What Should You Start/Stop/Continue Doing?

Feedback exchange is a critical part of professional development. Whether you manage a team of 2 people or 20 people, you must facilitate feedback sharing.

arge companies have entire teams dedicated to running a formal “review process” that involves feedback collection and sharing. But for small teams, such a process may be too time-intensive and unnecessarily bureaucratic. In addition, limiting feedback exchange to an annual occurrence fails to capitalize on the review process as a learning opportunity and even an alternative form of compensation. We all deserve feedback; it helps us perform better and ultimately succeed in our careers.

Some of the most productive teams I have come across utilize a more simple and actionable approach to feedback exchange. Steffen Landauer, now the Director of Leadership Development at Hewlett Packard, taught me a particularly novel approach in which he encourages leaders to send an email to each person on their team – as well as key clients – requesting a few feedback points for each of their colleagues under the headings START, STOP, CONTINUE.

What are most people suggesting that Matt START doing, STOP doing, and CONTINUE doing?

Each recipient is expected to share a few things that each of their colleagues and clients should START, STOP, and CONTINUE doing. People then return their lists to a team leader (except for the feedback on the leader, which would be redirected to someone else on the team). The quick points under each heading are then aggregated to identify trends.

What are most people suggesting that Matt START doing, STOP doing, and CONTINUE doing? One-off points are discarded, and the common themes are then shared in a quick meeting with each member of the team.

The START/STOP/CONTINUE approach is simple and easy to implement. It works at the end of the year, the end of the month, or even after a client engagement or meeting. Feedback exchange needs to be simple and action-oriented; the START/STOP/CONTINUE methodology particularly encourages quick and timely evaluation.

More insights on: Leadership, Office Dynamics

Scott Belsky

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Scott Belsky is Adobe's Vice President of Community and Co-Founder & Head of Behance, the leading online platform for creatives to showcase and discover creative work. Scott has been called one of the "100 Most Creative People in Business" by Fast Company, and is the author of the bestselling book, Making Ideas Happen.
load comments (12)
  • Luis Olmos

    Great article!! I can see how this should be implemented in different fields. Had a recent conversation with two print managers about their staff and some glitches they wanted to iron out and this is a great way for them to go by it.

  • Rick Cogley

    Simple is superior. Excellent article.

  • Jason

    sounds like peer reviews… depends on people really trying to be helpful though

  • Andy Spence

    Great post, we use Stop Start Continue to great effect. It is simple, quick and gets results. For info, here is our article for Stop, Start, Continue – with a focus on HR Transformation – includes a downloadable worksheet.

  • John R. Bell

    Enjoyed the read. Here’s a slightly different outside of the review for folks in leadership positions. When I led a business whose strategy was to ‘do less’better’ we emphasized things we should stop doing. It worked particularly well in focusing the company on the tasks that really mattered. Additionally, as CEO, I was tenacious about keeping our ‘headcount’ low. So when a manager asked for more people I often asked the manager to come back with a list of all the things he/she was doing…and of course I abruptly cut some projects. This may seem overly autocratic, but I can tell you, I was left with a lean team of better, significantly higher paid people and a very successful business.

  • Parin Patel

    Read about this in your Making Ideas Happen book, and just like The Action Method, I loved the simplicity and effectiveness of this process/tip! (And of course, love the book too! :) )

    The process of traditional reviews sometimes loses focus on the 3 key elements you’ve highlighted because of either the process itself, or the amount of detail involved sometimes: START, STOP, CONTINUE.

  • Logo Design

    Such a good responsive artice, it made me to make my decision to grasp over these good advises. Thanks

  • dissertation uk

    great post!

  • StuartCorbishley

    This sounds a lot like Sprint Retrospectives, from the Agile Software Methodology, specifically Scrum. We have used a similar practice with our team of 10 people for over a year to wonderful results. Great post to raise the awareness of this kind of thinking..

  • Joe Huggs

    This sounds good and explain a good review about the working environment regards to any company or place. Good pros and cons are shared in the post. I like this share and  look forward to this insightful post.

  • Heinrich

    Please share some examples on Start/Stop/Continue feedbacks like highlighted at picture to this article

  • http://www.freemanlafleur.com/ Freeman LaFleur

    Great article and such a simple concept. This post inspired us to create a streamline service for companies of any size to implement the start stop continue method into their workflow. Check it out at http://kangaroo.io

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