Why regular 360:s are outdated

It's time for a RealityCheck

In this article, our CEO Per-Erik Persson shares the ambitions behind RealityCheck. He shares his initial frustrations and why he decided to build a new platform. Everything was new in the beginning of this journey, but one thing remained the same, the need for powerful conversations and how a 360-feedback tool could be even better at making them possible.

Let me take you back a few years to when the idea to build a new 360-feedback platform came to me. This was during 2019. By that time I had used a few different providers of 360-reports. Some were quite expensive and included some elaborate questionnaires. These were good becuase they saved me time by not requiring me write my own questions, something of which I had very litle experience. I was used to coaching, but as a coach I never relied on a specific set of questions, I trusted my training and intuition to help me when working with a client.

With 360-feedback, that's not enough. You need to send good questions to each responder since the feedback can only be as useful as the questions allow. I will leave the challenge of writing good questions to a later post. We figured out how to do it, and I stress the WE here, it's one of the many areas in which I'm happy to work with Andreas, whose research experience gives us the understanding needed for crafting excellent questions.

RealityCheck 360

New tools

Back in 2019 what also struck me was how inconveniently designed many tools were. I would find myself skipping through a lot of images that didn't make sense to me or redesigning the output to look somewhat modern. I started to ask myself, how hard would it be to build something that would allow my clients a more attractive experience? Aestheticss are important to me and I wanted this to be reflected in the tools I used, particuliarly the tools my with which clients would interact, because they would be connected to their experience of my service.

Another reason for deciding to develop my own tool was pricing. I hated the fact that expensive solutions would eat my margins and that the more affordable ones wouldn't support my sales. Some solutions included subscription fees, which to me, as a coach, didn't make much sense. A report isn't something to which you subscribe – you either decide to order the report or not.

New friends

I was fed up with expensive, outdated and unattractive solutions. However, I didn't have the technical skills allowing me to even know where to begin to create my own. Luckily, I was surrounded by people who knew. In 2018 I met with Vlado Cekic in Skopje, Northern Macedonia. He had started a marketing and advertising firm and I had already fallen in love with the work their designer, Milosh Ristoski, had done for me. It turned out that Vlado’s brother, Miodrag, was a software developer and they agreed to take on the challenge of building me a platform that would be visually attractive and would pay for itself after a reasonable amount of reports.

New beginnings

This was the beginning of the RealityCheck journey we are on today. There is much more to share about this journey and it's something I look forward to doing in this blog. As you can see from how it started, it wasn't really about the questions. Rather, it was a lot about design. I saw a need for something visually appealing, something that would exude modernity, something my clients would immediately be drawn to and something that would support my work as a coach. You could say I took high quality questions for granted. I didn’t focus all my efforts into creating one, or even a few good templates because I knew from my experience that companies prefer to craft their own questions, based on their own values and leadership frameworks.

The platform needed to support different templates for different companies so this was part of the first version released in 2020. Ever since, I have been surprised by how coaches and HR have the questions as their first reference point whenever I tell them about our platform. Perhaps it’s due to the way 360-feedbacks have been positioned, promising to reveal great information by asking great questions. I agree that the questions are important, and we will be sharing our secrets behind crafting great ones, but asking good questions is only the start for me. If you ask 30 good questions to 10 different people you have 300 responses from 3 to 5 different groups through which to sift. Results from these various dimensions and questions are not obvious. To leave leaders alone with this seems unfair and that’s where I ask everyone working with 360-feedback to offer a little more empathy. Very few reports are followed by the support needed to fully grasp the feedback. This is my experience in Sweden, but it could be different elsewhere (I would love to know, please share your experience).

New processes

Again, based on my limited experience in Sweden, too few leaders receive an annual 360-feedback. If you work in Sweden chances are that the only time you get a report is at the beginning of a leadership program. Very few even receive a follow-up report. Most leaders never even attend training. Countless individuals are promoted to managerial roles every year and few of them are allowed to become comfortable with the tools they need to be successful leaders. This needs to change. Everyone should receive the training needed to thrive. We want to support the development of great leadership at all levels. 360-feedback shouldn’t be limited to upper management, all leaders need specific and relevant feedback. It’s not enough to get a report. Leaders can’t be expected to be psychologists, even if they need the same understanding of human behaviour. 360-reports are far too complicated and valuable to just hand over. This is why we are developing a fully integrated analysis that will allow leaders to know exactly which behaviours to prioritize, in which contexts, and in which way.

New dialogues

We believe that only receiving answers to great questions isn’t enough. Leaders need guidance on how to turn feedback into well-balanced actions. Sometimes that feedback is going to be uncomfortable to receive, making it all the more important to deliver it with empathy and compassion. Ultimately, we hope that our empathy will extend through the leaders, to all employees. This would enable a different dialogue at work, beyond labels such as “good” or “bad” leadership to something more sensitive and vulnerable. A dialogue that will allow us to explore paths that hopefully can lead us towards more sustainable ways of doing business.

RealityCheck Logo

+46 (0)70-717 87 18

c/o Minc

Anckargripsgatan 3
211 19 Malmö


RealityCheck LinkedIn