In the last blog, I shared why I feel that a formal assessment system is important for any organization hoping to place the right person in the right job – which is an essential element of a Great Workplace Revolution. Today, I want to begin by giving you more depth on the system my own company has been using with great success for the past 12+ years, that of Kolbe Corp. (www.kolbe.com)
The Kolbe system is powered by a simple four digit summary that can (and, I believe, should) be rendered for any individual working for your team or applying for work for it. The summary is known as a Kolbe a ™ Index. I asked Kathy Kolbe, founder, how she would explain the index for someone unfamiliar with her work.
“The Index,” she said, “is designed to help you focus on your strengths, and thereby get a better understanding of how you do things when you are free to do these your own way. When you’re in the zone, in the glide pattern, when you are out of your relaxation mode and into your mode of striving for something, what do you do most and what do you do lest? How do you go about making decisions? What is your instinctive, preferred way of approaching a task? The Index answers these questions, and helps you celebrate your strengths by focusing on what you naturally do well.”
The Kolbe system does this by assigning numerical one-to-ten rankings in four ACTION MODES that reflect classic human problem-solving tactics. According to Kathy, understanding how we use these for M.O.’s – modes of operation – are essential to building and supporting any team.
“The Index,” she explains, “shows everybody on the team that everyone else is somewhere on the continuum in each of these four areas. Whoever you are is just fine for you. There is no good or bad, no right or wrong. Who you are is how you were meant to be. Understanding where you and others land in the four Action Modes means you are validating and celebrating strengths you can use in decision making that are always there for you and will always be there for you . . . recognizing that others have different strengths.
The four action modes that Kolbe a ™ Index measures go by the following labels:
In a future blog, I’ll be sharing more about Kathy Kolbe’s descriptions of each of these modes of operation.