There are three parts of the mind that should be measured when screening potential new hires: affective, cognitive and conative. The best assessment for measuring the conative or “doing” part of the mind is the Kolbe Index. With Kolbe, the focus is about understanding a person’s “intrinsic knack for how they get things done,” according to creator Kathy Kolbe, which certainly is consequential to a successful hire.
The Kolbe comprises 36 forced-answer type questions that typically take approximately 20 minutes to complete. A 13-page report with results is generated immediately following the assessment.
There are four action modes in Kolbe: Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Quickstart and Implementor. These are driven by instincts, and represent the primary ways we tackle challenges. Kolbe measures them on a scale of 1-10, and respondents are labeled as Preventative (1-3), Accommodating (4-6) and Initiating (7-10). As the labels suggest, the continuum spans from preventing problems to initiating solutions.
There are no good/bad or right/wrong Kolbe results; the point is to simply understand an individual’s approach to thinking through and solving problems. Only 5% of the population is likely to have any one particular configuration of Kolbe traits.
For further detail on the four Kolbe action modes:
Fact Finder (FF) – Provides insight into how comfortable a person is with details. Being detail-oriented is critical in the new planner role when they are expected to gather and analyze client data.
I have witnessed a great deal of conative stress in this mode between firm owners who might be Preventative FF and their new planner who might be Initiating FF. The new planner wants to share all of the details while the supervisor would prefer to have the bottom line only. If this is the way you prefer to receive information, make sure your staff knows it.
Remember this as well if your employees keep asking questions about a task you have given them. It might not necessarily be a “Gen Y thing,” but rather how they are wired instinctively.
Follow Thru (FT) – This is not to be confused with following through; that is, completing a certain task when someone says they are going to do it – that should be a given. The FT action mode shows how a person arranges and designs, or how much structure they prefer.
Even in the most customizable situations, financial planning is heavily process-driven, at least if you are doing it successfully and profitably. Because of this, firms benefit from process-oriented people. Plus, having an Initiating FT colleague is valuable to you if you find yourself coming up with many of the big ideas and need others to work out everything to make it happen.