Sustainable Business askjoshpatrick.com Podcast Summary and Recap: Interview with David Kolbe from the Kolbe Corp.
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What makes the Kolbe Index different from other tools like DISC or Myers-Briggs.We measure something called the conative part of the mind. - David Kolbe Click To Tweet
There are three parts of the mind.
This concept literally goes back to Plato, Those all measure something called the affective part of the mind. So, that’s the emotions. It’s what we want. It’s our values. It certainly drives a part of the way we behave.
Another of those three parts of mind is the cognitive part. That’s how smart you are. Both, kind of, your native intelligence and it’s what you learn over the course of time.
But then there’s this third part of the mind. It’s not how we feel. It’s not how we think. But it’s the way we take action.
When you’re working – when you’re striving to do a good job, the way you take action is going to really drive the way you are going to be successful as an individual. The way organizations are successful, if they’ve got a particular instinctive culture that’s going to drive them. By the way, it also drives what will lead you to failure, too. So yes, they’re both sides of the coin.
What the Kolbe Index is and why you need to pay attention to what it provides.
The four parts of the Kolbe A Index is the conative part is the how we take action – the doing part of us. This Kolbe assessment is developed by Kathy Kolbe, who is the mom of David Kolbe.
So what we’ve noticed is that this conative, instinctive part of the mind really breaks down into four, what we call, action modes. So, four distinct things that we look at. They’re all important. All of us have our own take in each of the four. None of them are better or worse.
- The first of the four is what we call fact finder. That’s how you deal with information – details on one end of the spectrum where people who really need lots of information.
They need to become an expert. They research stuff. If you ask somebody a question who’s on that side of the spectrum, they’re likely to give you lots of information as a response.
On the other end of that spectrum is somebody who really looks at the big picture. They don’t get bogged down in all the details. They look at what are the important few things to think about. Again, both of those are good. Frankly, in an organization, you want people on both ends of the spectrum and people in between. But it will drive, again, the way they work.
- The next of the four is what we call Follow Thru. This is how we deal with systems and structure. So, I’ll start at the other end of the spectrum this time. People, we would call are “preventive Follow Thru’s” have real talent for being adaptive, for finding shortcuts. They don’t need to follow a system that’s put in place already. They can just kind of jump around and make things happen. They tend to be more at ease with switching tasks quickly. The other end of the spectrum then is somebody who initiates and follow-through, somebody who really creates systems, creates structures, will also follow a plan that’s in place. If there’s a 13-step plan, they’ll go through each of those 13 steps and reach the conclusion.
- The next one’s Quick Start. That’s how we deal with risk and innovation. So, initiating Quick Starts need to do things differently. If they’ve done something the same way four times in a row, they’re likely to try something different. Even if not’s the smart thing to do because, “Hey, I’ve done it five times in a row. It’s worked out really well. Maybe the smart thing is do it the same way the next time.” But those initiating Quick Starts just have a need for mixing it up. At the other end of that spectrum then is somebody who stabilizes – smebody who looks for the tried and true and doesn’t needlessly break out of that.
- And then the final one is what we call the Implementor. Frankly, if I could go back in time and change the name, I probably would because it’s not how we implement – as in, carry things out, but it’s how we deal with the three‑dimensional world. The name comes from how we use tools and implements. So, initiating implementors need to touch. They need to build. They really construct solutions. The other end of the spectrum are people who imagine and envision. They don’t need to physically put their hands on things to create solutions. They can imagine and dream them up.
How to use the Kolbe Index in hiring and running your company.
The first step is “what does this job demand?”
People often hire people just like themselves. The reason that doesn’t work so well, usually, is because then there aren’t other people to pick up the slack and do the things that aren’t a good fit for you – the leader.
At first, they have to do everything. But then, when they can hire the bookkeeper, let’s say, it doesn’t fit. You know, “Look, I how to do the bookkeeping. I can but it doesn’t fit my conative strengths.” I can off load that part of the job to somebody who’s really good at it. They take less energy to do it because they’re efficient with it. Meanwhile, I can do stuff that’s a better fit for me. The team starts working really, really well then.
Make sure, when you have a position that you’re hiring, even if somebody was just it and you don’t really think you’re changing it, take at least a few minutes to really think about “how can or should this job change?”
The Kolbe A Index identifies instinctive strengths of a person. But then also, very importantly, what we call the Kolbe C Index which a supervisor or in this case, probably the person who’s hiring for that position, just answer some questions. It only takes about 15 minutes and the result tells you, “Here’s a description of what that person thinks this job requires or demands from a conative standpoint.” So, it takes the guesswork out of it.
we’ve got software called RightFit software that helps work through that. And it just tells you in really clear simple language, “Oh, this is what you’re looking for.” And then it builds what we call Range of Success – basically a job profile, that you can score candidates against.
What striving instincts are and why they’re different from other forms of human behavior.There are lots of things that can make us inefficient. - David Kolbe Click To Tweet
So, maybe you’re running but you choose to run into the wind. You’re not going to run as fast. So, if your goal is running fast, turn around, go the other way. You know, if your goal is – well, you have to run into the wind to get where you’re going, okay, that’s a different deal.
But, when people in the right role, they work more productively, more efficiently.
You know, the way our brain is firing electrons and using energy. And what saw was people who were doing tasks that we predicted were a better fit for their conative strengths actually needed less energy to complete that task than somebody who didn’t fit that task so well. Just magnify that by 100 when you think about work and it gets so much better.
Why you need more than job descriptions to make great hires.
One of the things I see people make as mistakes all time, is they build companies in their own vision of who they are. And in my experience, that’s s huge mistake.
It’s not just a matter of using Kolbe. Some of it is you need to have people with a willingness to appreciate and respect other people’s talents.There is no right or wrong. - David Kolbe Click To Tweet
There might be a right person and the right job but that doesn’t mean that somebody with different conative talents is less important and less productive.”
If you get to that point where you appreciate those differences, then you can have an organization where, “Yeah, there are these very different people – from a conative standpoint.” You know, their instinctive strengths are very different but they actually want that difference. They seek it out.
If somebody does something very different than you and they try to impose that on you, even unknowingly, it can be frustrating. So, here are some of the tips we give them. (1) Appreciate it. (2) When we come in, we give people a language so they can see what’s going on and communicate that to each other.
Go to www.kolbe.com and it’s K-O-L-B-E. And that has all kinds of information about what we do. You can take your own Kolbe Index there. Kolbe A Index for you personally or the Y Index if it’s for kids. And then you can also find out about our business applications on that site.