People Are Capable of Owning Their Feedback

Catharina EngbergSeason 4Episode 2


Catharina Engberg talks about how feedback tools are important, but the real magic happens when those tools are used to start a conversation.


Catharina Engberg

Catharina Engberg

Global Talent Director

Our guest is Catharina Engberg. As a Global Talent Director at dentsu, an advertising and public relations organization of 60,000+ employees across 143 markets, Catharina’s role is to enable all of their people to build strong profiles and give them fantastic exposure to different development and career opportunities in their industry.

She has been with dentsu for almost 10 years and working in the talent space for over 16. She loves Collaboration, Branding, Technology and spotting and enabling people’s potential. In her role, she has the privilege of getting a mix of all of this…every day.

Catharina lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with her family of 4 (all boys), but she is truly Global at heart and never afraid of making the impossible possible for people, both within and outside dentsu.


Troy Blaser (00:04):
Hello and welcome to Simply Feedback, the podcast hosted by LearningBridge. I'm your host, Troy Blazer. I'm excited to welcome our guest today, who is Catharina Engberg. Catharina is a global talent director at dentsu, which is an advertising and public relations organization of 60,000+ employees across 143 markets. Catharina's role is to enable all of their people to build strong profiles and give them fantastic exposure to different development and career opportunities in their industry. Catharina has been with dentsu for almost 10 years and working in the talent space for over 16 years. She loves collaboration, branding, technology, and spotting and enabling people's potential. In her role, she has the privilege of getting a mix of all of this every day. Catharina lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with her family of four, all boys, but she is truly global at heart and never afraid of making the impossible possible for people both within and outside of dentsu. Catharina, welcome to Simply Feedback today. It's so great to have you with us.
Catharina Engberg (01:15):
Thank you so much, Troy. I love that introduction because I am truly global at heart, so thank you so much for that, and it's a privilege to be here.
Troy Blaser (01:22):
Well, I love chatting with you too, because you are my window into Sweden. We were talking before we started recording about what's the weather like, how dark is it these days? We're start, it's heading into winter. So it's fun to have that connection and and to have a global contact like we do. So to kind of kick things off, I wanted to ask you the question that we often begin these podcast episodes with, and that is, I wonder if you could tell us about a time that somebody gave you feedback, and maybe if that feedback had an impact on your life, on your career, but marked a turning point for you, would you share that with us?
Catharina Engberg (02:01):
Absolutely. But I think, so this is where probably majority of the people would have that very specific example or piece of feedback that had that significant impact. But I think with the privilege of working in a center of excellence of talent and in general in the talent field, feedback almost becomes like a natural cycle of what you do and how you operate. But what has had an impact on me is the way that I absorb ways of thinking and working and how people apply it. So I think for, as an example, two different individuals gave me advice. So one of them said, Catharina, always go where the company energy is. And the other one was saying there is giving people what they ask for, but then there is giving people what they need as a collective. And I think those two statements combined is like a magical recipe for me.
Catharina Engberg (02:58):
So it's almost like I feel like I bring advice and ongoing feedback into that magical recipe of go where the energy is and then add your skills and knowledge from your field to give bits and pieces of what that collective really needs in the end. So I think it's almost for myself is that like daring to go deep on skills and specialism, but always stay a generalist and stay curious when it comes to knowledge and how to apply it. And I think that is also Troy, why I stayed at dentsu for almost 10 years. I get to work with our creative folks, our technology folks, our change and communication people in every single talent project that I do. So I would almost say like, I know it's cheesy, but I would say that feedback and curiosity keeps me on a never-ending learning path, and it has an impact on me every single day.
Troy Blaser (03:54):
That's fantastic. It's a really interesting thing, that mix that you talk about of going where the energy is, but then also bringing what the company might need or what is needed as well. And the interesting thing is that as you bring in what you think is needed, you change the company energy just a little bit. So you're going where the company energy is, but you're bringing your own input to that and sort of, just a little tweak, a little change to the energy of where everybody's going because of the contribution that you make. I think that's fantastic. Well, one of the reasons we wanted to have you on today was to talk a little bit about one of the programs that you run there at dentsu. One of your responsibilities is to lead a specific global talent development program called Game Changing Talents, or GCT is how we know it for short.
