• Jon Hubbard, Director of Business Development

How CPA Firms are Being Smarter About Improving Productivity


For many years, we have helped CPA firms utilize Kolbe Indexes to improve their staff’s productivity, build better teams, hire successfully and develop leaders. These firms are experiencing a high-level of success in these areas and some have taken their use of the Kolbe Index to the next level. This article will discuss how a firm can leverage Leadership Analytics to align partner, manager and staff expectations while identifying strategies for improving firm productivity and efficiency.

Leadership Analytics™

Leadership AnalyticsTM provides customized, ready-to-implement solutions for leaders and managers by compiling results from the Kolbe A, B and C Indexes. By assessing the factors that determine a team's success, Leadership AnalyticsTM helps you identify not just the cause of team productivity and efficiency problems, but the corrective strategies to solve them. Here is some information about each index:

Kolbe A™ Index

A 36-question instrument designed to measure the conative faculty of the mind - the instinctive strengths that drive the way a person takes action. Index results are used in a variety of applications including selection, retention, succession and team building. The result, called the modus operandi (MO), is the innate method of operation that enables an individual to be productive.

Kolbe B™ Index

A 24-question instrument that measures how a person views the functional demands of his or her own position. The result identifies which strengths are a natural fit for the job and how the job holder perceives the requirements for success in the role.

Kolbe C™ Index

A 24-question instrument that measures someone else's functional expectations of a specific position. This can be a supervisor, evaluator or peer. The results identify how an evaluator believes a particular job needs to be done in order to achieve success. These are the ways the job holder is expected to take action, regardless of skills, intelligence or personality.

As you can imagine, comparing and analyzing the results from these three indexes can be an extremely helpful process that will benefit staff, leaders and the firm. The result is a comprehensive set of reports that can be used to facilitate discussions on how to make each individual in your firm as productive and efficient as possible. At the same time, individuals will learn their strengths and the strengths of those they work closely with.

How CPA Firms Are Being Smarter

Firms that leverage the insights and findings from all three indexes are seeing major benefits. The Kolbe Indexes have become part of the fabric of how they communicate – at all levels! Specifically, here are ways firms are leveraging Leadership AnalyticsTM throughout multiple key areas.

Hiring New Staff

Like most firms hiring to fill an open position, multiple people have expectations for what is needed of the new hire to be successful in that position. We recently assisted a firm with hiring a Tax Administrative Assistant. We started the process by having the three partners this position would be supporting complete the Kolbe C™ Index for the position. By having the three partners each complete the Kolbe C™ Index, similarities and differences regarding expectations for the role were brought to light. Once these were discussed, we had a strong consensus and understanding of what type of candidate we needed. We were then able to create a “Range of Success” for the position.

Candidates for the open position then completed the Kolbe A™ Index. Their results were compared to the “Range of Success.” By using Kolbe’s online platform, we were able to run a “Candidate Report” for each candidate that outlines how they match up with the expectat

Building Better Teams

When creating a team to complete a project, we often think about roles in the company to determine who is on the project team. While this is a good approach, we must also consider the Kolbe A™ results for each individual on that team. I love my instinctive strengths; however, if everyone on my project team were just like me, it wouldn’t make for a well-balanced team. A well-balanced team will consist of different roles in the firm, different skills and different instinctive strengths. A team needs researchers, innovators and process-oriented members to be most productive and to produce the highest-quality results.

Identifying Strain & Tension

By going through the Leadership Analytics™ processes, we were able to have discussions about strain and tension in our roles. Strain is defined as the degree to which there are differences between the Kolbe A™ and Kolbe B™ Index results. Tension is defined as the degree to which there are differences between a supervisor’s requirements (Kolbe C™) and the Kolbe A™ result of the job holder. Addressing strain and tension in our firm has been great. It is not always common knowledge to consider someone’s instinctive strengths when figuring how to reduce stress.

Many successful firms are using Kolbe Wisdom™ throughout their firm. It’s helping firms go faster and further with regards to leveraging talent. The next time your firm is hiring, building a project team or developing leaders, consider using the Kolbe Indexes and the Leadership Analytics™ reports to give your firm a competitive advantage!

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Jon Hubbard, Director of Business Development at Boomer Consulting, Inc. is certified as both a Kolbe™ Consultant and a Five Star Client Service Consultant. He is an enthusiastic speaker with experience providing leadership for multiple facets of BCI’s overall sales, marketing and communications strategy.

Jon thrives as a careful planner and strategic thinker. He is a talented researcher who is skillful in translating knowledge into strategy, and he has studied and implemented marketing strategies focused on websites, social media and digital communications.

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