Strategic 360s

Making feedback matter

Vibrating 360’s

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I have one of those razors that not only has multiple blades but vibrates as well. And I really like it. Looking into this a little, having multiple blades evidently has been shown to provide a closer shave and the government permits advertisers to say so. (I remember an early Saturday Night Live spoof after the Trac II came out with two blades showing how three blades were going to be even better, and that was funny at the time.)

But the government won’t let the razor companies say that vibrations cause a closer shave.  With 5 blades (or whatever number), it’s hard to imagine that vibrations can realistically be expected to help the closeness factor. But shaving is also about comfort. I must not be the only user who finds the vibrations make shaving more comfortable. Maybe it’s psychological (heaven forbid), but it works for me and others as well.

Another characteristic of these electrified razors is that they have a battery in the handle. It is possible (even likely) that the added weight helps balance the razor and makes it more solid. It just feels better in the hand. Compare that to the other extreme, multiple blade disposable razors. They are inexpensive and feel like it.

Vibrating razors are relatively more expensive and they don’t necessarily do a better job. But they feel better, and comfort is probably a valid criterion for many, if not most, users.

I want a vibrating 360. Using this metaphor, creating behavior change with a 360 is like getting a close shave, each being the sine qua non for consumers.  If the main achievement of a vibrating razor is to make it “feel good,” as in a more comfortable experience, what would be the analogy in a 360? (Let me insert that some 360 processes are all about comfort, not effectiveness. They may vibrate but have no blades. Sounds like another blog sometime soon.)

How do we make our 360 processes more comfortable for our stakeholders (participants, raters, supervisors, management, the organization) without sacrificing effectiveness (i.e., sustainable behavior change)?

©2011 David W. Bracken

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