XOIT – Address all comments and admit your mistake

Breaking an IT group by functionality and roles takes more time than I originally thought, so we continue to work on finalizing our future structure. I’ll be happy to share the results and lesson learned from this process once we’ve finished our internal work.

This week I want to return to anonymous feedback. As I mentioned before, we are using Waggl and Quibble to get anonymous feedback from our IT group. Hopefully over time, the team will see all their comments being addressed and they will be more open to share their ideas publicly.

Recently we used Waggl to run an engagement survey. Using the built-in Net Promoter Score (NPS), we gauged how many associates would promote our IT group as a good working environment to their friends and family. The plan is to do it every quarter for the remainder of the year in order to see the effect of XOIT on the team.

The Waggl NPS had two questions.  First, it asked associates to rate on a scale of 0 to 10 whether they would recommend IT based on our working environment.  Secondly, we asked for general feedback as to how we can improve IT.

78% of our team participated in the NPR survey and we ended up with a score of +6.  The most important feedback we received were the anonymous suggestions as to how to make IT better. Obviously when you have an open, anonymous medium such as this, you open yourself up to some less than professional comments, and we were no different.  The feedback we received ranged from good suggestions and ideas to inappropriate ones.  Unfortunately, with the Waggl suggestion to promote your own comments, some of the inappropriate comments found themselves on inflated on the list (Waggl uses an unknown algorithm for scoring the comments have the greater chance at “winning”). The challenge was addressing all of the comments –  including the tough and inappropriate ones. While the tough comments take more courage and effort to address, inappropriate comments are different. Were we to ignore all of the inappropriate ones, we would send the message that we do not really take into account everyone’s comments, but by addressing them we run the risk of legitimizing them.

After a good deal of thought, I decided to address all of them. If a comment indicated that I made a mistake, I admitted it to be my mistake and I promised to be aware of it next time. If the comment was inappropriate, I explained it away, then asked the group to give feedback, but to use an appropriate way to convey the message.

This approach turned out to be successful, as I got a lot of good verbal and written feedback regarding the meeting.

About friedkin companies CIO

Friedkin Companies CIO
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One Response to XOIT – Address all comments and admit your mistake

  1. chrisprusso says:

    Natty, thank you for the insight and thought process you convey as you go through this journey, both strategically and operationally. I applaud the forward-thinking approach you’re taking towards technology (proactive vs. reactive), especially around IoT & IT Organizational Design.

    I’d like to learn more about the good/bad/ugly of your IT transformation movement. It’s always fascinating to see a proactive CIO take steps to modernize IT and make the group a strategic business partner as opposed to simply a back-office cost center.

    I’ve sent you an email as well, but I do look forward to hearing from you and finding time to learn from you about this journey.

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