A Potentially Creative Management Team Assessment Idea

Whether you’re a football fan or not, I suggest you take a quick look at NFL: The Giants on the Giants on WSJ.com today. And that’s especially if you’re running a business, or working on a business team. And even more so if you’ve heard about the 360 methodology for polling teams – business teams — about each other.

Have you heard of the 360 (360 degree feedback), in which people in business organizations review each other anonymously? Each person reviews their supervisor, their subordinates, and their peers. The review includes questions about business, management, strengths and weaknesses, etc.

I can’t say I’m a big fan of the 360. It’s too easy to confuse popularity with management. Anonymous zingers can be painful, even when kept private. And negative feedback is hard to give directly, sure, but anonymous changes the chemistry. To be fair, the results of the 360 aren’t really “open,” when it’s run correctly. Each individual gets individual results. But management also gets results.

However, I do think this variation on the 360  could be a great adaptation. They didn’t ask the football players about football; they asked fun questions, looking for fun answers. Read the source story and you’ll see … who would you sit next to, who is the coach’s favorite, etc. I could see this style working well in a company framework: best dresser, worse dresser, best presenter, most improved, etc. It could be a good discussion starter. (Illustration: by Scott Pollack, taken from WSJ.com)


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