The Kolbe System

Entrepreneurial and Small Business Teams Improving Organizational Performance with The Kolbe System


The Kolbe System frees people to utilize their instinctive strengths to achieve higher productivity and performance. With Kolbe’s unique assessments, software, training and coaching materials, managers can maximize individual and group efforts to achieve organizational goals.

Assessments have historically focused on measuring the cognitive (IQ) and the affective (personality) parts of the mind. While this can be helpful in selecting, training and managing people, they only offer a partial picture of a person’s full potential. IQ scores are influenced by opportunities to learn, and being smart doesn’t necessarily predict success. Personality traits are situational, and people who seem agreeable don’t always do a job successfully or accomplish team goals.

What’s missing? The third part of the mind: the conative or instinctive part.

Understanding how instincts combine with intelligence and personality will help you optimize the hiring, deployment, retention and effectiveness of your employees. These insights will also help create and maintain a less stressful work environment with employees who are more satisfied and more productive in their positions.

Assessing Instinctive Strengths

The first step in the Kolbe System is to determine the instinctive traits within an organization. This is done with the Kolbe ATM Index, a 36-question assessment which measures and describes the natural way a person takes purposeful action in four distinctive behavior patterns, or Action Modes®:

Fact Finder
Ways of gathering information

Follow Thru
Ways of arranging and designing

Quick Start
Ways of dealing with risk and uncertainty

Ways of handling space and tangibles

The four-number Index result identifies and individual’s natural tendencies in each Action Mode and determines his or her modus operandi or MO. The numerical values indicate how a person uses their instincts to prevent problems, respond to opportunities and initiate solutions.