Troy Blaser (04:48):
And here at LearningBridge we've had the opportunity to help you with this program for the last two years. We think that you've designed an amazing experience, for employees. And so we wanted to maybe help spread the word about what you've done there. You know, not only is it really an amazing program, but you've figured out ways to do it at a large scale. This year we ran a single 360 survey group for you with about 750 participants receiving feedback all at the same time. So I wonder, can you share with us a little bit about the GCT program, what it is, what its objective is, and we can kind of talk through that a little bit?
Catharina Engberg (05:27):
Absolutely. It's my pleasure to do so, but I will, I promise to answer that question. But I will allow myself to go on a bit of a tangent here because I want to explain a bit more about the background at dentsu over the last two years. So, about two years ago, dentsu decided to transform our business and that is to make it easier for our clients to understand and to buy our services. And one of the main transformations that we undertook was to move from 150 brands into four lines of business. And not to work in silos by activate, but activating radical collaboration and to support the culture shift that is required in an organization of our size. We introduce the new sets of values. So we had old values, they were great, but we decided to create a new set of values that we call our Eight Ways to the Never Before. And I will actually allow myself to read those eight ways that we share as a 60,000+ organization. Is that okay Troy?
Troy Blaser (06:34):
Yes, absolutely.
Catharina Engberg (06:35):
So there are eight of them because it's called The Eight Ways to the Never Before, and the first one is saying we dream loud. The second one is that we inspire change. The third one is that we team without limits. The fourth one is we all lead. The fifth one is we make it real. The sixth one is we climb high. The seventh one is we choose excitement. And the eighth one being we are force for good. And all of these eight, so firstly I want to ask you, Troy, which one was your favorite, if you remember them?
Troy Blaser (07:17):
Yeah. First, I think it's fantastic to hear these. I would say, so I've heard we all lead, because you and I have talked about that before. But just thinking through them also what struck me was we climb high. I liked that one. I personally like being in the mountains. And so that one appeals to me. I love the general feeling of all eight of those at the way that it opens my mind to new possibilities. The way that you described them, Eight Ways to the Never Before really makes me feel like things are opening up or new possibilities are are out there for sure.
Catharina Engberg (07:52):
Yeah. Because they are designed to be very aspirational. And of course it also, sometimes people give us feedback saying they are very extroverted. It's very hard to understand them because they are words and we always say, but that's the thing with all values that all companies have, they are just words until we put them into practice. And there is a tagline to each of the eight ways to understand them a bit more in detail because as you said, Troy, the fact that we all lead is something that I often talk about literally every day, either with employees or with external partners as yourself. And I will read the tagline for we all lead so you get a sense of what the tagline, how they sound. So the tagline for we all lead is that we believe that leadership is what we do together.
Catharina Engberg (08:47):
It flows through all of us. Anyone in dentsu can lead us towards the never before. Anyone can help us, anyone can influence the outcome. Let's lead together, be strong together and show the world. And I think again, that is for me being very aspirational, being very clear on that we expect things to be on the next level up to be able to reach that never before. But I think again, Troy, as we talked about, these are all just fancy and inspirational word and values if we do not act on them. And that is where we took this to the next level because to make all of these values come to life, we designed a brand new leadership model that we call leadership at dentsu. With that "at" dentsu.
Catharina Engberg (09:36):
And that is actually breaking down our eight ways into five expectations with 15 competencies, which are all broken into actual behaviors per job level across our whole organization. And the magical thing with this model is that it not only, it doesn't only explain our eight ways and sets of values and make that come to life, but it applies to every single employee at dentsu, no matter what job level you are at. And it's not just for those in formal leadership role because we believe that everyone is and should be leading us to the never before.
Troy Blaser (10:17):
Wonderful. I think that's fantastic.
