Kolbe: How to build the perfect team.

Latest Article for publication by Apex:

So far in this series of articles I have concentrated on the Kolbe A index and how its use can benefit both individuals and teams. This time I will talk about the other tools that are available particularly the Kolbe B and C index and their use.

The indexes correct titles are really “Kolbe Conative Index” which from here are referred to as KCI, I will start with a definition that is taken from Kathy Kolbe’s book “Conative Connection.”

Conation: Conation is the area of one’s active mentality that has to do with desire, volition and striving. The related conatus is the resulting effort or striving itself, or the natural tendency or force on one’s mental makeup that produces an effort.

Conative: is the term in psychology that describes anything to do with conation.

All these words come from the Latin conatus, past participle of the verb conari (to try). The Scottish philosopher William Hamilton (1788-1856) considered conation to be one of the three divisions of the mind, the one that included desire and volition, the other two being cognition (perception, awareness) and feeling.To recap: the Kolbe A Index (KCI-A) gives an individual’s Modus Operandi (MO) and shows their instinctive strengths thus how they will best operate.

The Kolbe B Index (KCI-B) focuses on the methods a jobholder perceives are necessary for success; a questionnaire similar to the KCI-A with results on the same four-mode grid makes it straightforward to detect similarities and differences between realities (KCI-A) and self-expectations (KCI-B). The information highlights obstacles that keep workers from functioning through their instinctive strengths.

The Kolbe C Index (KCI-C) is completed by the business owner or the individual’s immediate supervisor (traditionally, this would have been the practice owner but there is an argument for the business manager taking this role). Again the result appears in the four-mode grid for easy comparison.

We have a situation where we now have available to compare:

KCI-A = Individual’s instinctive Talent

KCI-B = Jobholder’s self-expectations

KCI-C = Job requirements or functional necessities

Comparing A and B gives a sense of how much strain you may be under because of the pressure put on yourself. Comparing A and C indicates whether the organisation is limiting the individual’s opportunity to achieve, therefore causing tension in the workplace. Comparing B and C can explain differing perceptions of the role.

How to apply in a practice – I presume that the existing team members and management are all aware of their KCI A results. The time has come to recruit a new team member, from the analysis of existing KCI-A any operating zones that are lacking can be identified. The manager completes the KCI-C for the post to be filled and the search begins.

Firstly look at the current team members. Are any of them more suited to work in the vacant post than where they are currently? Is there a nurse with really high fact find that is clashing because her current role needs an individual who prevents in fact find? Her skills may well be more suited to an administrative or front desk role.

OK, the decision has been made to recruit from outside the current set up. Throw your recruitment net in the usual manner until you are in a position to have the final three or four candidates and at this point you ask them to take the KCI-A.

This is where a lot of business owners baulk, they seem to think that spending $48 is throwing money away. The logic for investing in the Index at this stage is that if you get the wrong person it will cost you immeasurably more in poor performance of the individual and other team members. Then you will have to go through the whole process of removing the wrong cog from the machine, fraught with potential difficulties, and start the recruitment again.

With the A index you are in a position to see who “fits” both with the post and with the skills of the other team members. If you are still torn between, say, a couple on a final shortlist then use the KCI-B to see what the make of the prospective job and the conative skills required. A final comparison should hopefully give a successful and happy result for all parties.

In the short and long term an unhappy and unfulfilled team member does nobody any good. They will not function at anywhere near their best, they will bring the performance levels of the rest of the team down and the resulting organisation operates way below its optimum.

It is estimated that something approaching 50% of staff recruited stay in post for less than 12 months. The cost in terms of time, money and team morale is immeasurable, isn’t it time you took your team recruitment and retention procedures up to the level of your clinical skills?

Take the Kolbe A Index

One Response

  1. Hi Alun,
    I just wanted clarify something for your readers in your nice post regarding Hiring with Kolbe. It should be noted that the Kolbe A and C Indexes of the supervisor (for the new position) would be put into Kolbe’s RightFit process and a Range of Success for the position would be created. Then when you have your selected few finalist, as you noted above, each finalist is rated against the Range of Success. The finalists are given a letter grade so you know who matches up with the position well and who does not. The RightFit process keeps it all simple and straightforward.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: