Short feedback loops

I’ve re-learned something really important this week – that giving and receiving quality performance focused feedback and then taking responsibility for doing something about it is vital for my performance. And to enable that to happen a few things are required: I have to be open to feedback – to want to know anything that might make me better. Sure, having received it, I’m going to think about where it came from and does it add to evidence already received? I’m also going to ask myself if it makes me feel uncomfortable? To be able to answer any of those questions, I have to be open.

Secondly, short feedback loops are the best. Like a boat setting out for a destination, if I only get information that might enable me to correct my settings when I’m off course once every six months, the corrections are going to feel violent and they might be too late to prevent me from hitting the rocks. Getting rapid feedback enables me to correct my course a few times each day – so that it feels to me as though I’m pretty much always on course and gives confidence to those around me that I know where I’m going. Without those short feedback loops and without being open, I could go off course and I’d be creating unhelpful noise in the heads of those around me.

We’re currently getting lots of short feedback loops about the state of the economy, so without matching short feedback loops focused on our performance, then ever shifting desination and current course might be ever more out of sync.