A missing link in purpose-driven leadership: Feedback loops

By Erik Korsvik Østergaard, 8. September 2016

Have you taken the time to ask your customers, if you create value?
Have you asked your employees, if you create value?
If not, you are missing the link.

Control systems – and the feedback loop

feedback loop

So, this is the engineer in me speaking:

Any system A must have a control system with a feedback loop B in order to listen to the output and calibrate the system. The system must react and adjust reasonably, so that the result is suitably fitting, and not hysterical or with huge inertia. In practical, real-life applications, a great amount of effort is invested in trimming the parameters in such systems.

feedback loop

As an example, take your everyday Danfoss thermostat on your radiator. Typically the thermostat is connected to a sensor, giving feedback to the thermostat.

Sometimes the sensor is wrongly placed close to a vent or not calibrated, meaning that opening a window (letting in cold, refreshing air) will provoke the sensor to open the thermostat, resulting in a hot radiator, thereby resulting in cold air from the vent, resulting in a very hot radiator, resulting in even more and even colder air from the vent, resulting in a VERY HOT RADIATOR, … you get the point.

The feedback system and the control method must be suitably calibrated.

How to create feedback systems in your purpose-driven organization

Purpose-driven organizations put pride in focusing on both value creation AND profit. The latter is typically measured with KPI’s on top-line, bottom-line, revenue, milestones. The first – the value creation – is harder to monitor, and less often done.

Let’s assume that you know your purpose and what value your creating. (If not, take a look here: Tool: How to create your organizations WHY).

I’ve learned, that the most motivating, encouraging, engaging, and acknowledging element in a purpose-driven organization (and in life) is knowing that your work and effort creates value for the receiver.

I’ve learned, that the most motivating, encouraging, engaging, and acknowledging element in a purpose-driven organization (and in life) is knowing that your work and effort creates value for the receiver.

Now, if you don’t actively seek that feedback, it does not come. You, as a leader, must actively investigate what value you create, and feed that back to the right place, being your employees or yourself.

Here are three ways to do that, that I’ve used with success:

  1. Investigate the employee happiness every Friday
  2. Investigate the customer Net Promoter Score (NPS) monthly or by the end of each project
  3. Setup a meeting between the customer and the employees, so that the employees can see firsthand what value the customer gets from the product and services. Firsthand stories are powerful.

Many other ways exist, though.

  Act on it

The trick is to calibrate your control system to avoid hysteria (oh, the customer was unhappy, we need to change everything NOW) and avoid inertia (oh, the customer was unhappy, but he always is anyway, so we might develop something next year to accommodate that. Maybe).

You must

  1. look at the feedback,
  2. be transparent about it,
  3. debate it, and
  4. act on it immediately and adapt, but without hysteria.

Adaptable organizations have these 9 characteristics, according to MIX and Gary Hamel (Gary Hamel et al.: “Hackathon Report – Management Innovation eXchange”):

feedback loop

What does it take?

Courage. That’s all.

It takes courage to ask your customers if they want to recommend you to a friend.

It takes courage to ask your customers if they like your product, or if it creates value.

It takes courage to ask your employees how happy they are.

It takes courage to ask your employees if they would recommend you as a leader.

What if they say “no”? That is going to hurt. But worse, what if you don’t ask at all and get no feedback?

You cannot engage your employees without feedback.
You cannot calibrate your work without a feedback loop.

Do you need input on how to get started?
Take a look at at our categorized toolbox here
– it’s all free

The world and your employees have changed.
Do you want to keep up
– and shape the future?

Looking for a thought-provoking speaker
with knowledge of the future
and how to turn it into daily life?

Curious on what we do?

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‌ فناوری یک شمشیر دولبه است ‌
فناوری یک شمشیر دولبه است که از یک سو باعث بهم‌ریختگی و پیچیده شدن اوضاع کسب‌وکارهای سنتی شده و از سوی دیگر پیشرفت‌های گسترده‌ای را در جوامع و سازمان‌ها رقم زده است. در این مسیر پر از تغییر، مشاغل همواره اولین گروهی هستند که تحت تاثیر قرار می‌گیرند. در این میان رهبرانی که نگرش تغییر و رفتارها و اقدامات مورد نیاز آن را دارند، پیشتازان موفقیت خواهند بود.‌
‌
کتاب «رهبر پاسخگو» روابط، انگیزه‌های انسانی، ارزش‌آفرینی، شبکه‌های ارتباطی و مشارکت را از مهم‌ترین مؤلفه‌های موفقیت کسب‌وکارها می‌داند و آنچه لازمه حرکت در این مسیر کمتر پاخورده است را برای صاحبان کسب‌وکارها بیان می‌کند؛ تا بتوانند از مناسب‌ترین مسیر به اهداف‌شان برسند و رشد کنند.‌ #خلاصه_کتاب و #نقشه_ذهنی این کتاب را می توانید از طریق وب‌سایت و اپلیکیشن کتابکت تهیه نمایید.

#مطالعه_کنید، #بیاموزید، #به_کار_گیرید، خودتان و کسب و کارتان را متمایز کنید.
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#BookReview of #TheResponsiveLeader from #ReadersF #BookReview of #TheResponsiveLeader from #ReadersFavorite - https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/the-responsive-leader

Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite

The Responsive Leader: How to Be a Fantastic Leader in a Constantly Changing World by Erik Korsvik Østergaard is the kind of book that helps business leaders who are looking to adapt and thrive in the future of work environments. Breaking it down in a simple, easy to read manner, Østergaard shows that the true testament of a successful business is how fully its leaders are able to blend their knowledge of leadership and management with this new age of technology, the so called "Fourth Industrial Revolution". In The Responsive Leader, Østergaard shows readers how to align the organizational mission and goals with current society to create a well engineered environment. Drawing on his experience as an engineer, the author guides the reader expertly through his thought processes, highlighting resources and changing the way we think about business. 
The Responsive Leader by Erik Korsvik Østergaard is a well written and informative text. It is written in a way that makes for easy consumption and provides a great range of insights from which businesses and organizations of all levels will be able to glean many helpful tips, as Østergaard busts myths that may hold industry back and limit growth. It's certainly a book that will open many readers' eyes. In an exhaustive text, Østergaard leaves no stone unturned with The Responsive Leader as he seeks to encourage business owners to remain relevant to their employees and customers. He also provides a great resource for those looking to take their business to extraordinary heights.
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// #blochøstergaard #theresponsiveleader // “Reviewed by Kayti Nika Raet for Readers' Favorite (...) Breaking it down in a simple, easy to read manner, Østergaard shows that the true testament of a successful business is how fully its leaders are able to blend their knowledge of leadership and management with this new age of technology, the so called "Fourth Industrial Revolution". In The Responsive Leader, Østergaard shows readers how to align the organizational mission and goals with current society to create a well engineered environment (...) It's certainly a book that will open many readers' eyes. In an exhaustive text, Østergaard leaves no stone unturned with The Responsive Leader as he seeks to encourage business owners to remain relevant to their employees and customers. He also provides a great resource for those looking to take their business to extraordinary heights.”
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