What is a KOLBE Score?

Kitchen Nightmares is a guilty pleasure of mine—a show where Gordon Ramsay pokes his way into floundering businesses and comments on the mayhem at three hundred decibels. The show is also a great explanation of KOLBE scores at work.

A typical episode involves Ramsay waltzing into a business that calls upon his help. He proceeds to systematically shred, pulverize, and ultimately eviscerate the people and practices that allowed the company to decay. These could be chefs with creative flair but no follow-through in sanitation, owners with an excellent eye for detail but poor communication skills, or waiters who make even the tightest French mustaches look relaxed by comparison.

A KOLBE score analyses the unique strengths and attributes that individuals bring to the challenges they face. Through understanding these predispositions, business owners can more effectively put the right people to the right jobs. Put the chefs in charge of sheet cakes, not spreadsheets!

Companies may secure a KOLBE score by ordering the KOLBE A Index on their website. I’m a big fan of their service, as it gives me a tool for helping business owners concretely understand what I, as a consultant, see within their team. It also helps those team members feel more secure in their roles and understand their value in a new light.
I’ll go into a bit about the KOLBE process in this blog today, but the best way to find out is to try it for yourself!

What Can A KOLBE Score Teach Me?

Of the trifecta proposed by modern psychology—cognitive (thinking), affective (feeling), and conative (doing)—a KOLBE score deals with the conative. It accomplishes this by focusing on our instincts when handed problems.

Have you ever heard the phrase “go with your gut?” Think of it like that!

The four pillars a KOLBE score “ranks” you on correspond to four different personality types:

Fact Finder – Someone who searches for more information before acting.

Follow Through – Someone who builds the systems that will be used to operate.

Quick Start – The creatives that launch into new methods without prompting.

Implementor – Those that jump in physically to demonstrate and practice theory.

By illustrating where you fit between these tendencies, you will better understand your best traits.

A KOLBE score can also explain why you are deficient in other areas. This explanation can be helpful to employees on an emotional level—in the same way; we wouldn’t think any less of cats for not being able to drive cars. We cannot expect Implementers to sit around and wait for contextual materials like the FactFinder. This trait might make them excellent field staff but poor email writers.

How Can A KOLBE Score Help My Business?

For business owners looking to maximize their team’s productivity, it is crucial to understand where staff should be placed. When they are put into roles that are not complementary to their KOLBE scores, they are:

Stressed: They feel as if they must put on a “mask” to do their job.

Prone to Turnover: They are seeking opportunities that allow them to feel more “at home.”

Unproductive: They cannot act using their best skills, making them less valuable. Disengaged: They feel as if the work they are doing is distant from them.

Beyond helping you blend your work roles to fit people (rather than the inverse), a KOLBE score can often help answer some of the more mysterious questions surrounding a workplace. Why did the star salesperson completely tank after their promotion?

Was it because the Quick Start skill that helped them make new connections is far more developed than the Follow Through skill that makes for great leaders? Quite possibly.

You will experience high staff retention rates and job satisfaction when using a KOLBE score to understand your employees’ instincts. It could also help you personally assess where you belong in your organization based on your skills.

In short, it allows people to be what they are at their best: fantastic, happy assets that are central to your success.

A KOLBE score is only one of the tools I use to assess my clients’ businesses. While it can provide valuable insights, an in-depth consultation will help me understand your organization’s true bones and heart. I’ve been bringing teams together to streamline processes, communication, and success strategies for years—among other services designed to help you scale—fast.

Let’s chat about what a marketing consultant could do for your people and your organization. I might even let you in on what my KOLBE score is…