At Art from Ashes, we utilize a system of evaluation called the FeedForward. Here is a brief introduction to the process before you begin. The reasons to use FeedForward as an evaluation tool are further elucidated in the attached document (download information here).

Quality communication — between and among people at all levels and every department and division — is the glue that holds organizations together. By using FeedForward — and by encouraging others to use it — leaders can dramatically improve the quality of communication in their organizations, ensuring that the right message is conveyed and that those who receive it are receptive to its content. The result is a much more dynamic, much more open organization — one whose employees focus on the promise of the future rather than dwelling on the mistakes of the past.

11 Reasons to Use FeedForward vs feedback

1. We can change the future. We can’t change the past. FeedForward helps people envision and focus on a positive future, rather than a failed past.

2. It can be more productive to help people be “right.” Negative feedback often becomes an exercise in “let me prove you were wrong.” FeedForward, on the other hand, is almost always seen as positive because it focuses on solutions.

3. FeedForward is especially suited to successful people. Successful people like getting ideas aimed at helping them achieve their goals and tend to resist negative judgment. We all tend to accept feedback that is consistent with the way we see ourselves and reject feedback that is inconsistent with the way we see ourselves.

4. FeedForward can come from anyone who knows about the task. It does not require personal experience with the individual. FeedForward just requires having good ideas for achieving the task.

5. People do not take FeedForward as personally as feedback. Successful people’s sense of identity is highly connected with their work. It is hard to give a dedicated professional feedback that is not taken personally. FeedForward cannot involve a personal critique since it is discussing something that has not yet happened!

6. Feedback can reinforce personal stereotyping and negative self-fulfilling prophecies. FeedForward is based on the assumption that the receiver of suggestions can make positive changes in the future.

7. Leaders are not very good at receiving negative feedback, particularly when they are exceeding expectations in order to do the best job possible.

8. FeedForward can cover almost all of the same “material” as feedback. These suggestions can be very specific and still delivered in a positive way.

9. FeedForward tends to be much faster and more efficient than feedback. Almost no time gets wasted on judging the quality of the ideas or “proving that the ideas are wrong.” By eliminating judgment of the ideas, the process becomes much more positive for the sender, as well as the receiver. Successful people tend to have a high need for self-determination and will tend to accept ideas they can buy into, while rejecting ideas that come across as demands.

10. Rightly or wrongly, feedback is associated with judgment. This can lead to unintended negative—or even career-limiting—consequences when applied to managers or peers. FeedForward does not imply superiority of judgment. It is more focused on being a helpful fellow traveler.

11. People tend to listen more attentively to FeedForward than feedback. In FeedForward, the only reply the receiver is allowed to make is “thank you.” Therefore they can focus more energy on listening.

Before filling out the FeedForward form, please be sure to read the section designed to instruct the staff member on how to assess their FeedForward, as it will help you understand the purpose of your suggestions.

Thank you for taking the time to support Art from Ashes!

Please read the FeedForward document for how to fill out the following form. The idea is to ensure that we are not looking back and critiquing performance so much as ways in which someone’s performance can improve. Please focus on suggesting good ideas for achieving the tasks, as stated in the article.

The lines are deliberately short in order to avoid overthinking or criticizing. It is important for you to suggest a way to improve, even if you think someone is doing well or if you are unsure of how well someone is doing at that particular task. There is always something to be learned.

After completing the form, the board will discuss the compiled findings and review the Executive Director’s input to determine how best to achieve future goals.

This page is a description of how your board and staff members typically see individuals with your style. Use the information to develop an overall picture of your style. In evaluating specific suggestions, consider your conscious ability to adapt behavior. In other words, you certainly can modify your behavior to fit the needs of a particular situation or individual(s).

If you find a statement that you believe does not accurately describe you, ask others for their comments and suggestions. This may be a great opportunity for you to further improve your performance. Out of the following assessment, pick behaviors that you would like to change. Change in this behavior should make a significant, positive difference in your life.

To be completed by board or staff member

Executive Director Responsibilities

Financial Management, including development and implementation of annual budget:
Reviewing and evaluating the results of program activities:
Allocating resources for greater program effectiveness and efficiency:
Formulating written policies and program objectives for Board consideration:
Administration of the policies of the Board:
Hiring and supervision of the staff:
Developing new opportunities for partnerships with other organizations:
Writing, researching and supervising grant proposals:

Minimum Professional Requirements

Ability to engage and convene others in a process of exploration and dialogue:
Ability to be a visionary and strategic leader:
Ability to take charge of any given situation and see it through to its completion:
Ability to communicate openly and frequently with all staff and volunteers:
Strong written and verbal communication skills:
Strong organizational skills:
Ability to be creative, flexible, take ownership of responsibilities:
Ability to communicate clearly with the general public, funders, clients and personnel to maintain flow of communications and address problems that may arise:
Ability to relate well and work effectively with diverse populations:
Compassion and patience with youth, demonstrating accountability as needed:

Accomplishments and Goals