360° – A collective tool… For real team awareness

360° – A collective tool… For real team awareness

When you think of 360°, you think first and foremost about observation of an individual in their environment, but the tool can also be used on a collective level. It is no longer the individuals but the team as a living entity which is then analysed for its competencies and methods of interaction.

Laurent Gontard, Head of International Consulting at PerformanSe likes to advocate a collective 360°, and use it with his clients to optimise team efficiency. Here he tells us why and how.

Is the 360° tool not primarily used to analyse individuals?

Yes, of course it is. However, the 360° is also, by its nature, a team analysis tool as it is always taking into account the whole ecosystem around an individual. It is therefore natural to transpose this to a whole team and get each member to assess the team as a whole. Contrary to a common idea, a team is not just a juxtaposition of individuals working together, but rather a living reality in its own right. It should be understood as such, and not just through individuals. If you want to develop a real collective intelligence, a real sense of collective responsibility, then each and every one must think about the team.

Which types of teams is the 360° tool must suitable for?

Teams that have a strong interrelation with their environment, who are at the same time concerned about the quality and performance of their overall contribution. This may be a management committee of the business unit for example, or a project team. In this way, they can look to better analyse the team’s relationship with its ecosystem and capacity for interaction. This will allow them to identify specific (and shared) areas for improvement.

What are the benefits for the team?

The collective 360° tool really helps to reflect as a group, together, on the team as a whole. It also helps to limit the risks of individual resistance, therefore ensuring more suitable results. One of our first clients had chosen the approach because the teams were reluctant to do individual assessments. Now won over by this approach, they have decided to do it again every year to assess evolutions in the team, but they have also agreed to now do the 360°… individually! How exactly does it work? Like with any 360° approach, there are 4 phases to follow:

  • A phase of defining which competencies to assess within the team, and building the ad hoc questionnaire tool.
  • A phase where each member of the team completes the questionnaire to assess the collective competencies.
  • A phase where the different parties involved in the ecosystem complete the questionnaire (internal clients and suppliers for example, L-1 and L+1 of the management committee…).
  • A phase of collective reporting: presentation and analysis of results, but also – ideally – positive forecast from these results: areas for development, plan of action, etc.

Will the future of organisations inevitably therefore be collective?

To be honest… the past and present too! Organisation means collective. Working together has never been a choice. Nobody works alone, without cooperating with others. It’s just that the collective element as a specific living element is being taken into consideration more and more. Adapted approaches are therefore required. Choosing the team version of a 360° means making a clear and positive choice of approach for the performance of the team as a whole. It is also a strong symbolic choice to favour the team as an entity.


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