Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

From feedback to feedforward: How can this strategy boost your career-driven approach? [Tuesdays: Return Driven Strategy]

May 23, 2023

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.

A Note from Miles Everson:

As someone who’s been in the business and consulting industry for over a decade now, one of the frameworks I truly find effective is Return Driven Strategy (RDS).

This pyramid-shaped framework has 11 tenets and 3 foundations that help businesses effectively implement their branding and marketing strategies. Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo explain this in detail in the book, “Driven.”

Another thing I like about RDS is it’s applicable to one’s career. Just apply its tenets and foundations to the microlevel and you have Career Driven Strategy (CDS).

Today, let’s talk about CDS in the context of “creating futures.”

Continue reading to know what “creating futures” means and how this can benefit your career in the long run.

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Return Driven Strategy

Feedback and feedforward.

Do you know the difference between the two?

Feedback is something many of us are familiar with. It’s commentary from someone regarding an action, event, or behavior that happened in the past, with the intention of guiding the recipient of the feedback to improve in the future.

Meanwhile, feedforward is quite a new term to some. Instead of focusing the discussion on mistakes or weaknesses in activities that already happened, this approach provides commentary and areas of improvement while an action, event, or behavior is ongoing.

The latter also has a more future-focused orientation, so the recipient of the feedforward feels empowered to leverage insights for better performance in the future.

Let’s demonstrate feedback and feedforward through an example…

Photo from Yell Business


Carlos is assigned to deliver a sales presentation to a possible new client. Since this is Carlos’ first time presenting a sales pitch on his own, his manager also joins the call.

After the presentation, Carlos doesn’t hear back from his manager until his weekly one-on-one. In this meeting, his manager lets him know about some areas for improvement, such as his confidence in conveying information and the accuracy of some of his presentation points.

Carlos takes note of this feedback and tries to practice with the hope of doing better in his next sales pitch.


Carlos will take the lead on a sales pitch presentation for the first time next week. Because of this, his manager lets him know he will also attend the call for support. In preparation, Carlos does a dry run of the presentation with his manager and another colleague who is highly experienced with client engagement practices.

During the practice, Carlos’ manager gives insights on how to best catch the client’s attention and tips for managing anxiety mid-presentation, and reconfirms the data presented in Carlos’ slides. On the day of the pitch, Carlos is well armed with the right insights and knowledge to impress the client. This gives him higher chances of closing the deal sooner than anticipated.

See the difference between these two approaches?

While both methods provide comments and areas for improvement, feedforward further empowers recipients by helping them focus not on their past mistakes or weaknesses but on what else they could do better in the future.

We’re not saying feedback is bad and that management teams should abandon it completely. What we simply mean is that leaders have a crucial role in the corporate world. They should always help their staff position themselves better in their careers, keep their eyes on the future, and identify changes required to achieve better results.

Such an environment enables companies to move forward and achieve their goals more effectively and efficiently.

So… what are some benefits of feedforward in “creating futures” for firms?

  1. It reinforces positive interpersonal relationships

Feedforward is growth-oriented constructive criticism. It requires the support of all members of a team to deliver an assessment. 

Implementing this approach means workers become more engaged and aware of what other team members are working on. Building this awareness is healthy because it results in a highly connected and empowered team that sees continued improvements amongst each other.

  1. It helps break through barriers and make progress at a faster pace

Consistently asking team members for feedforward is aligned with the characteristics of having a growth mindset, which means regularly checking in on one’s goals and having a mission to make constant progress. 

Through feedforward, members of a team are able to recognize their weaknesses and target them as specific areas for improvement while a certain task, project, or activity is ongoing. This will then help the team accelerate their growth faster. 

  1. It enables leaders to discover potential leaders within a team

Leaders need to have fine-tuned analytical and critical thinking and reflection skills. What’s more? 

They should seek improvement and literal growth in their team! 

Through feedforward, leaders are able to take note of those who: 

  • Consistently reflect, analyze, and strategize their talents and skills based on the coaching comments they receive 
  • Make an effort to provide positive feedforward assessments to their fellow workers 
  • May be well-suited to lead a team of their own in the future 

In short, feedforward helps leaders not only in focusing on creating a better future for their teams but also in identifying potential leaders and opportunities for career growth along the way. 

Feedforward: “Creating Futures” and Career Driven Strategy (CDS)

CDS is the application of Return Driven Strategy (RDS) to one’s career. According to Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo, creators of the framework, CDS helps individual professionals ask the right questions and think differently about their goals and activities.

What else?

As a coaching tool, CDS enables empowered individuals to also coach and help others in their own career paths. It helps workers and even students prioritize and focus their time and energy for the best use.

This is pretty much similar to giving feedforward!

By creating the right environment, companies can instill a growth mindset through giving people accessible development tools and encouraging everyday learning without fear of judgment.

We hope you find today’s topic helpful and insightful!

Keep in mind that giving feedforward is a constant practice. Through this, firms can foster a workplace culture where individuals focus on their growth, what they can contribute to the firm, and how they can achieve their goals TOGETHER.

So, go and prepare yourself to meet your goals by practicing feedforward assessments with your team or colleagues!

Together, you can all support each other towards development and future-oriented success!

Also, if you’re looking to gain a better understanding of Return Driven Strategy, we highly recommend checking out “Driven” by Professor Litman and Dr. Frigo.

Click here to get your copy and learn how this framework can help you in your business strategies and ultimately, in ethically maximizing wealth for your firm.

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Return Driven Strategy”

In the book, “Driven,” authors Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo said that the goal of every long-term successful business strategy should incorporate the combined necessity of “making the world a better place” and “getting wealthy.”

That is why they created Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy—frameworks that were built to help leaders and professionals plan and evaluate businesses so they can also help others achieve their organizational goals and career goals.

The frameworks describe the plans and actions that drive returns for anyone in an organization such as independent contractors, marketers, brand managers, communicators, and other people in any field. These actions lead to the creation of wealth and value for customers, employees, shareholders, and the society.

Every Tuesday, we’ll highlight case studies, business strategies, tips, and insights related to Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy.

In planning, building, or managing brands and businesses, these strategies, case studies, and guidelines will help you choose what specific actions to take and when to take them.

Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Return Driven Strategy!”


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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