The changes underway

From our Virtual Class event on June 23, 2020.

In the past few years, numerous organizations have started developing and growth paths for their collaborators through transversal organizational changes - such as Performance Management and building a culture focused on Coach Managers rather than goal-oriented Managers.

avatar of Edoardo Lombezzi, HR Consultant VisionMind

by Edoardo Lombezzi, HR Consultant VisionMind

avatar Andrea Mancinelli, Senior Consultant VisionMind

by Andrea Mancinelli, Senior Consultant VisionMind

The reasons for this change are varied, as variables are the outcomes:

  • cultural change and different awareness in new generations;
  • richness and variety of geography and intercultural dynamics;
  • dynamic work networks and new emerging professions;
  • the performance management model is no longer adequate in meeting the needs of rewarding and career paths;
  • development of one’s professionalism as ‘out of scope’ in a model focused on the analysis of results;
  • managers are increasingly taking on operative activities with dynamic objectives that do not sit well with cadenced rituality.

Resistances and difficulties have been and are many: the application of evaluative paradigms, the persistence of reward-punishment mechanisms, established practices, objective constraints of internal agreements, which are now outdated in everyday reality.

The recent health emergency has led us to work remotely with the due consequences.

Among the emerging factors:

  • remote working behaviors are unobservable;
  • misalignment between a managerial model based on results control and personal accountability;
  • emergency supervision, on top of ordinary activities, of issues related to engagement, motivation, and loyalty of collaborators;
  • growing demand in people of sharing moments about challenging experiences, open questions, available solutions.
FEEDFORWARD Approach è un marchio registrato a livello europeo
Feedforward® Managerial System is a registered trademark at European level

Feedforward® vs. Feedback

In this considerably evolving scenario, even the sophisticated breakdown of Performance models and feedback management seems inconclusive:

  • Feedback on Results, based on concrete and measurable goals, agreed upon through shared KPIs (quantitative Performance Management);
  • Feedback on Competencies, linked to the achievement of a set level of competency required by the context/role (qualitative Performance Management);
  • Feedback on Behaviors, linked to daily practice observation in terms of the level of responsibility (value-driven Performance Management).

These systems vary based on the organization's cultural maturity - between result-oriented answers and value-driven answers.

Both the first and second types of answers are based on the idea that professionalism is a cumulative process and that filling knowledge/behavioral gaps is enough to meet the expected performance.

On the other hand, the third type of answer is based on the idea that a generic alignment on some value 'labels' ensures common goals and shared managerial practices.

On the contrary, the request/need to keep together the dimensions of operativity, growth, and professional motivation with a specific approach to pragmatically sustain managers in their day-by-day activity is increasingly evident.

As shown in the chart below, this approach contains a ‘conceptual gap’ we purposefully propose to fill.

People ManagementPerformance Management

Performance Management operates downstream of the people management process, and feedback is the primary.

People Management operates upstream of the development process, and it requires a concrete form of managerial execution to lay the foundation to motivate and unlock people’s potential.

In our vision, we define the Feedforward® Managerial System as the methodological approach that encourages and completes synergically the potential and the ability to exchange and grow in a modern interpretation of the managers-collaborators relationship.