What Do Strong Feedback Cultures Look Like?

In strong feedback cultures, people are continuously soliciting and sharing feedback with everyone they interact with and everyone impacted by what they produce and deliver. No one wonders about the significance and consequence of their work.  Feedback is always mutual and high in frequency and quality. In strong feedback cultures, feedback highlights the actionable lessons of success and progress and how strengths support any forms of success and progress.

In weak feedback cultures, people have to hope of beg for feedback. They suffer from assumptions about their significance and consequence. When they get feedback it is often later than real time, many times indirect, often uselessly judgmental, non-actionable and spirit depleting rather than confidence and passion igniting.  In the worst cases, feedback is hierarchically unilateral.

I continue to notice a direct and curious relationship between oganizations with weak feedback cultures and those obsessed with so-called high level measurement. The problem is that no amount of expensive collecting and distributing high level metrics data and analysis can ever compensate for a weak feedback culture.

This is not to say that strong feedback cultures resist macro scale metrics. They sustain curiosity about organization and multi-group success and progress indicators because these show up across the spectrum of intentions. That said, they place primary emphasis on each group's individual and collaborative most actionable and appreciative real-time and cumulative feedback.

The only way to create a strong feedback culture is to patiently and ardently build one.