Category: Our Thoughts & Facts

grouplearningThe hard truth is that if you want to take your organization into the future with innovations you’ve got to have a learning organization:

On the basis of a unique data set covering 2000 Danish private firms it is demonstrated that firms combining several of the organizational traits of the learning organization are much more prone to introduce new products than the others.” (Peter Nielsen and Bengt-Åke Lundvall study, Aalborg University).

One of the critical ingredients for creating a learning organization is ensuring you’ve got a feedback culture.  Let’s face it, how do you learn without asking for feedback?

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More about Coaching – Less about Defending

Based on our research one important reason for companies to revamp their performance reviews is to put more focus on coaching and feedback. Companies struggle with their current performance reviews because the discussions get defensive and fearful and there’s not enough focus on employee development. Employees believe the review is about compensation decisions and so they get defensive during the review.

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Trust pictureFinally, Self Service Feedback! For my previous employer, 10 years ago, we started moving various Finance and HR services into employee “self services”. This transition produced significant productivity gains and placed my previous employer in a best-in-class category for operational excellence. For example, the reimbursement of employee travel expenses was made into a self-service function where employees initiated a travel expense form on-line which was routed automatically to the bank for payment.

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Employee Engagement

Josh Bersin, founder of Bersin by Deloitte, wrote in a Forbes article that HR systems “Originally conceived as systems to help HR managers administer various people practices (even PeopleSoft did this), now HR software is really designed to help employees and managers manage themselves.” And that’s how we designed Katch: to allow employees to manage their own feedback.
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Nelson Mandela said:

“We were born to make manifest the glory within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone.”

At Katch, we were inspired by this vision: to make people shine continuously.

Companies have a hard time getting their people to engage in continuous feedback. This is caused by a number of factors, e.g. that feedback tools are usually manager-driven and manager-owned. We believe this is wrong. In addition, feedback tools are usually complex, based on long-lists, one-off and anonymous. We believe this is wrong. Thirdly, feedback tools generally stop when a report has been produced. You pay the provider and that’s typically the end of it. We believe this is wrong.

We solve things like this:

  • our feedback tool is yours: owned, managed and controlled by the individual
  • the tool is easy, powerful, (also) mobile, and personal
  • the feedback results tie seamlessly into your profile, i.e. this is your ongoing personal reputation

Your most important talents, your Top 5, are public, as well as the number of times you’ve asked for feedback and compliments you’ve given to others. You may view your contacts’ Top 5 and usage stats as well. This means, you may easily meetup with people who complement your talents to build a strong, successful and diverse team.

We believe a company’s manager should not have more rights than us, you and I, as professionals. That’s why, the Dashboard enables the company’s manager to:

  • easily invite additional co-workers to join the paid version of the tool (to get them the extra’s they deserve!)
  • de-invite them when they leave the company (don’t worry, you will keep your data if that happens)
  • filter on usage stats
  • view the users’ Top 5 Qualities

So, we never share the specific feedback between two people: we safeguard privacy this way. This means our tool really, finally belongs to the people, while at the same time, we do facilitate the monitoring of the ongoing feedback culture, company’s key competences, and the individual’s top talents.

Here are a few screenshots of the Dashboard.

Easy invite of new co-workers, invitations are automatically sent.


View your people’s Top 5 Qualities, and learn how intense they ask feedback and give compliments. This way local managers may support people specifically.

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Company’s managers may filter in various ways to learn how the feedback culture evolves and may send filtered groups of users specific helpful onboarding messages.

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Some of the stats to view, in addition to each co-workers’ Top 5 Qualities are shown by the following screenshots:



 Our team is developing the tool and Dashboard rapidly: any of your feedback will be highly appreciated and converted into new features and additional stats, as long as it creates value for the people in your company and safeguards the privacy of their individual feedback they receive from others.

Feedback us


Any questions or suggestions? Send us your feedback!

The team



Nelson Mandela inspired KatchLast night we learned that Nelson Mandela died. He inspired us to found Katch, since we believe like Mandela that people are meant to shine. We start our presentations by mentioning this and referring to him. We know at Katch that asking for feedback, to learn how others experience you, and teach them as well about their talents and things to improve, requires courage and opening-up. It requires to leave fear behind. That’s not easy, but it is the only way. At least that’s what we believe and try to enable with Katch. That’s why we believe Katch should empower people to open up to each other, collaborate, make each other shine.

Please read, enjoy and share below part of his famous 1994 speech. So, you know why we’re gonna miss him. We daily pass by his statue in The Hague, on our way to school. I gently hope, my children are inspired by him too.


“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Nelson Mandela, 1918 – 2013


bullying In our blog called Big Performance Data? Small Steps we outline how in the new way of working it’s really hard for an employer to even guess at who is most qualified to give you feedback, and we underpinned the reliability of data coming from continuously collecting feedback. Dr. Tim Baker, in his recent blog states that because the when, where, how, and what of performance reviews are determined primarily by the employer, there is an imbalance of power in the workplace.  How are performance reviews done in your organization?  Who decides when your review will be done and when?  How will it be done: does someone determine what forms are used?

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TimBakerDr. Tim Baker, Management Consultant at Winners at Work, has just published his book entitled “The End of the Performance Review.  A new approach to appraising employee performance.”  A well-timed publication as more and more companies are revamping their traditional performance review processes and looking for alternative ways to appraise performance, based on relevant, vetted big(ger) data on someone’s progression. Dr. Tim Baker proposes in his book that performance appraisals be conducted using a 5 Conversations Framework.  We interviewed Dr. Baker on his book and below you will see the key messages from him:

Maurik: “Give us a teaser about your new book… we’re curious about why the traditional performance review is coming to an end.”

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Hangover Yes, it’s that time of the year again:  annual performance reviews.  Most companies like to get this done around Christmas time so that salaries can be decided for the following year.  This process is often dreaded by both managers and employees and results in a “hangover”.  Let me explain why.

Employees get nervous because they know the annual appraisal feeds into salaries, promotions, job rotations, and bonuses.  As a result the feedback and discussion often don’t feel right as the “salaries game” is played and employees want to have a good evaluation and be considered for salary increases, promotions, and bonuses.

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applause“If you don’t get feedback from your performers and your audience, you’re going to be working in a vacuum.” Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, famous orchestra conductor.

Are you conducting your leadership with earplugs in or are you engaging with your performers and audience?  When you ask for feedback from your team and clients without delay, or give them a compliment, you engage them and make them feel special and respected.  When you don’t ask them for feedback they feel left out and disengaged.

Some years ago I held a presentation about an investment opportunity. At the end of the presentation and Q&A session, I wrapped up, packed up my gear and headed for the bar to do some networking. Continue Reading..

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