Question 59 of 365: When is Judgement better than Feedback?

I speak a lot about the value of perpetual beta or the need to emphasize process over product, so this maybe an entirely hypocritical thing to say. But… Judgement is better than feedback sometimes. Knowing in an absolute sense that someone hates your idea can be preferable to having any number of people try and help you make it better. Sometimes getting an objective kick in the pants or pat on the back can galvanize passion in a way that the incremental process of working toward a goal never can.

And, very soon I will be looking for judgement. Not, from my network, but from the outside, from people I have never met (online or otherwise). Very soon, I will be demonstrating an idea in the hopes that people will tell me that it sucks, unequivocally. I want them to be rabid about it too. I want them to be so mad that it doesn’t work the way that they want it to that they will challenge me to think about it differently.

I also want other people to make the judgement call that it is worthy of their time. I want them to believe so much in my ideas that they will be willing to back it up with funding, connections, and full throated support in everyday conversation. I want their judgement to be absolute, not dependent upon the next version forthcoming.

And when the judgements come, they will be swift. It will be a moment of consideration and then a decision. People will pronounce fate, and do it based upon evidence I have provided. They have the control, and yet, I am the one putting myself up for such a judgement. I am submitting myself to being graded for the first time in a long time.

And that is why I think it is special, and it should stay special. Grading and this kind of judgement on what you have done, should be something that only comes along once in a great while. It should hinge upon you being ready to stand up to criticism and believe that you have put the best possible version of what you believe forward for review.

That is why I believe in defending dissertations. It is why I believe in writing grants. It is why I believe in applying to schools. It is why I believe in the interview process.

And for the same reason, it is why I do not believe in standardized testing. It is also why I do not believe in many versions of performance review (the kind that is based on progress, not a culmination or an application for something new).

I believe that moments of judgement should be based on individual achievement, not measured against a standard. A test cannot measure what an application can. A review based upon Smart Goals will never be as good as a review that requires a person to rewrite their job description and apply for that new job. A judgement means that you have done something worthy of esteem. A feedback loop means that you can never take a step back and pronounce something as good.

So, as I head on into my next judgement. I hope people like what I am doing enough to tell me, and I hope people hate it enough to do the same. Either way, Judge me.

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