Catharina Engberg (10:19):
So why am I telling you this story, right? Because you asked me about GCT.
Troy Blaser (10:24):
That's okay.
Catharina Engberg (10:25):
The reason why I say it is because over the last two years, you have seen as you've been a true collaborator and partner with us, we have launched many new learning experience and development resources across dentsu globally. And that is to support this business transformation and to enable our people to develop and to collaborate at scale. So our leadership at dentsu model has become our main design asset at talent and HR folks. And when it comes to designing learning experiences, we never call them program. I know that we all have a tendency to want to call it like a global program, but we call each of them a learning experience. And this is important since one of those core ways of working at dentsu is the fact that we all lead, we lead ourselves, we lead our clients, we lead the collaborations that we engage in, and we lead our own future. So we do lead, and this is why all of our global learning experiences are not built in a modular way, but it is designed in a way that our participants can shape their own future and engage where they see best fit themselves and then scale their knowledge amongst our wider community. Does that make sense, Troy?
Troy Blaser (11:38):
Yeah, yeah, it does. It's useful to me too because we have worked with dentsu for a couple of years now to get some of this broader background, to be honest. Just even in our collaboration, it's, I think it's going to be helpful apart from the fact that it's interesting to learn about what you're doing there at dentsu with these learning experiences. I think it's fantastic.
Catharina Engberg (12:01):
Thank you. I I couldn't agree more actually, because I think having that design principle so closely linked to your business strategy and the transformation that we're undertaking is such a huge privilege as a talent nature, HR professional. But just shifting towards the GCT learning experience, which is our widest and biggest learning experience. And it is targeting people who are identified as being high-performing and high-potential across all corners of the business. It doesn't matter what type where you sit in the organization, as long as you are identified as a high-performing, high-potential individual across job levels, 25 up to 50. And for reference, we have job levels spanning from level 15 up to level 75. So those level 20 to 50, they cover the majority of our people.
Troy Blaser (12:50):
Yeah. And so those are the, that's sort of the target audience for the learning experience. So what does the process look like? How are those people invited? What does that process look like as they go through the learning experience?
Catharina Engberg (13:04):
So if we start off with, with GCT or game changing talent of dentsu is, as you were saying, it's running for the second cohort this year. So last year we had 600+ participants from 38 markets. And this year we are actually closer to those 800 people and participants, but now from 42 markets. And what we have managed to create with GCT is a fully virtual and tech-enabled experiential learning and development program. Sorry, I should not say program, I need to say learning experience, but it's designed by dentsu, but in collaboration with trusted partners such as yourselves. And the lovely thing is that the business sponsor of the GCT learning experience is our whole global executive team. And we have designed it with the learning objectives, being grounded in and playing with words a bit. G stands for growth, C stands for collaboration, and that is to accelerate personal and business transformation, which is then the T building up GCT. So we're playing a bit with words, game changing talent, but also growth collaboration to enable personal and business transformation. And I hope that also resonates back to what I was talking about earlier, because when the main message across such a wide organization is transformation, but we want to do it by growing our people, developing our people, and making them collaborate at scale, those three words actually encapsulate everything that we are trying to achieve.
Troy Blaser (14:39):
Can you tell us a little bit about the components of the learning experience? I mentioned already the 360 degree survey is part of that, but you know, if I am a high-potential employee and and sign up for the GCT learning experience, what does that look like? What kinds of things will I have as part of this learning experience?
Catharina Engberg (14:59):
Absolutely. So if we look at the design components of GCT, it is there to drive careers and collaboration at scale, as we talked about. And I just wanted to say as well, that last year we had 45% career acceleration in that cohort just after nine months. Same thing with retention rates and global checking results. They were super high. And if we think about the design principles always being grounded in leadership at dentsu, we have together LearningBridge and dentsu designed our leadership at dentsu 360 tool. So we are encapsulating again in our 360, all of the types of behaviors that we want to see to enable the transformation and the culture change that we're after. So we always begin our journey with 360 feedback based on leadership at dentsu. And that is why this year we launched that big cohort of 750 people to go through the 360 feedback experience.
