Kolbe – My Decade of Success – What’s Your Kolbe?

WebIt’s nearly ten years since I completed my Kolbe Accreditation, since then I have shared the my knowledge with hundreds of individuals and helped many teams understand how instinct is so important in knowing themselves and their teams. So over the next few weeks I am revisiting some articles that I wrote back then.

What’s Your KOLBE™?

One of the biggest challenges to any clinician and small business owner is the blending of individuals together to make a team.

These are the same challenges that can afflict larger businesses and corporations too.

  • Do you recruit people then find they aren’t quite what you thought?
  • Are you beset with problems retaining staff?
  • Do have difficulties integrating the individuals into a team?
  • Is your hygienist outside the wire?
  • Do your associates fail to embrace your vision for the future?

The KOLBE Wisdom™

  • Identifies the striving instincts that drive natural behaviours.
  • Focuses on the strengths of your team.

The KOLBE A Index is a 36-question survey that reveals the individual mix of striving instincts; it measures individual energies in:

  • 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.

The results are a serious of ‘scores’. Mine for instance is 6/3/8/3, this isn’t the place to give full analysis, my PA’s is 8/8/1/4 which means we work together well.

Hence the question: What’s your KOLBE?

Some background. Kathy Kolbe is a well-known and highly honoured author and theorist who has been working in the field of human behaviour for nearly 40 years. Following on from her scientific studies of learning differences between children she devised The Kolbe Wisdom™, which has been used by such businesses as Kodak, IBM and Xerox and many others around the world. It is now available for use with smaller teams.

The Kolbe Wisdom™ is based on the concept that creative instincts are the source of the mental energy that drives people to take specific actions. This mental drive is separate and distinct from passive feelings and thoughts. Creative instincts are manifested in an innate pattern (modus operandi, or MO) that determines each person’s best efforts.

These conative or instinctive traits are what make us get things done. They should be differentiated from the cognitive (knowledge) or the affective (feelings). As Kathy Kolbe has written, “The conative is the clincher in the decision making hierarchy. Intelligence helps you determine a wise choice, emotions dictate what you’d like to buy, but until the conative kicks in, you don’t make a deal – you don’t put your money where your mouth is.”

Conation doesn’t define what you can or can’t do, rather what you will and won’t do.

A person’s MO is quantifiable and observable, yet functions at the subconscious level. MOs vary across the general population with no gender, age or racial bias.

An individual’s MO governs actions, reactions and interactions. The MO also determines a person’s use of time and his or her natural form of communication. Exercising control over this mental resource gives people the freedom to be their authentic selves.

Any interference with the use of this energy reduces a person’s effectiveness and the joy of accomplishment. Stress inevitably results from the prolonged disruption of the flow of this energy. Others can nurture this natural ability but block it by attempting to alter it.

Individual performance can be predicted with great accuracy by comparing instinctive realities, self-expectations and requirements. It will fluctuate based on the appropriateness of expectations and requirements.

When groups of people with the right mix of MOs function interactively, the combined mental energy produces synergy. Such a team can perform at a higher level than is possible for the same group functioning independently.

Team performance is accurately predicted by a set of algorithms that determine the appropriate balance and make up of MOs.

Leaders can optimise individual and group performance by:

  • Giving people the freedom to be themselves.
  • Assigning jobs suited to individual strengths.
  • Building synergistic teams.
  • Reducing obstacles that cause debilitating stress.
  • Rewarding committed use of instinctive energy.
  • Allowing for the appropriate use of time.
  • Communicating in ways that trigger the effective use of the natural, universal and unbiased energy of creative instincts.

Any  team is as good as:

  • The conative fit each individual has with his or her individual role.
  • The members are, in accurately predicting the differences between each other.
  • The management of the team is, in using the talent available.

In dentistry the use of Kolbe does not only help build the right teams. When the concepts are understood and applied to clinical situations or ones of patient choice and treatment planning then resistance can be handled and the correct way of presentation used.

