Today we are announcing the public launch of Nodabl.
Your personal career tracker: Nodabl enables you to take control of your own professional growth by setting goals, tracking progress, collecting feedback, and measuring growth.
Designed for you: Nodabl is for you, the individual, for your growth. It’s not corporate HR software designed for a semiannual review and evaluation process.
Your own private account: Nodabl lets you be honest with yourself without worrying about how honesty may cost you a raise, bonus, promotion, or your job.
Yours for your whole career: Nodabl doesn’t get left behind when you switch employers.
Nodabl’s origin story starts six years ago, when I stepped into my first leadership role at Factual.
I was fortunate to start my career at Mckinsey & Company, in an environment hyper-optimized for professional growth. I benefited from a wonderful combination of culture, leadership, processes, and tools.
In my new role at Factual, I wanted to create a comparable environment for my team and for myself.
I had, through the company, the six-month, 360-degree review process. While intended to drive professional development and growth, the primary outcomes of the process were evaluation and compensation decisions.
I did weekly one-on-ones, but we focused on business objectives, not on individual professional growth.
I tried to cobble together my own ongoing feedback and note-taking systems — but nothing worked well. No one I talked to had figured it out, either.
Despite this sub-optimal growth environment, some team members thrived. Looking back, the people on my team who were the most demanding of me were the ones who grew the most. They scheduled dedicated time to discuss their growth, and asked for advice, for exposure to specific projects, and for opportunities to develop specific skills. In order to drive my own growth, I had to take control as well. I pushed for opportunities to spearhead projects that would let me advance my skill set. When the 360 process wasn’t giving me the feedback I needed as a leader, I asked my team and others to deliver feedback directly to me.
Here’s what I realized as I thought about starting Nodabl: The assumption that driving professional growth is the responsibility of management is inherently flawed. The incentives are not aligned. Management is graded on delivering business objectives. Thus, management will invest in professional development only to the extent that the investment drives business objective achievement within the time period management is primarily concerned.
McKinsey, and firms like them, effectively sell talent, so for them, professional development is closely aligned with delivering business objectives. For everyone else, professional development is a long-term investment, so near-term business needs will almost always take precedence.
Better HR software won’t improve professional development in organizations — it doesn’t solve the incentive problem. Empowering the individual to take charge of their career does solve the incentive problem. It puts control in the hands of the people who have the highest incentive to grow.
Nodabl is for the self-driven professional who wants to grow and who understands that growth is ultimately a personal responsibility. It is for those who will demand growth and learning opportunities from their managers and their organizations.
Just like your fitness tracker can’t exercise for you, we can’t do the work for you. But we can give you the structure and tools to help you set goals, track your progress, collect feedback, measure your growth, and be better every day.