We have all heard of feed back; now let us understand the meaning of `Feed forward`.
Most of believe in living in the past, it is alright until our boss digs our old mistakes during our appraisal. That is when
past begins to bite and the future begins to look bleak.
But these days` many companies seek to concentrate on the future, instead of harking back to the past. Providing feedback has long been
considered an essential skill for leaders. While feedback has its value, feed forward helps one to solve mistakes that have occurred in the
past. It encourages better communication between and among people at all levels. This results in a more dynamic and open organisation whose
employees focus on the promise of the future rather than dwelling on the past.
Boss, you could work on your shortcomings
The other big development these days is that feed forward allows you to have skip/level meeting to provide suggestions on
how your immediate boss could improve his/her performance. Employees play dual roles in the `Skip level meetings`. In the first meeting, they
play the role of the subordinate and they are asked to provide `feed forward` - to give their boss suggestions for the future and in the
second role they are asked to accept `feed-forward`- to listen to the suggestions for the future and learn as much as they can from their
Management needs to be open minded
Such a practice can be adopted only if the management is sensitive to suggestions provided by their employees. Many
organizations have a `know it all` attitude, which eliminates the need to listen to the employees. Employees then feel dejected. The gradual
build up of this feeling, results in the employee leaving the organisation. Management has to be open to ideas and suggestions. This way they
can overcome many hurdles.
Creating the right environment
The person providing feed forward has to believe that his/her suggestions will be well received. Feed forward can help one
to enhance the future productivity. It provides a platform for a continuous improvement in environment. Of course, this can be achieved only
if the seniors support it strongly. Feed forward can be used to co-evolve a desired future and get their ideas on how to achieve that future.
Companies should hear out employees and take action on feasible and productive ideas.