Revealing the
hidden mind.

The Kolbe System™ is the trademark of Kathy Kolbe and Kolbe Corp.

Kolbe Wisdom™

There are three parts of the human mind. Two of them are well known and discussed. The third is the hidden key to improving human performance.


This part defines your “intelligence.” It grows as you learn and is ever-changing. IQ tests are the most common form of testing; however, those results only showcase a portion of a person’s true ability to learn, retain and recall information.


This is your ability to use emotion effectively. Assessments such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator measure your reaction to circumstances and assign a “personality type” that defines the emotional tools you use to cope and communicate. Like the cognitive mind, your affective traits evolve and fluctuate.

Kolbe the Conative Mind


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Conation drives action. Actions drive performance. 

To understand how you and others achieve peak performance, you need to understand the conative part of the mind, which contains the instincts and innate attributes that define your natural method of operation (MO). When you work in your natural style, you are more productive, more comfortable and more successful. While philosophers through the centuries discussed the existence of conation, Kathy Kolbe was the first to identify its key attributes and how to measure them.

Four Action Modes®

Kolbe’s four Action Modes are the modern breakthrough in understanding and explaining conation. Kathy Kolbe’s key insight was that everyone has a strength in how they operate in each of these Action Modes. Each person’s method of operation, or “MO,” is their strength in that area.


The instinctive need to probe and the way we gather and share information.
Behavior ranges from gathering detailed information and documenting strategies to simplifying and clarifying options. This Action Mode deals with detail and complexity, providing the perspective of the past.

Kolbe Fact Finder scores range


The instinctive need to pattern and the way we organize and design.
Behavior ranges from being systematic and structured to being adaptable and flexible. This Action Mode deals with structure and order and provides focus and continuity.

Kolbe Follow Thru scores range


The instinctive need to improvise and the way we deal with risk and uncertainty.
Behavior ranges from driving change and innovation to stabilizing and preventing chaos. This Action Mode deals with originality and risk-taking and provides intuition and a sense of vision.

Kolbe Quick Start scores range


The instinctive need to demonstrate and the way we handle space and tangibles.
Behavior ranges from making things more concrete by building solutions to being more abstract by imagining a solution. This Action Mode deals with physical space and provides durability and a sense of the tangible.

Kolbe Implementor scores range

By combining the Kolbe Assessments with leadership coaching and team development, you can understand your instinctive strengths, see how they align (or not) with those of your collaborators and the tasks the job requires, and figure out the most effective ways to improve performance both at the individual and team level.


Understand what your scores mean and how they explain the patterns you experience when working alone and in teams.


Learn how to apply the insights to your job daily, so you can do work that energizes you and collaborate with others effortlessly.