Monthly Archives: March 2009

360 Feedback – Building on tradition


“The term 360° feedback comes from the analogy to a compass: A circle with 360 points of reference used to determine and monitor direction. 360° feedback provides performance data from multiple points of reference, not just one. Like a compass, it is a navigational tool that more accurately lets us know when we are on or off course. It can fill the gaps that invariably exist between how you see yourself and how others see you. Its’ purpose is, first, to gain deeper insight into how we, and others, see our performance and, second, to reinforce and accelerate the need for continuous development.”

David Lassiter
Performance and Instruction Journal


The traditional approach is to use 360 feedback to identify relative weaknesses and build a development plan that improves those weaknesses. This approach is still valid and useful. We need to be aware of our relative weaknesses and how we compare to others. The strategies to use this information can be two fold, improve (training, effort, practice, etc) or enable others to support you in these areas.3-30-2009-08-55-572

Your feedback and discussion should answer these questions:
1.    What are my strengths and weaknesses?
2.    What should I improve?
3.    How can I improve?
4.    What can I do to have others support me in my areas of weakness?


We have learned and adjusted practices over time using feedback surveys. What might be counter intuitive is to focus and build on your strengths. Like an athlete who needs to be aware and manage weaknesses, the opportunity for greatness is only found in your strengths. To be a great leader and a great business, we must be able to leverage our best attributes.3-30-2009-09-00-384

Applying this view, our development plans should answer two more questions:
1.    How can my strengths be used more often?
2.    How can the business benefit more from my strengths?

In conclusion

Two items should be addressed in a development plan:
•    How do I mitigate the negatives of my weaknesses and/or grow in these areas?
•    How do I exercise my strengths to enhance the performance of our team/organization?

“You will learn the most, grow the most, and develop the most in your areas of strength….Your strengths magnify you.”

Marcus Buckingham
Go Put Your Strengths to Work


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Filed under Employee Surveys

IABC Gold Quill – Learning from the best

This past weekend, I had the honour of being an IABC Gold Quill judge in San Francisco. My video below highlights the weekend. I caught a cold on my way back to Vancouver – I start the video a little slow. I get more animated as I remember the great people and entries. I hope you enjoy hearing what I learned and add to it by commenting.


Filed under Communications

Social Sustainability – Systems Thinking

I have been working on translating traditional community development principles into online environments. Peter Senge has me questioning my presumptions. I can create a short term phenomena – like a fad and measure short term behaviours as success or I can participate in the creation of a community that will grow and evolve.

What I realize is that my world view is one that does not value fads. I want my efforts to last. It will not be enough to have followers on Twitter if no relationships are formed. I do think fads can teach us many things. The early adopters that create fads provide the case studies and learning points that will impact the majority in the near future and a fad may be the launching point to broad based and long term behaviour change.

Senge used the analogy of a cake in a recent presentation to the Vancouver Board of Trade to explain the need for ecology to be in our planning view to create sustainability. It got me thinking about something that looks more like a cookie. Below are some of my thoughts around creating sustainable communities. Comments, additional thoughts and outright challenges to the premise are welcome.


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Filed under Communications

Those that seek to change the world

In the past two weeks, I have listened, learned and been inspired by great story tellers, minds and characters.

First up was Peter Senge – he helped me remember  to think in systems when looking at my business and others.

A week later, I had eight speakers in one day at the Power Within. Christopher Gardner (Pursuit of Happiness fame) was my favorite with a close second being Jamie Clarke (climbed Everest).

Last night, I was at the Orange Helmet awards to celebrate amateur football in British Columbia. It was encouraging to see so many dedicated coaches who are focused on impacting our kids for the better. To top off the night we heard from Rudy.

So after all that I am convinced we:

  • Can make a difference
  • Need passion
  • Need inspiration (Don’t let silly thoughts get in the way – Rudy)
  • Need commitment and of course
  • Need to act!
  • Find success in the journey

So tomorrow is Monday – will I change? I hope so.

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Filed under Leadership, Uncategorized