My View: “Feedback on its own is useless”

During his lectures, Dr. Mario Raich presents simple models that can be easily put into practice.

Ville Blåfield, 03.12.2016

At the Aalto Executive Summit in Helsinki, Raich’s module offered perspectives for talent development and management.

Feedback on its own is completely useless. If at the same time employees are not told why the feedback is given in the first place, and how they can improve their work, you may as well not give any feedback at all, Dr. Mario Raich says.

Good feedback always includes the assessment itself, an answer to why it is given, and an explanation on how to improve. This way things can be developed for the better. Raichs method is to combine many of his theses into recipes that can be quickly put into practical use. People who study while working are too familiar with a situation where issues mentioned in a lecture hall seem totally clear and useful: This is how it goes! This is something I need to remember at work!

My lectures include lots of examples from practical working life, which makes academic research results concrete.”

But as soon as people return to work, routines quickly take hold, while the lessons remain in the lecture hall, and there is no change. Raich has developed exercises and practical recipes to combat this: Do this, three steps, try these.

I explain topics using simple techniques, which can be easily put into practice at work right from day one, reaping immediate results, he says. Combining the academic and pragmatic sides is a conscious effort that works.

My lectures include lots of examples from practical working life, which makes academic research results concrete.

At the Executive Summit in Helsinki, Raichs module offered perspectives for talent development. He helped participants understand the development and deployment of talent in the cyber age. During the two days of lectures, participants learned how to use simple tools and instruments for the assessment of core competencies, development of competencies, and collaboration.

In Helsinki, Raich talked about talent management in the context of global megatrends. How do social changes like migration, urbanization, and aging populations impact talent management? How about disruptive technological changes, fast-growing global connectivity, and environmental changes?

The Aalto Executive Summits overriding theme, the future of work, was strongly present in all the discussions and pre-assignments.

Raich encouraged people to consider the following topics before participating in the lectures: Please describe the future of education in your industry. What is being done for talent development? Can you see lifelong training and development?

According to Raich, the fast-progressing digitalization of work leads to competition between human competencies and intelligent machines. He believes that employees – and managers in particular – need to understand themselves and their core competencies better than ever.

You need to make an effort to understand your personal core competencies, then seek out a role that corresponds to your personal strengths.

Especially managers need to seek out challenging situations, or can even be consciously steered into them in order to develop. What types of situations does he mean? It could mean working for a bad boss, managing difficult employees, and leading a business in financial problems.

You can even try this at home with your partner – its a very practical model.”

The audience at Raichs lectures is very heterogeneous, representing different-sized companies, different types of work cultures, and nationalities with differing views on hierarchy. Yet, he thinks everyone has a great deal in common - people need to work together also in the future, in a good spirit.

He leaves us with a recipe he uses on a weekly basis, worldwide:

On a scale between 0-10, each person anonymously assesses their team in relation to three aspects: common ground, open communication, mutual trust and respect.

This is followed by a discussion: Why are the differences in the assessment so big or small? How can we improve communication? The team then makes some adjustments and agrees on concrete measures for issues that need to be improved.

You can even try this at home with your partner – its a very practical model, Raich tips.

Currently reading: Aalto Leaders' Insight: My View: “Feedback on its own is useless”

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