My Favourite Off-the-Shelf 360 Degree Feedback Tool

An image of Antoinette Oglethorpe's favourite 360 Degree Feedback Tool, the LVI index

Last week I promised I would share my favourite 360-degree feedback tool with you, so here goes.

But before I do let me declare an interest.

I am licensed to use this tool so it’s in my interest to encourage others to use it.  However, let me also be clear that I wouldn’t have become licensed to use it unless I thought it was good and provides real value to my clients.

Right, now that’s off my chest, here it is. My absolute favourite 360 degree feedback tool is the Leadership Versatility Index (LVI).

And that’s because of its incredibly clever design.

My favourite 360 Degree Feedback Tool

Most 360 degree feedback tools are designed to measure the extent to which a leader displays certain behaviours with the assumption that more is better.  In reality, displaying a certain behaviour to a high extent is not always better.  A leader’s job is complex and the skill of a leader is to adapt and flex to the requirements of the individual and the situation.

Leaders need to find a balance between enabling their team and taking the lead; between looking ahead at the bigger picture and focussing on the operational details.  [Tweet “Leaders need to balance enabling their team vs.taking the lead; looking at big picture vs. details.”]

So the LVI uses pairs of opposing leadership behaviours (e.g. ‘takes charge’ vs. ‘empowers’) to assess leadership versatility on two dimensions:

  1. Forceful vs Enabling in the way they lead people
  2. Strategic vs Operational in the way they lead the business

The LVI has an innovative and patented “Goldilocks” rating scale.  Instead of asking how much the behaviour is displayed and assuming more is better, the LVI asks how much the behaviour is displayed relative to requirement.  That tailors the 360 degree feedback to the context of the person being rated.


If a leader’s direct reports and peers rate the individual as 0 for a particular behaviour, this means that they feel this individual is doing the right amount of these behaviours. The leader’s boss on the other hand may feel they are doing too much of something or not enough. This means that the leader can then adapt their behaviours with their boss to address their concerns without changing their “just right” behaviours with the rest of the team.

The results indicate if leaders are doing too much of one thing and/or too little of the opposite.  Many leaders are better at operating on one side of a dimension than the other.  They are lopsided.  Their scores on the LVI will give a reading on the extent to which they are lopsided so that they can develop strategies for improving their versatility.

It’s no wonder the LVI is often described as the thinking manager’s 360 degree feedback tool.

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