Catharina Engberg (15:57):
And then we're moving into what we call GCT coaching, again with leadership at dentsu as the backbone of that design. But really deep diving into what each of those five leadership at dentsu expectation means for people in their day-to-day life. Lower levels do it as pod coaching, so group coaching and more senior people do it as individual coaching, but it all is, wrapped around leadership at dentsu. So every single design, every single coaching session is designed around the five leadership expectations. What people have on top of that is fantastic ways that are tech enabled where we activate radical collaboration on what matters to people. So normally what you do is that you present people with, oh, here is a senior stakeholder business challenge, how would you come together as a group and solve it present back? We have reverted that whole thinking to say, to be able to transform and collaborate, we need to go where the energy is.
Catharina Engberg (16:59):
So coming back to my statement earlier. So what do you want to collaborate on? So our question back to our high-potential high-performing people is that if you collaborate on what matters to you, we will see movement. So each single individual of those 800 people have the chance to sign up session to collaborate on what matters to them. For some people it's input to a pitch. For other people, it's how do I deal with my team in this specific situation? In other cases we had during the pandemic, like how to become a parent during the pandemic, what do I do within locked doors? Closed doors, yeah. So it is driving that culture of if we collaborate where the energy is, where the excitement is, that will bring value for our clients in the end. Because what happens when people start having those collaboration moments on things they're passionate about, it usually leads to, oh, what client are you working on?
Catharina Engberg (17:56):
Or what is happening in your life? Do you want to change roles? You know, I have a role open in my team. That's how you make the ripple effect happen. We have also designed mentoring on scale leadership at dentsu. Again, people are being matched towards where are my strength in the leadership at dentsu model, how can I support someone else to enhance more of that behavioral shift by being their mentor? And again, that's nothing to do with levels. We encourage people to go after a mentor that can give them something that they need rather than just being a more senior person.
Troy Blaser (18:35):
I love what you were saying about the collaboration and I can imagine how empowering that must feel to an employee to be asked, what do you want to collaborate on? And then to see that happen and to think, you know, this is, I have an effect on this global company of 60,000 employees, but they want to know what I want to collaborate on and there's something happening because I gave that input and, and suddenly there's some collaboration happening around this thing that I'm specifically passionate about. That must be fantastic. I also wanted to come back a little bit to the feedback part or the debriefing part of the 360, the leadership at dentsu 360. I know that a lot of the companies that we work with can sometimes get bogged down in how do we handle the feedback that comes from a 360 degree survey, because they feel like maybe each person needs a one-on-one coaching experience, which can be too resource intensive. But I know that, and you, I think you mentioned it in your answer just a few minutes ago, some of the individuals do get one-on-one coaching, but other participants in the 360 do a different kind of coaching. You, what did you call it? Pod coaching I think?
Catharina Engberg (19:52):
Pod coaching, exactly. Which is group coaching where there are groups of five people in the same coaching group. So it becomes a mix of peer-to-peer, but also external coaching.
Troy Blaser (20:02):
Okay. And how has, how have the results been from that kind of coaching? Where do you apply it? Who gets pod coaching and how has that worked?
Catharina Engberg (20:13):
So pod coaching is for the lower levels of the organization. And usually we do that because what we see in the more junior levels is that they don't have the same type of network as the more senior people usually. They are not as clear to the direction of their career or the need for development that they have. So they learn a lot from each other, but with the need of having a professional facilitator, which is then a coach to help guide that conversation. So what happens in that group coaching is also that they break out into smaller groups and have discussions one-on-one and they tell each other about their plans. And again, link to leadership at dentsu and to their 360. Because what is important for me to say is that we are not moving into coaching where the coach is making sense of the 360 because we have built such a robust approach for debriefing together. And I'm happy to take you, through that if that's something that you wish me to do.
