Use feedforward to focus your business in 2012


Hindsight is such a fantastic thing isn’t it?!  As we come to the end of the year it’s the ideal time to reflect back on the year that’s passed and focus our attentions to the year ahead. 

Previously, I had always been taught to use ‘feedback’ in a managerial capacity, particularly when dealing with employee performance or reviewing client relationships.  However, this year my mentor suggested using ‘feed-forward’. 

Feeding forward is so much more productive than feeding back. Use this simple grid to help you learn from the past and focus on a positive future.   We can't change what has happened but we can learn from it.


INSPIRES What inspired me 

WORKS What worked well 




BIGGER & BETTER What was ok but could have been even better 

MISSING What didn’t happen & why didn’t it 





  1. People take feedback personally.  Regardless of how positively you try to deliver it, human nature dictates that we are defensive towards what we feel is criticism.  Negate the need to ever say “don’t take this personally but…”  as you remove the focus from the individual to the task/situation in question and how to positively feed it forward.
  2. Feedforward is very well suited to high achievers/successful people.  Generally successful people tend to be self-determined and as such often reject ideas that they feel forced into.  They will however accept and adopt ideas that they have been a part of and that they feel are aimed at helping them achieve their goals.
  3. It’s more productive to help people to learn to be right than to prove that they were wrong.  Focus on solutions and not problems.
  4. Who honestly likes being criticised whether or not it’s constructive?!  People listen, absorb and respond better to feedforward.  Feedforward removes the hierarchical element as it does not imply superiority of judgement.  Rather than feel like a parent/child dynamic it encourages an adult/adult dynamic.
  5. We can’t change the past but we can change the future.  Sportsmen and woman are trained on the concept of feedforward.  Rather than visualising a failed past they are taught to focus on the visualisation of success; scoring a goal, being first over the line, serving an ace.
  6. Feedforward enables us to dispel the negativity associated with the self-fulfilling prophecy.  Rather than focus on feedback that reinforces negative behaviour (just accepting it  that is what someone is 'like'), feedforward enables us to focus on the possibility of change. 


 If you have any comments, suggestions or feedforward on this, or any of our other blog posts we’d love to hear from you.

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