There are only two fully trained and currently accredited KOLBE Consultants in the UK.

There is only one experienced in working with Dentists and their teams. 

Take YOUR Kolbe A analysis here

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 get in touch via the contact form below or call me on 0044 7778 148583.

A Collection of Smart, Friendly Individuals Does Not Constitute a Productive Team

www.dentalbusinesscoach.co.uk/services/building-the-perfect-team

From Kolbe connection

Today’s environment of rapidly accelerating change continuously gives birth to new markets, new solutions, and new opportunities.  Consequently, business structures everywhere have become decentralized and more fluid as managers are discovering the critical importance of highly responsive and productive “teams.” Today, the work force at a large organization typically comprises teams that assemble and dissolve in response to specific needs.  And when it comes to developing leaders for an organization, a business owner is less inclined to look for a lone superhero who will lead the way to profitability, and more inclined to find “team builders” who can achieve results within a changing business landscape.

So, what’s the best way to build a highly productive team?  Do you search for individuals with specific skills and a certain level of intelligence?  Or should you look for people with complementary personalities and similar life experiences?

According to a recent article in The Economist, “Teams work best if their members have a strong common culture.”1  Fair enough.  But if that is all there is to assembling a productive team, then why do so many teams with a common culture fail to achieve desired results?

Think about it – whether we’re talking about business, sports, or other activities, we’ve all known of (or even been part of) a cohesive group of skilled, intelligent individuals that still could not achieve anything close to the potential of the combined talents of its members.

On the other hand, many teams function very well in spite of the fact that they do not include the most talented or even the most intelligent individuals available.  Additionally, some highly successful teams (in sports and in business) have included individuals who do not even like each other.

In truth, “common culture” has little to do with team building.  Assembling people who like each other and who have similar personalities may be a good recipe for a social club – but it’s not the way to build a highly productive team.

The most important factor in team building lies in how each member of the team will take action – in other words, their conative MOs, or natural way of problem solving. A team of highly skilled, highly intelligent, and friendly individuals will have a very low chance of success if it suffers from a lack of conative diversity (i.e., “cloning”).  For example, a team of smart players all of whom are detailed, thorough and specific (initiating Fact Finders) may consider themselves to be very compatible with one another.  However, in the absence of anyone who simplifies, finds shortcuts or creates a sense of urgency, the team will likely collect truckloads of data but never accomplish a darned thing.

On the other hand, a team of change agents experimenting and improvising options (initiating Quick Starts) might create (and even execute) several innovative strategies within just a few days, but never achieve their objectives because no one has gathered sufficient background data to justify their solutions.  Additionally, since the team includes no one who was designing systems and bringing closure to open initiatives and ensuring that proper procedures were followed, the team might produce more problems than solutions.

To build a highly productive team, a manager (or a coach) should look for individuals with different conative strengths – people who will bring out the most in their teammates.  That means finding people who “initiate” and people who “counteract” in each of the four Acion Modes® (Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Quick Start, and Implementor).  And don’t forget the importance of finding individuals who will “ReAct” and pull the team together!

During “March Madness,” the best college basketball teams from all over the country put their reputations on the line and compete in a single-elimination tournament.  For a few teams, individual talents come together in beautiful harmony.  These teams are often said to be “playing over their heads.” However, such descriptions don’t come close to capturing the poetry of five different players meshing on the court.  When a coach knows the individual strengths of each player and then deftly mixes and matches these talents as the game progresses, and the players accept that their individual talents are magnified when they play in concert with one another, that’s when synergy is achieved, and usually a new national champion is born.

