Dr. Jennifer Bessolo is the Principal of Shawnee Heights Jr. High School in Kansas, where they have incorporated Kolbe and Project: Go Ahead with all of their staff and students. She recently came to Phoenix for a few days to work directly with Kathy on projects for the Center for Conative Abilities and had this to share about her experience:
The Kolbe Corp Office
Working only a few short days in the Kolbe Corp office, I could tell that there was something different in the culture and climate of this office than in other work environments. Narrowed down to three descriptive attributes, the differences lie in 1) the energy and pulse of the office, 2) sense of confidence and assuredness of employees, and 3) the buzz of collaboration and productivity.
The energy and pulse of the office matches its décor. When entering Kolbe Corp, one will find a contemporary setting, with glass doors throughout the entire floor of the office, and large windows overlooking the Phoenix, Arizona skyline. Included in the contemporary office scene is trendy furniture of greens and oranges that matches the progressive nature of Kathy Kolbe’s life work. The aesthetics are only part of what makes the office hum. There is a general pulse of energy throughout the office, whether walking past the executive offices, the sales team desks, the IT department, or the collaborative workspace. Multiple projects are worked on simultaneously and communication is upbeat, cheerful, and professional.
What stood out the most to me was the confidence and assuredness the Kolbe Corp employees demonstrated in performing their daily tasks in the office. This is certainly attributed to employees hired for the right position based on their Kolbe Index. Since Kolbe Corp embraces one’s individual strengths, it was no surprise to see every individual’s Mind Menu posted within, on, or right outside their desk or work area. While multiple projects, activities, and sales endeavors were all taking place at the same time, employees communicated with confidence, and naturally displayed an aura of low stress despite a very busy work schedule. The level of stress one depicts by, “working outside his or her comfort zone” was not observed if present at all, nor did it appear that employees were asked to do things outside of their general strengths and job duties. It was clear that the office truly embraces the concept of “being true to oneself.”
Lastly, there was a distinct buzz of collaboration and productivity in the office environment. Kathy Kolbe can speak to many different projects at once, generating ideas easily as she walks down the hallway or engages in conversation with interns. There is a clear and marked respect for who she is and for her creativity and distinct knowledge on conation. Her employees are comfortable around her, yet value and significantly respect her contributions. Unique to this office, all staff members (from the CEO and President, to the sales team and IT department) were knowledgeable of the multiple projects on the non-profit side just as much as they were aware of the day-to-day business side endeavors. Multiple offices were used to discuss projects, tape and edit video, brainstorm, generate and perfect various products, and meet collaboratively. Rarely were individuals working alone for long stretches of time at their desk; rather, they were deep in discussion exchanging ideas and conducting other general business.
In summation, the Kolbe Corp office is unique and has a powerful climate and culture which values people and their individual strengths and talents. As a supervisor myself, there were many points noted from this experience in how I can better improve the working environment for my staff as well. Working with Kathy Kolbe and her team surely lends one a different lens from which to view life.