3D Spherical Feedback


I recently read: Want Great Feedback? Ask These 4 Questions* by Brian Rumao, Chief of Staff to LinkedIn’s CEO, Jeff Weiner. It got me thinking about 360 Degree Feedback, and how to take it one step further.

Traditional corporate feedback systems flow downward — managers rate their reports on some regular fixed schedule (e.g., quarterly or annually). 360 Degree Feedback is intended to provide a broader view to the person receiving the feedback, soliciting input from the person’s manager(s), directs, peers, cross-functional partners, and even internal and external clients. You can view it as the collection of people in a person’s “work circle” — thus the name 360 Degrees. Getting 360 Degree Feedback is expensive and time-consuming, and as such, is typically done infrequently — on the order of only a few times during a person’s career, if that — and only for managers or executives.

As helpful as 360 Degree Feedback can be, though, it’s still very “two-dimensional.” It focuses almost exclusively on the interpersonal relationships that play a part in the person’s work life. But so much of our lives are spent outside of work, relating to people we don’t formally work with. And as we move more and more into a Knowledge Economy, and possibly even a Purpose Economy, work and personal lives are constantly being more intimately intertwined. We can, in fact we should, be asking anyone we have a relationship with how we are doing.

Clearly, asking everyone you know for in-depth feedback does not scale. But as I’ve thought about this, I began to realize that we may be able to trade off quality of feedback for quantity, and at the same time, be able to to expand the circle of feedback givers into a sphere by including friends, family, and non-work colleagues. The law of large numbers could help ensure that even though the feedback is low-resolution, it would still accurately reflect the truth. And more importantly, that truth would be truly 3-dimensional and “spherical” — coming from all perspectives.

So here’s the experiment I’m asking you to help me with. If you’re reading this, chances are good that you know me. I’ve taken the 4 Question Framework and put it into an online questionnaire. Before reading Rumao’s article, can you take 2 minutes, right now, to answer the 4 questions about me?

>> Take the Survey Here <<

I’d be more than happy to have a follow-up discussion with you in person, via video chat, or on the phone. And I promise to write a follow-up article describing, on a meta-level, how the experiment worked out.


* Here’s a link to the original article, if you want to read it in depth – I do recommend it!