Automated Feedback – The Breakfast of Champions

Posted 01.07.2009

Wheatiesbox Want to give a shout out to folks at Smart Briefs on Leadership for highlighting an article in the current issue of The Economist on a new automated feedback tool called Rypple.  Using a web based platform, Rypple allows people to ask their colleagues for anonymous feedback on their performance. Say, for instance, you’ve just led a team meeting on the upcoming restructuring, you can use Rypple to ask your team members for their perspective on how you did. As The Economist reports:

Among other things, Rypple lets users ask members of their networks to measure their performance against a scale, so they can track how they are doing over time. It also lets employers see what “tags”, or overarching themes, are being used most often in questions. If, say, creativity is key to a firm’s success but there are few requests for feedback on employees’ creativity, then bosses can tell they have not done enough to communicate their priorities.

Personally, I can’t wait to see how this service plays out.  Ongoing colleague feedback is a big component of both our individual and group coaching programs at The Eblin Group.  We’ve found that when our clients are clear about what they’re working on in their development, tell their colleagues what they’re working on and then solicit their colleagues’ ongoing ideas for improvement, they almost always improve.  There are two challenges that we consistently see however.  The first is that, depending on the history and the perceived power dynamics, colleagues are sometimes reluctant to be honest.  (e.g. “You’re working on being a better listener?  I think you’re a great listener!”)   The second hurdle is time.   It takes time to ask people for their feedback and to track and analyze what you’re hearing in the feedback.   It sounds like Rypple addresses both of those problems.

Rypple is in beta mode right now.  I just signed up and encourage you to do the same.  Would love to hear some stories on this blog about how you and your organization are using it.  And don’t be surprised if, in the near future, you get some Rypple generated questions from me about how this could be a better blog!