If you’ve ever met our CEO and Founder, Stefan Wissenbach, or heard him speak, you know that he’s big on vision and full of ideas. He’s always coming up with new ways for us to improve our business and culture and urging our team to do the same. He does this with an energy and enthusiasm that is nothing short of contagious.
But if you’ve worked with Stefan, you’ve most likely come across Jayne Deakin. Her job title may read ’Head of Special Projects’, but she is the person behind the scenes making sure everyone gets what they need and that his vision becomes reality. In Stefan’s words, he makes it up, Jayne makes it real and the team makes it recur.
Stefan and Jayne have worked together for over 10 years – and one of the most significant ingredients to ensuring they work together as an effective team is their mutual understanding and appreciation of each other’s Kolbe A™ score – in other words, understanding what drives their success and the instinctive ways in which they each take action.
We all know each other’s Kolbe scores
Consider this: How much easier would it be to communicate with co-workers, pair employees with great-fit projects, and assemble highly effective teams if you knew:
- How they best understand new information
- Their professional strengths and weaknesses
So much easier.
The Kolbe index ranks people on a scale from 1-10 based on their instincts, how they naturally respond to situations, and what they prefer to do. They refer to these “instinct-driven behaviors” are represented by four Action Modes®.
Fact Finder – the instinctive way we gather and share information
Those who score high as “Fact Finders” seek out information before acting or making a decision. They’ll read the recipe and even the instruction manual. Those who score low may glance at the recipe and use the instruction manual for tinder – they’re more inclined to wing it.
Follow Thru – the instinctive way we arrange and design
Someone who scores high in “Follow-Thru,” like Jayne, is comfortable creating systems and documenting processes to get things done. Those who score low still find ways to accomplish tasks, but it may be through multitasking or other shortcuts – they’ll bypass the system to finish the task.
Quick Start – the instinctive way we deal with risk and uncertainty
A high score in “Quick Start” is a risk-taker who thinks outside of the box to come up with new ideas, and is fearless in trying them out. A low score in “Quick Start” indicates a person who would rather stick with the tried and true.
Implementor – the instinctive way we handle space and tangibles
The Kolbe measurement “Implementor” measures how we work with physical space. Do you prefer to work with your hands to create something physical? Then you likely score high and have the ability to create physical solutions to problems. Those who score low in “Implementor” can envision how physical objects work together without needing to physically manipulate them.
Taking each of the above dimensions in order, Stefan’s Kolbe score (or Kolbe MO) is 5492. Jayne’s is an 8842. That’s not to say that just before Jayne scores ‘8’ in Fact Finder and Stefan score ‘5’ that she’s the better Fact Finder. No, it merely highlights that they have different ways of approaching the process of gathering and sharing information.
How can knowing your score make a difference?
Using practical terms, let’s take a look at Stefan and Jayne’s ‘Quick Start’ scores.
Stefan scores ‘9’ and Jayne scores ‘4’. Stefan instinctively creates urgency, initiates change, and innovation. Jayne, on the other hand, instinctively creates responses to challenges, reduces risks, and mediates between the vision and the given.
When Stefan and Jayne work together on projects, Jayne knows that Stefan’s natural instinct is to create change and innovate along the way – which, for a project manager without this understanding could cause frustration when it means constant changes to the project brief.
Equally, an entrepreneur may feel that the project manager that mediates between his/her vision, and the given could be slowing them down. Instead, both Stefan and Jayne appreciate that these natural ways of operating aren’t there to slow things down or cause frustration, instead, having this knowledge means they create great outcomes because they leverage them.
Kolbe is how we identify ourselves
Our Kolbe scores have become a major part of how we identify ourselves – in fact when we introduce ourselves, we’ll give you our names, our job titles, and our Kolbe scores! It’s an important short-hand indicator of who we are and how we impact our company.
Our Kolbe scores are just as identifiable to each of us as our job titles. We put our scores on our business cards, event name tags, and email signatures. It’s an integral part of our culture.
We even joke about it. Come to a meeting with armloads of research and there will likely be a quip about your Fact Finder score! It’s embedded in everything we do.
In fact, sometimes we even use our score instead of our job titles, because our individual jobs tend to evolve very quickly and our job titles might not be accurate (Jayne is so much more than a Head of Special Projects!). But our Kolbe scores tell a story of who we are and how we connect to the business – and most importantly, how we impact our business.
And, of course, we use Kolbe scores in our hiring process, because we look at our roles as not just jobs to be done, but ability gaps we need to fill. If we were an office of Quick Starts, for example, we’d have great ideas and no one to make them happen! We try to match Kolbe strengths with job assignments so each employee is able to do what they do best, and then we create balanced teams with complementary strengths.
Because there is no bad Kolbe score – only scores that are appropriate for certain tasks and goals. Everyone works differently – and that, in itself, is a strength.
Kolbe has become a huge part of our company culture. If you’d like to learn more, check out their website at www.Kolbe.com.
4 simple ways we share our Kolbe scores
- Business cards – Our business cards are simple. There’s our logo on top, our first and last names, job titles, and Kolbe scores! And contact info – but that comes last.
- Email signatures – Our email signatures follow the same format as our business cards. Kolbe scores are in every one.
- Name tags for events – We use Kolbe scores instead of job titles underneath our names. It’s a great conversation starter!
- Everyday conversation – If we need detailed numbers and analytics, we go to our Fact Finders. If we need a creative solution to create some urgency, we know Quick Starts have it.
With clarity comes synergy
Knowing and understanding each other’s Kolbe MO’s make us a more effective team that thrives as a result of drawing upon the strengths of each of our individual approaches. Moreover, there’s something very special about an alignment of capabilities and strengths – not only as individuals (as in the case of Stefan and Jayne) but as organizations too.
When Kolbe Corp joined the Engagement Multiplier client community almost a year ago, the alignment between our respective organizations was abundantly clear…
- Transformational added value. As organizations, we have each added tremendous value to each other. Kolbe, in the way in which the Engagement Multiplier team work together and appreciate each other’s inherent action modes. Engagement Multiplier in the way it’s positively impacted Kolbe’s business – as explained here by David Kolbe, CEO, Kolbe Corp.
- The power of a score. Both Engagement Multiplier and Kolbe are clear on an important point – there’s no such thing as a bad score. At the most basic level, as organizations, we both provide a score that provides the guide rails from which (as individuals and organizations) we learn, build knowledge, improve efficiency and drive success by approaching actions with clarity and insight.
- Short online assessment. The Kolbe A™ assessment takes less than 20 minutes to complete, the Engagement Multiplier assessment less than 10 minutes. The assessment questions themselves have been developed as a result of years of experience and research that provides an accurate assessment from which to move forward. Engagement Multiplier and Kolbe agree on one fundamental point – there are no right or wrong answers. The answers are what they are.
- Immediate results for immediate impact. In both cases, your score and report provide pinpoint clarity and are immediately available. Why wait to make a meaningful difference to maximize your potential!
If you want to find out your own Kolbe score click here.