What’s true for teams on the basketball court is also true for teams in the office: The talent, personality, and intelligence of the individual members are important factors; however, in the end, those teams with the right balance of conative strengths will stand the best chance of victory!

www.dentalbusinesscoach.co.uk/services/building-the-perfect-team

 

Don’t Pick Your Business Partners Based on Personal Chemistry

An article in the Harvard Business Review “Don’t Pick Your Business Partners Based on Personal Chemistry” was mostly about getting everything sorted legally and started:

Having a good personal rapport with someone can help you see opportunities for working together, but chemistry is a poor foundation for business deals. Partnerships need to face tough analytical and legal questions before they happen. That may seem like bad relationship manners, but it’s good business practice. Serious business partners will respect your due diligence. Start by evaluating the partner’s resources and capabilities. Legal clauses seldom protect against partners simply not having what you thought they did. Next, explore options with other potential partners. Is the partner you have in mind really your best bet? Once you move forward, protect yourself by building in concrete mechanisms for joint governance. You want to trust your partners, but do so only after properly structuring the relationship. And after the deal is signed, don’t be surprised if your partners pursue their interests and use their leverage. It’s not disloyal. It’s good business.

kolbeLogoAll good sound advice but potential colleagues should take and compare their Kolbe A assessments which will give a good idea of how the two will work together.

Take a look at this posting from 2013:

This is the story of a venture that failed, the business survived but the fallout and bad feeling between the participants persists. It wasn’t a dental practice, it could well have been and, bearing in mind the readership, I will retell the tale as if had been a clinical practice.

Mike and Neil are two practice owners, for several years they have been running their own successful “one-man bands” with varying amounts of staff support. Occasionally Neil provides holiday cover for Mike and has taken some referrals from him for the specific skills that he has developed. They each have support teams; Mike has a part-time but enthusiastic associate, Oliver and works with his partner, Philippa, who is a hygienist.

For the full piece about using Kolbe Wisdom in small businesses the full article is here.

2016 #14

Leading by Instinct – Kathy Kolbe spells it out.

kolbeLogoThis posting is from Kathy Kolbe’s blog dated October 6th 2014 – for some reason I missed out on it first time round. One of the things that I explain to people about Kolbe is that there is no right or wrong. I was recently dismayed to read a posting from another dental coach, who should know better, that unless an individual initiates in Quick Start they are doomed to fail, the truth is far from it, indeed there is a risk of chaos with an insistent QS at the helm without balance in the team.

Kathy’s take on leadership in organisations big and small. Full post and a link to her blog, here.

“There is not a Best M.O. among top leaders. Nor is there any M.O. that would exclude you from being a good leader.

My research shows that the best predictor of both productivity and sustainability in complex and complicated environments is the degree of conative or instinct-based diversity among the core leaders in the C-Suite. In smaller organizations, with only a few people at the top of a narrow pyramid, the conative criteria for leadership also narrow.

Instincts in C-Suites

In a large and very complex organization with a collaborative culture, it works especially well to have a CEO whose instinct is to initiate in both the Fact Finder and Quick Start Action Modes, sparking both research and development programs. Another essential part of the conative mix is for such leaders to instinctively resist or just mildly accommodate Follow Thru systems. This is how such leaders keep their organizations from getting bogged down in redundancies or becoming too bureaucratic.

It is essential, that leaders with this M.O. have CFOs, or other cohorts at the top, who deal with the complicated, more linear, financial, legal, and sometimes physical structures. It has proven wise to have a second in command who naturally plays the role of insisting on adherence to Follow Thru regulations -which he or she instinctively creates. It helps a set of such leaders to work in sync with each other if the second person accommodates Fact Finder strategies. When these leaders have equal levels of insistence in Fact Finder, they need to have clearly defined, separate responsibilities or they will end up with dueling priorities. Rounding out the M.O. of the cohort is a resistance in Quick Start, which adds a stabilizing force to the senior management team.

In today’s world, the CEO often serves as the chief PR person in the face of scandals, recalls, attacks, and hackings. I don’t see many resistant Quick Start CEOs surviving through major crises like these. Quick Start energy is required when being a spokesperson dealing with uncertainty (note what happens to the grand orator in Obama when he addresses uncertainty).

