Team receiving mixed messages from their organization?
Want clarity on steers for the future?
Need to understand the system 360?
Andy Stanley introduces ‘Stakeholder Feedback on a Page’.
We are often asked by senior leaders or individual coaches, to carry out 360-degree feedback which will enable them to see the complete picture of what their team or their colleagues think that they are doing well and what they would like them to do differently. The result is presented to them on a single page or Feedback on a Page (FOAP).
FOAP is gathered through a series of one-to-one interviews with team members and colleagues and provides us with a set of responses that we can use to ‘paint a picture’ of current reality and future challenges using sets of themed responses.
Stakeholder FOAP is very similar, but contains a few subtle, and unique differences.
Firstly, the interviewees are not members of the LT, the wider team, or work colleagues, they are stakeholders who are identified by the LT, as being critical to the functioning and success of the team.
Secondly, the responses to our questions are not anonymous (unless the respondent chooses for them to be) and so the LT are able to read the entire transcript of an interview.
Thirdly, instead our usual 2 questions – What is X doing well? And, What would you like X to do differently? We ask 3 questions:
- What is working well (that you would like them to keep doing)?
- What would you request that they do differently in the here and now (and why)?
- What would you like to see the team doing strategically in the future?
Clearly, with 3 questions, we are no longer able to produce a report on a single side of A4 paper. With this type of FOAP the results of the 3rd question are compiled on the back of the sheet.
The results of the survey will be used to provide the foundations for creating a longer-term vision and discuss some of the challenges that the team are facing. Teams often like to have this type of stakeholder engagement exercise to gather feedback and to allow them to optimise their ways of working and explore opportunities to help shape their direction.
Gathering the feedback
Key Stakeholders, once identified, are asked to give 30 minutes of their time to attend an interview. For this interview, a consultant from Red10 and sometimes, a member of the LT will meet with them and ask for their responses to the 3 guiding questions. During the conversation we help people to phrase feedback constructively, for example we might suggest that they replace a negative comment with a positive opposite.
Shortly afterwards, the consultant and the LT member, will collate and analyse the details captured and then share them with the stakeholder, thus giving them an opportunity to make any updates. The final report will be anonymised and themed, but the transcript, in full, will be provided. However, anything in the transcript can be anonymised at the request of the individual who provides it.
Feedback on a page™ – Qualitative feedback
Once we have gathered all the feedback, we identify themes that three or more people have mentioned. We give the theme a name and add a number in brackets to show the number of stakeholders who have mentioned this theme. We describe the theme using stakeholder’s own words but mixing up sentences from different stakeholders so that it is not obvious who has said what. Feedback that only one or two stakeholders have given is not lost but is recorded briefly in a category called “other”. The result is a concise summary of “working well”, “do differently” and “what would you like to see the team doing strategically in the future?” on 2 sides of paper.
What comes next?
We share the report first with the LT leader. They help us to remove any comments which might clearly identify an individual, and any comments likely to cause hurt. This is an important step as stakeholder feedback is unlikely to land if it causes hurt or offence. There are better ways to give constructive feedback to individuals. We then share the report with the whole team – usually as a pre-read for a meeting. In this way everyone gains an understanding of current reality.
Responding to the feedback
At the meeting, we start by celebrating the positive – finding the themes that really resonate with team members and taking time to be rightly proud of the things that are working well.
We then turn to the “Do differently” themes and ask the team to prioritise 3 or 4 themes that they would like to address. Finally, we set up sub-groups to scope out an action plan for the future strategy and share their ideas with the rest of the team. Following up on these action plans is then incorporated into the team’s usual ways of working.