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Caution to CIOs: Feedback Can Be Damaging to Performance

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Active management is being thwarted by its own sclerotic folklore, including long-held beliefs that are both wrong and inhibit corrective learning. One such misguided belief concerns the role of feedback in helping portfolio managers improve. The prevailing wisdom is that professional improvement requires direct feedback from one or more reviewers delivered to an individual.

Constructive feedback is the pinnacle for portfolio managers to identify shortcomings and take steps to improve on them. Yet, this type of feedback can be complicated to dissect and identify the next steps without clear objectives.

This essay explains why providing subjective feedback can negatively impact a portfolio manager’s success. It then focuses on how objective, robust, granular data works best and provides guidance to CIOs on how to coach managers towards excellence.

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