Resistant Follow Thrus are beaten up for not finishing what they start, but without their input organizations would stay put. The power of their randomness makes their resistance to sticking with the plan the ingredient that often saves the day. As confounding as it can be to their conative opposites, their natural ability to dodge bullets is a trait that helps organizations land on their feet.

It is the Implementor leader’s insistence on precision and manifestation of ideas that makes this M.O. the most difficult to put in the C-Suite. It is essential, but often better in the field than the executive offices – as long as he or she is empowered to halt processes for quality control purposes. Given the freedom to skip meetings and lead the on-site troops, these leaders will add significantly to the power and quality of products and programs.

Instinctive Facilitators are especially interesting to observe as they perform at high levels of leadership in organizations like franchises and health related situations; first, because in those environments leadership involves maintaining systems and second, because it involves maintaining ego-driven relationships – and the caring for a diversity of human beings. Their instinct to bring out the best in others and to build bridges between people reduces conflicts and keeps energy focused on purposes rather than personal issues.

Entrepreneurial Instincts

It is less complicated to diagnose the instinct-based leadership in an entrepreneurial organization. It is all about the naturally born entrepreneur trusting the combination of Quick Start insistent drive and back-up Fact Finder strategies. Without much Follow Thru budget making, a stand-alone entrepreneur needs to use the power of Quick Start persuasion to cut deals, and rope friends, family and vendors into becoming uncompensated co-conspirators. Of course, those who fill the need for creating Follow Thru systems are also essential. When a true entrepreneur builds an organization to the point where it requires the type of leadership team noted above, it is time for him or her to move on – and do it all over again.

Leadership is not just about the use of conative instincts. But, nothing in my experience indicates that leaders, regardless of their M.O.s, initiate problem solving by using processes they have been taught. Their cognitive powers come into the process when they edit their instincts – and certainly when they second guess them. Leaders’ actions, triggered by whatever motivates them, are as tied to their instincts as their best salesperson’s instincts are tied to asking for the order. I do not belittle the power of the cognitive (it is not an after-thought in the Kolbe Creative Process). It’s a matter of what comes first.

Instincts are precognitive. If that weren’t true, we would have no heroes – or top leaders. Having closely observed the creative efforts of thousands of leaders in vastly different types of problem solving situations, I have yet to see an example of solutions being initiated by them during a period of contemplation. The actions that spark productivity are born from the innate, authentic powers of a leader’s instinctive drive.”

To take your Kolbe A assessment visit The Dental Business Coach website

Kolbe – “Glop Shop” in Action

From Kathy Kolbe – a great demo of “Glop Shop” & Kolbe A in action.

“I have been working closely with Thomas P Seager, PhD in the ASU Engineering department.

This is an excellent description of Demonstrating Conative Theory with Glop Shop videos. I encourage you to use them and pass them on!”

sustainableengineeringsystems.com/2013/02/12/glop-shop-demonstrating-conative-theory/

“Assess Job Fit, Not Just Performance”

From Harvard Business Review – Business Tip of the Day adapted from “The Challenge of the Average Employee” by Anthony Tjan.

Performance reviews tell you whether someone is doing an adequate job, but they fail to reveal whether people are doing the right jobs. This is especially problematic for average performers—those not good enough to be high potentials, but not bad enough to be fired.

Don’t let these folks limp along in roles that are not right for them. Instead, perform “fit tests” at regular intervals that compare people’s strengths and interests with their current job descriptions. For example, is someone in product development, but better suited for a position as an industry researcher?

Trust your instinct if you sense there’s a mismatch, and be honest. You might help average employees become stars.

As good a justification for using Kolbe Wisdom in selecting and building your teams as I could write.

 

Nice video on Kolbe Wisdom

I like this video from Elizabeth Campbell PhD. www.thenextact.com