Left to our own choice, each of us has an instinctive way of making decisions or problem solving – using your gut instinct or feelings. These instincts can be broken down into four action modes: Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Quick Start and Implementor.
These have been identified by Kathy Kolbe, an expert in human instinct, who developed the Kolbe Index, an assessment people take to measure and understand their instinctive way of doing things and help them to work smarter by playing to their strengths.
Research shows people who are free to choose their own method of accomplishing a task or providing a solution are more productive, and our experience as Kolbe Consultants, is that teams work smarter and communicate better when they understand their own Kolbe, and that of their colleagues.
The Four Kolbe Action Modes®
After taking a simple assessment, the Kolbe index rates each person 1-10 in the four action modes. There are no right or wrong answers – they simply reveal in which areas people are strongest, so therefore how they operate instinctively.
This is the instinctive need to probe and how we gather and share information.
Behaviour ranges from gathering detailed information and documenting strategies to simplifying and clarifying options. This Action Mode deals with detail and complexity, providing the perspective of the past.
Identify whether you and your team members are more naturally satisfied with an overview or need to get as many specifics as possible.
2. Follow Thru
This is the instinctive need to pattern and the way we organize and design.
Behaviour ranges from being systematic and structured to being adaptable and flexible. This Action Mode deals with timelines and structure and provides focus and continuity.
Is your natural instinct to develop short cuts and multitask or design detailed systems that organise everything?
3. Quick Start
This is the instinctive need to improvise and the way we deal with risk and uncertainty.
Behaviour ranges from driving change and innovation to stabilizing and preventing chaos. This Action Mode deals with originality and risk-taking and provides intuition and a sense of vision.
See if you are naturally suited to stick with what already works well or if you are driven to experiment to see what will happen.
This is the instinctive need to demonstrate and the way we handle space and tangibles.
Behaviour ranges from making things more concrete by building solutions to being more abstract by imagining a solution. This Action Mode deals with physical space and provides durability and a sense of the tangible.
Can you clearly picture how things could work? Do you or your team members work best constructing and demonstrating tangible solutions?
Infographic: Kolbe – the missing link
When we run Kolbe workshops for teams, we help to identify each person’s modus operandi and that of their colleagues. This helps them understand the team strengths and why people approach projects differently.
Once a team knows their own Kolbe and their team-mates Kolbes they can use this knowledge to organise projects by putting the right people in the right teams and they can communicate more effectively with each other on a one-to-one basis.