At a panel discussion on employee equity in San Francisco last week the discussion turned to transparency within companies. Philip Rosedale, founder of Linden Lab (makers of Second Life) told the audience what he did when he was CEO to get feedback on his own performance.
Every quarter he sent out an anonymous survey to all his employees:
- Should I still be the CEO?
- Am I getting better or worse at the job?
The results of 1 and 2 would be published, and he’d read all the answers to number 3. I think that’s a great way to keep the CEO grounded, and whether you’re running a company with employees, or a non-profit with members, the CEO should be listening to all constituents. Boards of directors can be very cosy and it’s sometimes difficult for people to be honest in that situation, but unedited anonymous feedback from rank and file will tell it like it is!
How many CEOs are brave enough to do this? What other methods work for getting open feedback?