Notes on Feedback

I work in a culture that places a strong emphasis on generous feedback.

Mostly, that’s a good thing. Everyone’s thoughts are strengthened by others’. Peers shine light where original authors couldn’t or didn’t see.

This allows us to do some really cool, countercultural stuff — like assigning homework without any grades, and in which the entire point is the second effort, after receiving good feedback.

There’s a twist, though: this might be a great way to craft a memo, but it’s not an easy way to run an organization. If anyone can comment on anything at any time, those nominally in charge are just peppered with bright ideas — especially in such a light and loose structure.

So the way forward — the way to give feedback to an organization so that the organization can actually improve — is first to notice, and then to draft a suggestion and get all the feedback you can, and then to send it along for response from the people in charge.

Feedback collaboratively crafted and delivered with and for purpose: now that’s generous.