Troy Blaser (21:12):
Sure, yeah. Let's explore that a little bit
Catharina Engberg (21:15):
Because I think there are different ways here. We have our global learning experiences and usually that comes with a lot of people and that is where we, in the global talent team, we prepare all of the comms on the, on the LearningBridge system for example. And then we literally send you guys a long list of these are the participants, can you upload them to the system? And if we look at the generic person signing up to a 360 in our organization, they do this by navigating to what we call our learning hub and our learning hub is an online site with all of our dentsu learning and development offerings on it. And on there there is a specific tile that says leadership at dentsu 360. And that plays and that click, if you click onto that, you will get all of our information on leadership at dentsu 360.
Catharina Engberg (22:03):
What is it? When would you use it? You have a sample report on there and any type of information or pricing, everything that you need on 360, it's located there. And there is also a click to sign up people. And we've worked, together with you to create that online signup form, that people love to use. It's very simple. and once they are registered on there, participants add their raters themselves. And we have seen, because we usually send out a lot of feedback requests at the same time, we do allow that flexible window to stay open from six to eight weeks to allow everyone to get the feedback that they need. But I think the important thing is that once they receive their report, once we've closed the 360 round, the email containing their report is carefully crafted by ourselves.
Catharina Engberg (23:00):
And that is to give them guidance on next step. So for example, you will see that our report is structured in the way that each page of the report has an information section on it, which is stating what is the purpose of this page? How do you read this page and how do you digest what each page are saying? And then there is also a video guide doing that same thing, walking them through the report page by page, how do I make sense of this? And it is then up to the participant to schedule and to prepare a conversation with their manager. And there is of course also a very supportive guide for how to prepare for this. So we're not leaving people hanging. But what I love about this approach is that we can help people identify their development needs through their reports and by conversations with their managers with the 360 being a great data source.
Catharina Engberg (23:55):
So we know that all organizations often struggle with the conversations not being good enough and managers need more support to have a conversation with their employees. But now we're actually giving them a gift here. It's a great data resource, it's on print. There is a lot of people involved in this feedback gathering. And the participant of the 360, they own their feedback and it's up to them to bring it to their manager and have a great conversation about what can I do to develop in the areas again of leadership at dentsu that will be best for me for my career, for my development, for my performance. And also at the end of that report, we have been very smart, I think at least, that we've included the link to the learning hub where people can find all of these brilliant assets and tools that we've built for development.
Catharina Engberg (24:45):
So again, we're not leaving people hanging. But I think what is important to say is that many organizations, including ourselves a few years ago, felt oh, if we give people something we need to inform in detail what it's saying. And that is actually adding a layer of your own view as an HR professional. You know, how you interpret a result will be very different depending on who gives you the debrief. And our fundamental belief is that people are capable. They are fully capable adult people, but we do need to support them, which is why we have wrote so hard on the supportive side of it. But we also always invite all participants to sessions that is designed to make the most out of feedback. So not going through the report, not debriefing them in person, but how do you open up your mind to be able to take in the feedback that you have received.
Catharina Engberg (25:42):
So it's getting their mind into a place where they can take on board the feedback in the best possible way, then dive into their report findings. And again, I think Troy, I come back to that like, we believe that people are capable. And even though HR partners are not a part of that, the natural process of it, we always, also allow HR partners to access their participants' report. Because of course there are situations where a conversation is not working or someone is not understanding anything. So HR is there to support, but it is you first and the belief from our end that we have strong, capable and and willing people at dentsu.
Troy Blaser (26:21):
I think you've done a fantastic job at dentsu of helping the participant be empowered to get that feedback, to be responsible for getting the feedback, to be responsible for understanding the feedback and, and determining what actions to take based on the feedback that was received. So like you mentioned, the talent hub you've provided through technology, through the way that the report was designed, through the various communications, you've really made it easy for those participants to do it on their own without having to be led every step of the way by a coach or an HR business partner, but to be responsible for it on their own through gathering the feedback and then through conversations with the manager. But the conversation is initiated by the participant.
