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Timothy Bentley: Helping Leaders Grow Their Skills by Responding to Feedback From Those Who Work Most Closely With Them: Their Managers, Peers, Direct Reports, and Others

Many leaders in organizations are floundering in this new era of climate change, pandemics, and workplace diversity. Our goal is to help them grow their skills by responding to feedback from those who work most closely with them: their managers, peers, direct reports, and others.

Because the old accepted competencies are no longer sufficient, the work world needs 360-degree feedback that pays attention to issues like vaccine mandates, remote work, personal losses, and ethnicity. Panoramic Feedback is a leader in proposing new core competencies for executives and managers

Tell us about yourself?

As a coach and organizational consultant, I saw that leaders often needed the help of 360-degree feedback to get unstuck and move into more productive roles. But I was frustrated; the available tools were slow and clunky.

So we took a leap, and introduced the first web-based 360-degree feedback system. It was thrilling to discover that we could set up, gather feedback, and deliver reports to leaders in a far shorter time than any existing solution.

It was a big personal challenge. I had to move from being solely an HR-focused individual to leading a team of developers charged with creating new and better code.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Take everything we developed for Panoramic Feedback and produce it in half the time, because the need is enormous.

Learn more about Python, the language we write our code in.

What problem does your business solve?

Many executives and managers get their jobs because they’re technically adept and diligent about their work. Managing teams, coaching others, and dealing with an era of crisis is not always their strong suit. 360-degree feedback sheds light for them on the areas where they need to adjust and grow in order to live up to their best expectations of themselves.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

We were inspired by the HR people, trainers, and consultants who work so hard to help leaders develop new skills for a new age. Their problem was that many leaders, quite naturally, couldn’t see their own blind spots.

Panoramic Feedback provided the opportunity to see their work as others see them, inspiring them to keep developing the new skills they need, to feel confident about their abilities and value to the organization.

What is your magic sauce?

There are at least six special ingredients in our magic sauce that, combined, make Panoramic Feedback unique.

  1. Our system is often chosen by international organizations because it can pose questions and receive responses in the characters of over 50 languages.
  2. In this age of climate change, pandemics, and a diverse workforce, Panoramic Feedback provides our users with behavior descriptions that address the new challenges that leaders are confronting.
  3. Our software was designed with the ordinary user, not the technician, in mind, so it’s intuitive to use, with free training and abundant support available.
  4. Yet for organizations that don’t want to invest the time and effort to manage 360-degree feedback projects, our Service Bureau will run the entire 360 for them, quickly and accurately.
  5. From the first line of code we wrote, we’ve made security and confidentiality central to our system.
  6. Our questionnaires and reports are highly customizable. We provide hundreds of sample behavior descriptions that our clients can use or edit, but it’s their option; they can always use their own.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We’re more of a human potential organization than a marketing company. So I’m hoping that in the next few years, the benefits of 360-degree feedback, and Panoramic Feedback in particular, will continue to be recognized in this rapidly changing work world.

I’d like to see our revenue triple, and in the workplaces we affect, great increases in skill, morale, retention, respect, and job satisfaction.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Two things:

360-degree feedback is now a field with lots of competition. As a result, we’ve had to redouble our efforts to communicate the unique qualities that make Panoramic Feedback the best solution for many organizations.

When we started, we thought that we could build an excellent piece of software, and let it sit, relaxing into supporting our clients. It has turned out that our personal commitments to relevance and user satisfaction have demanded that we keep writing new code to constantly improve our product.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

I’m interested in hearing from those who understand the needs of this new radical era, and want to promote the values we espouse.

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