier to see patterns Ex: our MV21 leadership group
  34. 34. Higher performers seek feedback more FREQUENTLY • Consistency vs intensity • The combo of both QUANTITY and FREQUENCY builds to a habit of feedback • Value is in seeing PATTERNS • It is rare that one piece of feedback is a “huge” insight – rather, seeing the patterns is insightful FREQUENCY & QUANTITY MATTER MORE THAN THE SCORE 34 LESSON #9 Leaders of High Performing Teams Leaders of Low Performing Teams
  35. 35. INVEST IN THE RECOVERY PROCESS 35 LESSON #10 Feedback is often badly delivered, poorly phrased, unfair … hard to hear. But it is up to you to find the gold. Recovery Process: 1. Talk about it and “vent” with a trusted partner (“burn off” emotion) 2. Sleep on it 3. Print out and read again 4. Cross out what doesn’t resonate 5. Highlight patterns 6. Watch Video 7. Discuss with TP
  36. 36. Summary 36
  37. 37. Giving Feedback Looking Bad Owning Your Own Feedback LESSONS LEARNED SO FAR 37 1. VISCERAL (FAST) vs THOUGHTFUL (SLOW) 2. NORMALIZE “2” 3. NUMBER RATING + COMMENT 4. REDEFINE WHAT IS BAD: HIDING (getting “in the game” is good) 5. INFORMATE PUBLICALLY 6. LEAD WITH SELF ASSESSMENT 7. MAKE IT EASY FOR OTHERS TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH 8. KNOWN GROUP + ANONYMOUS FEEDBACK 9. FREQUENCY & QUANTITY MATTER (more than the “score”) 10. RECOVERY PROGRAMS 1 2 3 * *
  38. 38. KEY INSIGHT 38 Getting a lot of feedback doesn’t guarantee performance, but NOT getting feedback guarantees failure.
  39. 39. Thank You greg@nextjump.com twitter: @gkunks tom@nextjump.com twitter: @thom_fuller

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