Catharina Engberg (27:07):
Yeah, absolutely. Because I think we will agree and we keep bombarding this message from the global talent center of excellence as well. The magic doesn't happen in a system. The magic doesn't happen in a report. The magic happens in a conversation. So we need to enable people to have those conversations. But by HR stepping in and doing that first level of, perhaps when you get the most vulnerable side of an individual because they've just received the feedback or they're trying to make sense of it, almost rob someone for making a great conversation happen. So HR should always be there as professionals to support, to enable interpretation where it's not possible. And perhaps also gatekeep if there is a very tricky relationship between a manager and an employee. But I think there needs to be ownership if you want to drive great conversations to happen.
Catharina Engberg (28:03):
And of course, if we go back to that need, because you know, as a talent professional myself, I do know that there is a need to, first you identify and it depends on the maturity of your manager, what you make out of it. But it's equally on you to make something out of the feedback that you've received, which is why we have designed that learning hub. You can go in and explore, you can come up with suggestions saying, I saw that there is a great coaching journey that I think would be perfect for me. Or I saw, that there is a great team development tool that I would love for us to engage in. So we're not trying to hinder people, but we're trying to make it as transparent as possible that we are here to support you, but you also need to own your future. But we will be here to help you facilitate that.
Troy Blaser (28:49):
I love it. Let's go back for a minute to the GCT learning experience. I wanted to ask about, you know, what differences have you seen in the organization because of the GCT program? Have, I guess, what kinds of results have you seen from the GCT learning experience?
Catharina Engberg (29:06):
Yeah, that's a great question. And because we have seen it over, this is now the second cohort. So I talked about it briefly earlier, but often nine months of experience and those 600+ people across those 38 markets. In the first cohort we saw a 45% career acceleration. So that's literally like 300 odd people in nine months that's made a career acceleration. And that is either to, they got a new job level, they got a new job title, they moved market, they moved service line. So it's spanning wide, but because the cohort of people is so wide and remember it's some of our absolute best people.
Catharina Engberg (29:47):
So we have seen that the retention numbers are fantastic. We are able to retain almost 90% of these people, which is very, very high. And that's on a 15 month annual, measuring point that we have. We can also see that these people's performance and development continue upwards. So we can see that the data tells us that they were high-performing, high-potential to begin with, but they are either staying or progressing even more when it comes to escalating data points on performance and development. And equally we can see that 55% of those 45% have made a career acceleration are females. And I say that because as an organization, we have a very, very clear focus on making sure that more senior women are promoted into those very senior roles. So we talk about level 55 and up, and you can imagine that this is now the bend strength of those level 55+ women. So to be able to say that 55% of those 45% were females was also something that has been celebrated heavily in our organization.
Troy Blaser (30:55):
That's fantastic. Those are great results, great benefit to the individuals, but also great benefit to the organization as a whole because of this learning experience. Now, dentsu is a global organization, of course, worldwide. Does your approach for the GCT learning experience change based on different geographic locations? Or is it very much the same independent of where in the world?
Catharina Engberg (31:20):
Well, I mean, not to say that you flex I think is a wrong approach. So to some extent we do. So we can see that some components of the GCT learning experience work better, than others across geographies. But what we have done is that we have designed a wide range of, well, I am Swedish, so I need to say smorgasbord, but like a palais of development opportunities across the 12 months that they are on the learning experience. But we try to make only like 60% or 70% of it mandatory where we like chase people down a bit. And that is, again, to empower people to explore and focus their development in the way that is best for them. And that also makes it very inclusive and allows for cultural differences. And I think Troy, you and I know that we also allow for the 360 to be translated where it's needed. So we have seen our 360 being translated into, a few different languages, and we also allow the coach to be a native speaking coach. And to give you a sense, like this year we are delivering coaching in 15 different languages on the GCT learning experience. So it is a heavy investment, but we want to make sure that we are inclusive, we want to make sure that we meet people where they are so they can maximize how they want to develop.
