Feedback Category

The 2×2 Holy Grail

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There is one 2×2 matrix I am drawn to (and draw on) more than any other.

One that I have heard applied to government ministers, heart surgeons and sports players.

It is described in a number of ways, but it is really the same each time:
• Technical ability vrs living corporate values
• Aptitude vrs Attitude – see this tweet on it
• Skill vrs will
• Competence vrs likeability – see this  and the middle of this

When Secretary of State for health Alan Johnson was described by a few senior officials as a rare minister in the upper right box.

I have heard managers (and sports coaches) say they hire for aptitude and fire for attitude.

I have seen star performers sacked for refusing to budge out of the top left box.

It links to level 4 and 5 leadership in my values framework:

Where are you? Where are your colleagues? Do you feedback on these things to each other? See the third type of feedback here.

The Holy Grail? Certainly the hardest.


The sound of (more than) one hand clapping

Feedback, Meetings No Comments

There are (at least) 10 uses of applause in a conference:

1) To thank a speaker (“let’s applaud…”)
2) To appreciate someone you have just done group work with (“let’s acknowledge…”)
3) To reach out to someone who has just frozen in ‘stage fright’
4) To encourage someone stumbling in a language that is not their own
5) To acknowledge the whole group
6) To vote (noting the relative volume)
7) To express frustration (the slow clap)
8) To warm up (clapping more than just hands)
9) As part of a listening or co-ordination game

I was at a meeting where nearly all of these were used at one time or another.

And at one point someone said “at the end of the day we are all here to make money”. Most nodded vigorously. A few clapped.

Then something happened.  There was a spontaneous round of applause.  And I was I was left thinking “what a lovely clap”. Which one? Clap 3.

No noble purpose in sight. Money was in focus. And yet there was care…for a stranger. At the mic.  Stuck in the headlights. Frozen with fear when it was their turn to speak.  Helped out of that hole by the generous applause of the group.

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3 of the best?

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After the October facilitation series of blogs (please let me know if you would like the compilation), I have been tweeting a bit more recently.

These are three very recent ones…

A tweet about a blog!

Hi-foresight with BT

A fascinating talk from a Cambridge college, that links to noble vrs financial purpose:

What do you reckon?


Survey sense?

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We have been preparing a number of web surveys for work in various places around the world this week.

Online surveys have become a very common feature of the ‘pre-work’ in many projects, along with individual interviews, working with a design team and video vox pops. [By the way, our 13p worksheet is proving very popular for many design teams – one of the P’s is ‘pre-work’….do you know the others?]

In our facilitation training courses, we emphasise there are three things that make for a great survey:
1) Some really insightful questions – and only a handful of those. Take time to get these right. Make sure you have slightly more open ended ones (which is counter intuitive to some who think ahead to ease of analysis – see point three below).
2) A platform to host the survey. Is it branded or on a free site (such as Surveymonkey or Zoomerang)? Do you make it clear you are getting an independent outfit to help with your opinion research or are you keen to show you are doing it in house? Can the system you choose enable automated emails of individual submissions and a daily xls of all the survey results to the survey host?
3) A clear and insightful analysis. This is the key step. Increasingly free survey platforms (such as Zoho) make production of pie charts and graphs easy. However, we believe there is no replacement for an insightful person who can make sense of the relationship between the quantitative and qualitative answers from both closed, fixed choice and open ended questions.

These steers might help you perfect your in house surveys.


Race for…remembering

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I was watching Race for Life in Cambridge yesterday. I enjoy cheering on various family members and friends (plus those doing especially well, dressed creatively or struggling too). It is a moving time watching women of all ages push themselves in memory of people they know or have known.

As I was clapping, a pretty hard looking guy strolled past with a tough looking dog, who proceeded to foul the pavement (the dog, not the guy). With this blog in mind, I wondered what we would do, and what I should think of doing too (see this).

Secondly, a woman went past complaining loudly about charities generally and especially those that raise money on the streets: “I hear they are dreadful and waste most of what you give”. This reminded me of our ideas on Noble Purpose Organisations. My plan before writing the book is to present and test the overall argument in a number of 60-90 minute interactive sessions (complete with stories, concepts and suggested actions) this autumn. Please let me know if you know anyone who might be interested. I will then write this into an article or pamphlet before any book…thanks to those of you who feedback ideas that have informed this route.

And the guy with the dog?…well, he stopped, got a little bag out of his back pocket and picked up the mess. Really times have changed…I find that example very encouraging for making change in our lives, teams and societies. And you?

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Feedback please?

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This piece from the Harvard Business Review adds a nice bit to our blog on feedback…

What do you think…?


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