Saturday, 10 September 2016

The utmost fundamental factor for improvement

I will keep this brief because I got a plane to catch.

What is a feedback loop?

Feedback according to the dictionary; outputs of a system are routed back as inputs as part of a chain of cause-and-effect that forms a loop.

Think of your business or life as a system. Whenever you produce something out of that system, you will get a reaction back, thus the cause and effect. For every action, there will be a reaction.

Can this be either negative or positive? It is both.

There are several ways this happens; One way, is by direct feedback from another individual. Another way is indirect feedback from the environment.

This is a hypothetical situation:

Harry is a server at Jim’s Restaurant. He collects the food order from his table and returns back with the wrong order. The direct feedback would be for the customer to tell Harry that his order was wrong, the indirect feedback would be for the customer to never return and leave a bad review online about the service.

How does a feedback loop help us?

We absolutely love to be in control, I know I do. However, we all know that we can only control our own actions (internal) rather than the actions that are happening around us (external). The feedback loop is important in our everyday life and business because this is a way to deploy control.

How? By listening and paying attention.

When you are coming out with a product the best thing you can do is market it at its early development stages. That way you can get immediate feedback and adjust the product to fit the market.” Ryan Holiday

Whether you create a product or service or you do something for your sibling or your wife, pay attention to their reaction. The ‘market’ is always right. The end user will either like what you are offering or hate it.

When someone hates what you are putting out, it is completely your fault. You weren’t paying attention to what they want. It is possible that they are not educated about what you are offering. It is still your fault.

Soon as someone loves your output you still have to pay attention. Why did they like it? What did they like about it? Will other’s like it too?

We know that the feedback loop can be both positive or negative. Does the time of the feedback loop matter? Absolutely.

You want to keep the feedback loop very short. The faster you gain an understanding of how the ‘market’ (the reason I put to market in a single quotation is because the market can be your friend, girlfriend, parent, sister, and a complete stranger) reacts to your output (product or service) the sooner you can improve that product or service.

Let’s say you are writing a book. You don’t want anyone to throw you off track so you keep the work to yourself. You spend 2 years writing and editing. You finally publish and release 10,000 copies of your work to the market. No one buys your book. Can you see how the feedback loop can be your best friend?

Now imagine this scenario.

You start writing your book, you begin to send out snippets of that book to the ‘market’ (in this scenario the market are the people that are buying similar books of the genre you are writing) to collect their feedback. You send out edited versions to other authors to ask them to leave a review for the book. Now you can choose to either leave it on your shelf or to continue with design and finally place a large order of copies to be distributed.

Let me give you a relevant case scenario. My company performs a steam cleaning service We ask for direct and indirect feedback. Direct feedback; We do a walk through with the client to make sure the work is to their satisfactory level. Indirect feedback; we ask the client to leave a review online about the service for others to see.

This is where I wanted to take this post to.

As important as it is .... come finish here, you will get a ton of value.

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