Troy Blaser (32:44):
So a smorgasbord of options, 50% to 60% that might be mandatory, so to speak, or that we really want you to participate in, and then you can pick and choose. And that sounds like a great lunch opportunity for me to go and get a smorgasboard of lunch opportunities. Okay, if we switch gears just a little bit here. I wonder if you can come back to a more specific experience or a time as in your career as I'm sure you've had the opportunity to see people receive feedback. I mean, we talked about at the beginning of the episode, chance when you receive feedback. But have you had a chance to see feedback affect someone else's career or their life or mark an inflection in their career, either for good or for bad that maybe you could share with us?
Catharina Engberg (33:30):
Absolutely. I mean, again, this is a privilege of working in talent roles. I mean, I get stories every single day about people who have accelerated their career based on feedback, blind spots that people, or all of a sudden notice and were revealed. And also the one that I love the most is when you have those converted optimists saying, oh, feedback. Well, I don't know. Well, it feels a bit like mechanical. I don't really know if I like feedback. And then all of a sudden, and especially through our leadership at dentsu 360 experience, I get so many people saying, oh, this is actually the first time I've seen that feedback has made a difference for me, or that I actually received feedback that I can do something with. And I think on the flip side though, we do see, and I mentioned this before, that our challenges that often we do these things in big batches, like there are 800 people on a global learning experience. They send 20 requests each. And we can only do the math of that, which I can't do at this point, but there's thousands of requests going out across the organization. And as you know, with a global learning experience, there is never a good timing because there is a bank holiday going on somewhere in the world.
Troy Blaser (34:39):
This is true
Catharina Engberg (34:41):
It is very true. Right. But what we tend to do there is again, being that flexible, like allowing a wider window, for feedback. So I think on GCT last year, we ended up with nine weeks open to make sure that those final people could get their, the feedback. And I love that approach. I think, you know, there's, to be too rigid about anyone's development never serves the purpose that you're trying to achieve.
Troy Blaser (35:09):
Yeah. I you're talking about there always being a bank holiday somewhere. I will say I, you know, here part of my job is to monitor the, the help request that come in if somebody needs help getting on the website or whatever. But we send out all of these invitation emails and reminder emails to help people remember to do the survey. And often we'll get, you know, the usual out-of-office auto reply. And I just couldn't help but smile through the month of August as we were running the GCT survey. And of course many of the participants are there in Europe and August is well known as its summer holidays and the number of out-of-office auto replies just, it just made me laugh. You know, I would say I think half of dentsu is on holiday, but based on how many auto replies we get back. So, yeah. But no, that's the very reason to keep it open long enough to get the feedback, it is to account for all of those.
Catharina Engberg (36:06):
And that's, you know, some people in, some people in APAC and/or Australia is then having their winter, right. So, it's not as cheerful for them, as it is for us, perhaps, in the northern hemisphere. But again, I think nobody would ever push back to the fact you need to be transparent and open saying only 60% of the people have received enough feedback to be able to produce a report. And we have these discussions, you, me and Michael often, like what type of, what do we think we should do at this point? This is the number of feedback inputs that we have versus how many we're missing. But I think you touched upon something very interesting as well, which is like, when can it cause like inflections?
Catharina Engberg (36:52):
And I think I often see this and remember again, like leadership dentsu our eight ways. Everything that I've talked about, it's quite new for our business. I've been with dentsu for 10 years, and the level of maturity that we have today, we've never had. Ever never. And feedback, to introduce feedback in too much of a rigid way, would have, I think have destroyed the soul of feedback in general. But what I do hear is that managers can be very upset. They often come to me or to their HR partners saying, oh, I did not understand that my feedback would be open that they knew it would, it was going to be me. I know that we're saying it on the platform. It's very clear like writing, do not write something that you can't like justify. But those are the times.
