The executive team of a major operating division of this Australian company decided to undertake 360-degree surveys with a view to modelling openness to feedback and development to the rest of the organisation. The team was briefed on the process and how to choose the right people as raters on a range of important leadership competencies.
The full library of leadership competencies was utilised in order to gather a wide view of the team’s individual and collective capability. In addition, the optional question on the importance of each competency was added to the survey. The team wanted to see how their direct reports and customers saw their skills and understand how they measured up on the expectations those two groups had of them. The survey event was well planned in advance, so that reports would be ready for confidential one-on-one feedback debriefs by an experienced LDN coach over three consecutive days, followed by a team meeting to discuss the aggregated results for the group as a whole. Confidentiality for each individual was maintained and no individual results were shared at the team meeting. The agenda focused on interpreting the results in the context of the strategic plan and some immediate business challenges.
The aggregated results of the 360-degree survey contained some startlingly clear messages. The team was rated very highly on its energy and responsiveness to its customers and its ability to quickly resolve problems. On the other hand, an interest in managing process was almost non-existent. Some deep and frank discussion followed, particularly on the impact this had on the organisation as a whole. As a result, changes were introduced in operations, which led to greater efficiencies and reduced costs. The process was so successful that it was subsequently introduced to other divisions of the company.