Kolbe – Practice Success Stories 1

Practice Success Stories -1

In the past couple of weeks I have outlined the principles behind Kolbe Wisdom™ and how, by using the 32-question Kolbe A Index, it is possible to identify the striving instincts that drive natural behaviours.

I outlined the four Conative Characteristics:

  • Fact Finder – Gathering and sharing of information.
  • Follow Through – Sorting and Storing Information.
  • Quick Start – Dealing with risk and uncertainty.
  • Implementation – Handling space and intangibles.

We lead from different strengths and it is the mix of the intensities in each of these characteristics that gives rise to our individual ways of doing things – our modus operandi, or MO.

Jimmy and Kate run a one-dentist dental practice. They bought a run-down practice and have successfully converted it from a large dependence on the NHS to 100% private.

Fact Finder

Follow Through

Quick Start

Implementation

Jimmy

4

5

3

8

Kate

5

3

8

5

Susanna

7

6

4

3

Marion

7

8

2

3

Jimmy is a dentist with an MO of 4:5:3:8, he is technically excellent and loves nothing more than expanding his clinical knowledge. Kate’s background is in dental nursing, in the past she has worked for a small corporate in a management position she admits that her real love is working with people. Her MO is 5:3:8:5.

They have a full time receptionist, Susanna, who has an MO of 7:6:4:3, a hygienist Marion with an MO of 5:7:3:5 and a dental nurse, Jane, with an MO of 7:8:2:3.

Kate has been trying to act as a practice manager and, whilst she can cope with the systems desperately misses regular contact with patients, but feels guilty about “not pulling her weight” in the office.

What do their MO’s tell us? Jimmy’s “8” in Implementor means that he is well suited to working with his hands, he will prevent stress by acting skilfully, mechanically and dexterously. His “3” in Quick Start means that he prevents in that mode, his instinct wants to keep things on track, he dislikes working to deadlines and tends towards the status quo. If change is inevitable he wants to understand how and why and he will then prevent chaos.

Kate’s “8” means that she initiates in Quick Start, her “3” means that she resists in “Follow Through”. Her instinct means that she thrives on short deadlines, loves the flexibility of having several balls in the air at once, she’s an improvisor. She’s far more of a natural entrepreneur than her husband and business partner, which will result in stresses between them until they understood their “Kolbes”.

Susanna scores highest in “Fact Finder” and is well suited for a post of receptionist, she asks lots of questions and is good on long term projects although she needs to be reminded of deadlines as there may be a tendency to keep researching. Her “3” in Implementor means that she imagines ideas or concepts without the physical structure she is able to imagine.

I will leave the other two team members to another time. The real light bulb moment came when Jimmy and Kate realised not only why she (Kate) was struggling with the Practice Manager role but also that she was the ideal person to fulfil the role of treatment co-ordinator that none of the rest of the team suited. Also Jimmy was able to come to terms with his misgivings about expanding the practice.

They decided to recruit a practice manager and to help them with this I was able to produce a synergy chart showing where they were lacking energy, what different individuals might offer and how they would fit. So on with the recruitment.

Fact Finder

Follow Through

Quick Start

Implementation

Dawn

5

6

3

6

Emily

7

4

6

3

Two individuals were short listed for the post, Dawn and Emily. Dawn’s MO was 5:6:3:6, Emily’s 7:4:6:3. Differences between them were in “Quick Start” Dawn was a “stabilizer”, Emily a “modifier” and in “Implementor” Dawn was a “restorer” and Emily an “imaginer”. Of significance was where their MOs fitted into the synergy chart of Natural Talents that I had produced. My advice was to give the job to Dawn but, clients being clients, they had been more impressed with Emily in the interview so she was offered the post and accepted.

Two weeks after she started work I called them to see how everything was going, “a complete disaster” was how it was put to me. All my misgivings were correct, she showed no signs of being able to work with the rest of the team or on her own, tasks started were never finished and there was a tendency to ignore or just not accept deadlines.

Thankfully, Dawn was still in the market and accepted the post, two years on she’s still in post and is a valuable member of the team. Her tendency to stabilise is still there but Kate and Jimmy can work with that and know what to look for when they are working with her. More to the point they still give thanks for the fact they were able to see why Emily was wrong for the post, it wasn’t just a new employee settling in it was a matter of synergy. It might have taken months or years to realise what was wrong and they would have then possibly be faced with the challenges of employment law.

If you would like to find out more about using these fantastic tools in your practice or if you would be interested in a presentation to your study group or society contact Alun at alun@alunrees.com or on 07778148583.

First published in Apex the on-line Dental Journal from the Dental Learning Hub.

Recruitment is a difficult business and easy to get wrong, if you need any advice on using Kolbe to build your team get in touch.

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