Catharina Engberg (37:40):
So when participant confront either their manager or someone else that they understood well, nobody would use this language smorgasbord. So I understand this is probably Catharina. So, I think that's when we see things being a bit, I don't know, uncomfortable for people. But I mean, as a talent professional, this is almost when I like, oh, sheer cheer to me. Because this is conversation that should have been taking place already outside of a 360. Right? And what usually happens is that it drives great outputs for development as a consequence of it bring brought up in a bit of a unconventional way. But I think it's also the fact the participants feel the ownership of their report and their feedback. They also feel that they have the ownership to question it, to ask questions about it, to say, oh, I didn't know you're my manager, but I've never understood over those three years that we worked together that you thought that I was not strategic enough.
Troy Blaser (38:40):
Catharina Engberg (38:41):
And when that type of conversation, because again, remember magic, the conversation, the magic happens in the conversation. Doesn't happen on a 360 report. It happens when you have the chance to put words and paint that picture to the person that you're leading, for example, of what I meant with that was how can we work with that? So, even though it creates tension, I think it creates positive tension.
Troy Blaser (39:08):
And it changes the status quo. You know the relationship has been one way for three years and now this piece of feedback maybe unintentionally came from the manager and now something is different and now the conversation changes a little bit and it's a new conversation and it's a conversation that can promote growth and change in the relationship. So yeah, I think that's fantastic. Well, Catharina, is there anything else that you might share with others in a similar position in their company? Something that you've learned, some bit of wisdom that you would pass on or advice that you would pass on to someone who maybe is in a similar position to you in another company?
Catharina Engberg (39:49):
Yeah, that's a no weight on my shoulders here, but I, what I would say is that dare to have the courage no matter the size of your organization to design your own 360 tool. I think, you know, you guys work with 360 tools all the time. There are very different types of 360 tools out there. But dare to design your own together with professional providers and really spend time to link it to the long-term vision that you have for your company and for your talent or HR agenda or reward agenda, whatever it might be. But try to combine it and that way you can get conversations going on feedback and development of your people directly linked to your business agenda and strategies and priorities. And also, I think it's, I've already stated the obvious perhaps, but allowing your employees to own their feedback and trust that they are capable of making sense of it themselves, but in true partnership with their managers.
Catharina Engberg (40:51):
Not in true partnership with their HR partner, but in true partnership with our manager. So, we know that this requires a lot more time and thinking and design upfront to make sure that support tools and assets are there. But from my perspective that's gone through this process is that it's worth it. I would never do it differently. And I'm also very, very happy, for my HR colleagues and they constantly say that to me as well, that they never become the bottleneck for feedback. And it becomes a normal part of the rhythm of development instead of when will HR have time to launch this project for me or this feedback request round for me. So, that would be one thing, or probably three things I said. But the final thing I want to say is as well that you can leverage the data and the quantifiable results that you get.
Catharina Engberg (41:45):
So remember I told you about our global learning experiences being our most high-performing, high-potential people. That's, you know, one pool of people. You then have everyone else who is also some of our most important people, but not in a global learning experience. So what this helps us do as well is to direct specific support for that specific target audience. So when I get back the aggregated results from the 360, we can see that some of our expectations are lower or higher. So we know where we need to do interventions. And it also helps us set more holistic strategic talent priorities for the year to come because those measurements from a 360 will give you very, very good indication when it's this closely linked to the business strategy that oh, this is where we need to focus. And of course, in combination with other data points such as global checking results or whatever it might be. But it truly gives you such a rich data source when it's so closely linked to your business strategies.
Troy Blaser (42:51):
Great counsel, great advice, that you've learned through your experiences there and I appreciate that you're willing to share with us and share with others who are listening. I think that's fantastic. Catharina, if people have questions or if they've want to continue the conversation with you, is that something that you would be open to and if so, what would be the best way for folks to get in touch with you?
Catharina Engberg (43:14):
A hundred percent. Please feel free to reach out via LinkedIn. You will find me under my name, Catharina Engberg and or email address. It's So please feel free. I'm always willing to discuss anything related to feedback or anything else in the talent space or in life.
Troy Blaser (43:34):
Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for joining us today. This conversation has been fascinating to me and I really appreciate the time that you've been willing to spend with us.
Catharina Engberg (43:43):
It's been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much.