No. 26

The Navigator
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Happy summer to all! In this issue of the Navigator, we continue our three part series on Survey Guided Leadership Development: The Rise of 360s, and further explore best practice and trends in survey guided development driven by a leadership and management 360 survey.
FeaturedArticle360 Feedback Best Practice
First, let's refresh the 360 landscape. The technique is now truly ubiquitous and a permanent part of leadership development in North America, 90% of Fortune 1000 companies use some sort of multi-rater assessment. However, as discussed in our last Navigator, there are still frequent abuses and inadequate methodologies employed. Organizations eager to catch the 360 wave simply sign up for mass administrations without the necessary follow up, or they still try to apply 360 results to promotion or performance management and politicize the process.

Nevertheless, 360s have definitely proven to be an exceptional development experience. A recent review concluded they do work: "In summary, there is sufficient evidence (in 8 independent studies) to conclude that upward feedback can improve job performance, especially for those with initially low levels of performance1."

And current best practice still includes these guidelines:

  • Use 360s for development only. Create firewalls and safeguards to prevent 360 results from leaking into other talent applications.
  • Make sure your organization is ready for upward feedback (this is the REAL issue with implementing a 360 program). Here are some key questions to test your readiness:
    • Does your culture view learning and changing as keys to success? Does it understand that feedback is essential to that end?
    • Do your employees feel free to speak up without fear of reprisal?
    • Do managers view open communication as essential to a successful and flexible organization?
    • Will managers use what they learn to make changes relevant to their personal and departmental success?
    • Will manager discuss the results with their teams so they can see that their input matters?
  • Make sure your 360 survey is measuring a valid, relevant, well-defined and well researched competency model. Too often, organizations become enamored with the delivery system (software) or the cosmetics of the feedback report (color graphs) and forget the most essential element is the criteria being measured.
  • Include training and certification as a part of your 360 roll out. Do not assume that even HR partners understand all the rationale and methodology for conducting a best practice survey guided process.
  • Keep raters anonymous. Confidentiality of the rating system is a factor in user acceptance of the rating system. Research shows that when raters were identified, they gave higher ratings because they were concerned about the repercussions of giving lower ratings. This was especially true of peer ratings.
  • Include a best practice developmental planning and coaching process with the 360. Ensure the basic rules of feedback - understanding, ownership and action - are all contained.
  • Keep 360 assessments at least a year a part. This reinforces the developmental nature of the survey (allowing time for participants to absorb the feedback, choose a developmental area, and execute a development plan). More frequent administrations will have participants tripping over the last survey's feedback and unable to create enough of a behavioral track record to register a noticeable difference in raters.

Like all training, one of the threads that run through these best practice tips is a disciplined and well administered process that includes follow-up, not only with the participant, but also on the efficacy of the methodology.

1Frederick P. Morgeson, Troy V. Mumford, and Michael A. Campion. Coming Full Circle: Using Research and Practice to Address 27 Questions About 360-Degree Feedback Programs. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, 57,3 (2005), 196-209.

© 2016 Organization Systems International
Welcome to the Newest Member of the Polaris® Family
OSI is pleased to announce Lee Company as the newest member to the Polaris® License Community.

Polaris® Certification Workshop
On Wednesday, October 12th, OSI will be holding a Polaris® Certification Workshop. This one day workshop will be for certified coaches and/or HR professionals interested in the OSI Polaris® Competency Model and its supporting applications, especially the 360 degree development. If you are interested in further information or to register, please click here or contact Crystal Matsuura at or 858.455.0923.

New! The Paper Nation Rio Negro Pulp Mill Simulation: 
A Strategic Leadership Simulation With Sustainability Challenges
Our congratulations to partner and friend, Dr. Matt Mayberry of WholeWorks Consulting, for the recent successful pilot of a new state-of-the-art simulation in Washington, DC. Simulation participants play leadership roles and are faced with the realistic 20 year challenge of building, operating and expanding a pulp mill for a US based company operating in Uruguay. Like the other simulations OSI has teamed with WholeWorks to produce over the years, this full immersion experience teaches strategic leadership competencies along with an expanded understanding of sustainability, global thinking, business systems thinking and international finance. It also employs the latest cloud based technology for real time and virtual administration. Kudo's to Dr. Mayberry for producing a world-class product! OSI is pleased to have played a part in its development and launch.
Co-authored by our very own president/senior consultant, Bruce Griffiths, and our business partner, Enrique Washington. Competencies at Work is a thorough, yet digestible look at contemporary competency modeling. It will equip readers to understand, build, and implement competency models as a foundational and integrating element in talent management systems. Readers will understand how competency models have evolved to be the current best-practice in defining criteria for all talent management applications such as selection interviews, promotion panels, assessment centers, job descriptions, and learning objectives. The book also provides specific guidance in the steps needed to establish a sustainable model, with research results on universal competencies contained in most contemporary models.

Competencies at Work is available now through Business Expert Press or Amazon.
At Organization Systems International, we are celebrating over 35 years of quality, service, and innovation. We deliver client success with a high-performance approach designed to enhance occupational relationships, improve operational efficiency, and sustain customer relationships.

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