Some jobs have very tight feedback loops. Weathermen and day traders get regular, immediate feedback on how they’re doing. Today’s stock trades are this evening’s profits (or losses).
Other jobs have looser feedback loops. It can take years for a personal injury lawyer or venture capital investor to see the results from today’s efforts.
And, some jobs have no reliable feedback loop at all. How does a risk mitigation expert measure crises avoided?
The most reliable way to get better at what you’re doing is to tighten your feedback loop. Use component milestones or input from a more experienced mentor to help create earlier insight into whether what you’re doing is working…It might not be perfect, but it’s almost always better than waiting.
And, if you want to build a stronger team, tighten their feedback loop. Don’t wait for an annual review or quarterly check-in. Give them immediate, actionable feedback in the regular course of interacting.
Campaigning political candidates don’t wait for the election to get a read on how well their efforts are working. Neither should you.