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Why 360 Reviews Aren’t Enough to Help Leaders Succeed in a Complex World

Articles Mar 14, 2024

Anyone who has spent time leading a team knows that leadership can be a solitary pursuit. As you rise in the organization, you are less likely to get transparent, direct feedback on your performance. This absence of feedback limits the information leaders need to improve their own leadership skills, and teams suffer as a result.  

The gap between what executives think about themselves and what their teams think is not a new issue. In the 1950s, Esso Research and Engineering (now known as Exxon Mobil) adapted a feedback system used in World War II so that managers could be rated by their managers, colleagues and subordinates. 360-degree assessments are now mainstream and are estimated to be in use by 90% of Fortune 1000 companies.

The challenge with 360 reviews is that they were conceived during an era where most leadership models were built to optimize mass production. Organizational hierarchy was established to create efficiency in work where physical goods were created at scale. The world has changed and the assessments that examine leadership abilities need to evolve as well.   

Using 360 Reviews to Assess Leaders


Kurt Merriweather

Kurt Merriweather (he/him) is a Certified Diversity Executive, vice president of Innovation for The Diversity Movement, and thought leader in building teams that integrate DEI and technology.