Feedback Labs September 1, 2016

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feasible feedback

“I have wanted to fly into space for many years, but never imagined it would really be feasible.” ~ Stephen Hawking

Like spaceflight, truly putting citizens at the heart of development – whether in the US or internationally – can seem impossibly complex. It is one thing to set out to close feedback loops, to want to genuinely adapt based on what citizens tells us they want and need. It is another thing altogether to figure out how to actually do it. We have heard this question from many of you: how do we close feedback loops in practice? How do we make feedback feasible?

In 1996, the Ansari X Prize promised 10 million dollars to the first non-government organization that could successfully launch the same manned spacecraft into space twice in two weeks. The prize was won less than a decade later. The goal was ambitious, but what we take from the success of the X Prize was the power of the day-to-day engineering that went into achieving it. The constant experimentation and daily problem-solving, the discovery of habits that worked and the perfection of details, won the X Prize. The goal was audacious, but practice made it feasible.

Making it feasible to close citizen feedback loops is the theme of our upcoming Feedback Summit. Today, to start the countdown to the Summit, we are launching a new blog series called Three Things Thursday that delves into that theme. Every Thursday, one of our expert practitioners will outline three tangible habits and practices that can help us close citizen feedback loops. How can social lab principles set us up to adapt based on feedback? What does it take to inculcate a culture of transmitting feedback between front-line staff and managers? Which practices are most effective at helping us truly hear and accept the feedback we hear in our day-to-day work lives? Every Thursday, join us here for a brief but powerful exploration of how we can make it feasible to close feedback loops in our work.

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