In this Kolbe case study, we explain how Bold Clarity helped the software company Artesian company improve communication, make the most of their team’s talents and work together better.
Artesian is a UK-based software company which combines leading data science with the world’s best business information to transform the frontline effectiveness of its clients.
Its platform consolidates company information from premium sources such as Companies House, Experian, LexisNexis with millions of online media sources to collate insights on the 4.7 million active companies in the UK.
“Our customers are mostly commercial people in financial institutions, banks, insurance and tech companies who find our service invaluable to help them find their next customer, nurture the customers they have and make the most of the commercial relationship,” said Artesian Chief Customer Officer and Co-founder, Mike Blackadder.
“Artesian’s data science matches engagement triggers in the data to give the user actionable sales intelligence which can centre around both opportunity and risk. This is highly pertinent in today’s difficult market conditions.”
Customers include Lloyds, NatWest, HSBC, Barclays, Santander and METRO bank – so the chances are your bank manager has Artesian in their pocket.
The company was founded 10 years ago by Mike Blackadder, Andrew Yates and Steve Borthwick and now has around 50 employees, with six people on its leadership team.
Why use Kolbe
Artesian is in the second year of implementing EOS – a target operating model which has been designed for entrepreneurially managed business. As part of this process the leadership took the opportunity to take individual and matched Kolbe assessments.
EOS had given Artesian a clear focus and strategy and was being rolled out throughout the company, however Mike said there was still work to be done to help the team get the most from each other.
“When you get different people together in a room with their different personalities and energies – even with the benefit of the EOS tools – if a lively debate erupts, it’s important to know how to get the best from your colleagues.
“We invested in Kolbe at the leadership team level so we could better understand how each of us most effectively use our time and energy so we could get the best from one another.”
Artesian chose Kolbe over other psychometric testing alternatives because the system focuses on identifying each person’s unique instincts and natural abilities in the most positive way.
Mike added: “Kolbe shows us where we feel most comfortable in placing our energies and the types of tasks to which they are best suited and how to make the best use of that energy.”
Find out more: How Kolbe promotes team success
How it worked
Artesian used a variety of the different the Kolbe options on offer.
- Each member of the leadership team completed a Kolbe A Index assessment
- Team members then also completed a Kolbe B Index assessment
- Bold Clarity led a seminar for the entire leadership team
- An additional member of staff outside the leadership team had a 1-2-1 session
- Two new hires completed a Kolbe A index, then a follow up session was held with their supervisor
For each of these, Bold Clarity provided analysis and facilitated workshops to help the leadership team interpret the results.
“Though the results are easy to read and interpret, the Kolbe process would be of limited value if you don’t take advantage of the expertise Bold Clarity has to help you interpret what those results mean to you and the team.
“Intelligent, well-read, eloquent people think that if they read something, they will get it. However, sitting down with somebody and having them explain in context what the results mean, and what they should be considering as a result is where the real value comes.”
After completing the Kolbe A Index, individuals nominated the people with whom they had the key working relationship in the team and using A to A comparison reports to analyse and share their results, they gained valuable insights on how better to interact, communicate and work together.
The leadership team’s workshop was facilitated by Bold Clarity’s two Kolbe Certified Consultants, Julia Langkraehr and Susan Hunt. During the session, they were taken through the Kolbe concept as well as their own results and were helped to understand how to work better as a team.
The Kolbe B Index is an assessment of an individuals’ perception of their role. Comparing individuals Kolbe A and Kolbe B results highlighted areas where some members of the team would need to lean into people with the strengths they don’t have.
Mike said the reports were very accurate and often reflected the perception other people had of different team members.
“It’s quite interesting to do that analysis and help one another better understand each other.”
Artesian have also started to use Kolbe during recruitment. They have done Kolbe A Indexes on two new team members, with a one-to-one session with Julia to explain the results to them, and then afterwards to their supervisor.
“We’d made the decision in principle to hire these staff – we just wanted to see what we were getting. We’re going to do it moving forward for all new hires. And I’d like to do it organisational wide.”
The Artesian team found that their Kolbe indexes were an accurate reflection of their strengths.
Mike said that Kolbe had helped them see patterns, particularly in rock setting and the attainment of objectives – so that if someone missed a rock, it might be because of the team member’s natural talents and the way they operate.
“Kolbe has given us the realisation that, as a team, if you’ve got a difficult task, put the right person on it, even if it might not be that person’s department, or that person’s role. You want to give it to the right person and bring out their superpower.
“Kolbe gives you this visibility of both yourself and others. You discover how two people can work together to get the best from one another. That’s the most valuable thing. It also is quite surprising to some people to read somebody else’s index and say, “Oh, I never realized that about you.
“As a consequence of Kolbe, we’re more mindful of how to get the most from each other. And our ability to work with one another just gets better and better.
“Every entrepreneurially run company should invest in Kolbe. They should start with the leadership team, then the most significant level of employees.
“They should compare and contrast what they learn with core values, operational effectiveness, and then just see what comes out of that.
“Using Bold Clarity to enable us to interpret our Kolbe results properly and support us has been invaluable. They have brought clarity – the clue is in the name.”
Mike said that Kolbe was a really interesting branch of science which exposes where people’s key energy is best placed to deliver the right result.
“You could probably read a book. You could probably do a test online. But the real value is when somebody sits down and explains that to you, explains it within context and really brings that to life.
“And that’s where Bold Clarity come in – they did an amazing job facilitating the sessions. It’s been phenomenal in terms of bringing it all together and getting us working better as a team.”