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The Boomer Bulletin - 2009
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Kolbe – A Tool To Improve Your Team Productivity

Posted By Sandra Wiley, Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What if you had a tool at your fingertips that is statistically proven to help build successful teams, hire individuals that fit a firm’s culture, develop leaders for the future, motivate and retain current staff as well as resolve conflict? Most would jump at the chance to use it in their firms. Want to know more? Read on!

The Kolbe Index™ identifies the instincts that guide and motivate actions. It reveals the sources of our "mental energies.” If you work according to your instincts, you accomplish more. If you fight or work against it, the result is stress (the most common workplace malady) and often failure to reach peak performance.

Most of us don’t understand our instincts. They are not taught in school and are often overlooked by human resource professionals during job interviews. A thorough exploration of all three parts of the mind is critical when we select, retain, coach and build teams within our firms. These three areas are:

Cognative (Thinking)

When we examine a resume or identify someone’s skills for a certain job, we note the cognative skills of that person. This part of the mind has been "fed” in classrooms and by life experiences.

Affective (Feeling)

The values and beliefs that drive a person’s feelings and motivation are what make up his or her affective behaviors. These can be identified with good interview questions or by administering a tool such as the Meyers Briggs or Predictive Index.

Conative (Doing)

The energy we expend when doing work according to our instincts is conative behavior. In its simplest form, conation is purposeful intention to act. It is the innate mode in which one strives toward a goal using his or her intrinsic knack for getting things done. This may sound a little foreign, but that is exactly why it is so important. It has been the missing link to peak performance, and it is identified by The Kolbe Wisdom™.

Conative instincts appear difficult to identify and understand, and you may be thinking that since you only took one psychology class — this may be a little too much for you. Well, let me assure you that the Kolbe A Index™ is simple to administer, and its results are easy to track and understand. It identifies four areas of instinct:

  • The "Fact Finder” instinct reveals a need to conduct in-depth investigation.
  • The "Follow Thru” instinct compels us to seek a sense of order or structure.
  • The "Quick Start” instinct is the force behind experimentation.
  • The "Implementor” instinct takes ideas and makes them real.

  • Every individual has talents in all four striving instincts. Sometimes we insist on acting in one of the instinctive modes; sometimes we are comfortable accommodating actions in another style, and other times we resist acting that way. No style is wrong—the important thing is to identify each individual’s instincts and allow him or her to use them on the job. The more someone works this way, the happier that person will be—resulting in higher productivity and desire to stay with the firm. A happy, productive staff member who enjoys working for your firm—sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

    While retention and attraction of people still presents the number one challenge for firms, it becomes more manageable with comprehensive solutions offered by The Kolbe Wisdom. Some areas that Kolbe can add value:

    Predict Individual and Team Performance

    The Kolbe Index examines individual performance with precision by comparing instinctive realities, self expectations and requirements. It is just as powerful for taking individual results and melding them into reports that accurately predict team viability and long-term success probability. Increasing individual and team performance leads to higher levels of productivity and success.

    Hire the Best and Put Them in the Right Seat on the Bus

    Yes, your firm is being compared to a bus! Seriously, I realize how difficult it is to find staff today, and it takes hours to identify and hire the best candidates. Finding out someone doesn’t fit your team and must be let go ruins the joy of finding the best. You unnecessarily waste time, money and resources. The Kolbe hiring process has an 82 percent success rate in getting the right person for the right job.

    It is an amazing tool for new hires, but what about current staff? Many are working out well, but others just don’t seem to "get it.” While not bad people, you’re just not sure what to do with them. You need a tool to identify how they can work more effectively. Kolbe offers you valuable information to ensure each employee works in the most effective and satisfying way.

    Develop Leaders for the Future

    Succession planning is on the list of almost every firm today. Motivating the up and coming stars within and allowing them to develop skills for the future is not as easy as it was in the past. First, future leaders need to understand their unique strengths and how they can capitalize on them. Second, they must know how to develop a team to implement their ideas and carry out the firm’s vision.

    Motivate and Retain

    Two of the most overused words in our industry are "motivation” and "retention.” We associate motivation with benefits offered to staff: massages, flex time, PTO, etc. While these can be somewhat helpful, the best method to motivate and ultimately retain staff members is to help them work in instinctual, satisfying ways. Kolbe profiles motivate individuals by offering them compelling insights that heighten self-awareness.

    Resolve Conflict

    Conflict is a part of life and can be healthy if handled in an environment that fosters open communication. The Kolbe Wisdom includes a process called Conflict Counter that identifies the root issue of conflict and how to resolve it to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

    A New Language For Better Communication

    Any tool that bolsters team communication—increasing its effectiveness and clarity—is worth the effort to implement. Kolbe provides a new language to discuss individual project development and how to meet deadlines. With the wisdom and guidance of a professional Kolbe consultant, your team learns to function with greater cohesiveness and productivity.

    Yes—there is scientific data to support this amazing tool. The Kolbe Wisdom is the latest in a series of successful psychological systems developed by Kathy Kolbe, a well-known and highly regarded author and theorist. The Kolbe Wisdom emerged from Kathy’s scientific studies (begun in 1970) of learning differences among children. In the 1980s Kathy used what she learned from her research to advise such business giants as Kodak, IBM, Xerox, Alaska Airlines and many others around the world. Now, Kathy offers her proven insight (previously available only for the business community) to individuals, families and yes—even CPA firms!

    This tool will change your firm’s culture. It’s not just a feel-good test that sits in a drawer, never to be examined. Rather, it acts to shape your team into a productive power house!

    If you are interested in knowing more about how Kolbe can work for your firm, contact Sandra Wiley.

    Tags:  Human Capital  Kolbe  Sandra Wiley 

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