Within the core studio class last semester, there were 2 main projects assigned to the students. The first project took about 4 weeks and the other project took about 7 weeks to complete. For the first project, we formed a team of 3 to tackle it. My project members were E, who has a background in architecture from UC Berkley and then turned into a UX/UI designer, and also Y who was a former business consultant at IBM. After the first project was over, in a very casual manner they said we should do a 360 review.
360 review? What’s that?
To be honest, I was a little baffled. I didn’t even know what a 360 review was! Upon asking what that meant, they said to me that we will allocate time to gather as a group and talk about what worked out and what didn’t during the course of the project.
When I was working in Tokyo, no one has ever told me to do this. They were all simply too busy to look back! To go straight to my point, this review was fantastic. There were so many things I noticed. I don’t know what the working environment in the United States is like, but given that both Y and E were totally natural about this 360 review, it may be something that is done regularly in the United States.
So anyway, the three of us gathered and reflected upon our project. We took turns and discussed what was good and what was not. Regarding my feedback, E and Y told me that they appreciated the fact that I spent a lot of time trying to build the structure for storytelling, and also told me that they wanted me to participate in the research phase more.
After this discussion, the three of us were chatting about other things, but it was interesting for me because it made me realize how all of our backgrounds are different. For someone coming from an advertising agency, I always try to make presentations as interesting as possible, but from the eyes of Y and E, it seems that I have a strength in storytelling.
Another interesting thing I noticed was that, being in an environment where staffs are constantly under pressure to output ideas and execution in a short period of time, it seems that I tend to “skip” the research phase and jump right into the solution phase, which results in making me seem not contributing as much in the research. The fact that I’m weak in research was something I also had in my mind, and now that others have pointed out, I definitely need to improve.
The best thing I liked about the 360 review was that, as a professional, my valuation becomes evident and I know exactly myself the reason why instead of being recognized good (or bad) in a general way. Also, I came to realize that there is a gap, which what I thought I did well doesn’t necessarily match with what others thought I did was good.
By making an organization that enables people to openly discuss and understand each other like this, would probably lead to an organization where people grow faster.