Saturday, June 30, 2007

Kolbe Index A

As part of my ongoing job search, a prospective employer asked that I take an online test, at their expense. It's a test called the Kolbe Index A. Now, the prospective employer is looking at me for a Technical Writer position, so I had an interest in ensuring that the results of my test would show that I was perfect for that position.

So I researched online and here's what I found. It appears that the Kolbe Index A gauges what type of learner you are. Here’s what I discovered:

The Kolbe Index works on the assumption that people learn in four instinctual manners. These instinctual manners are termed Probing, Patterning, Demonstrating, and Innovating. Each of these instincts will cause behaviors in individuals known as action modes. These action modes are named Fact Finder, Follow Through, Implementer, & Quick Starter. These action modes correspond, respectfully, to each of the aforementioned manners.

A person’s Probing Instinct creates a need to investigate in depth. Its corresponding action mode is termed Fact Finder. A Fact Finder will most likely succeed at tasks which require an individual to: probe, research, formalize, allocate, deliberate, prioritize, define, prove, specify, calculate, inquire, and evaluate.

A person’s Patterning Instinct creates a need to seek a sense of order. The corresponding action mode here is called Follow Through. A Follow Through will most likely succeed at tasks which require an individual to: structure, consolidate, translate, prepare, discipline, coordinate, arrange, integrate, schedule, plan, budget, and chart.

A person’s Demonstrating Instinct creates a need to convert ideas into tangible form. The related action mode is Implementer. An Implementer will most likely succeed at tasks which require an individual to: form, mold, demonstrate, craft, shape, put together, build, render, construct, fix, repair, and practice.

A person’s Innovating Instinct is the force behind experimentation. A Quick Starter will most likely succeed at tasks which require an individual to: invent, brainstorm, originate, devise, challenge, contrive, risk, play hunches, reform, improvise, promote, and intuit.

As one takes a Kolbe Index evaluation, one will generate a score of eighteen to twenty-two. This score is then divided into the four action modes, resulting in points of one to ten in each mode.

Once the points in each action mode have been calculated, the score in that action mode is classified as to the type of behavior it represents. These classifications are referred to as operating zones.

The first operating zone consists of all scores from one to three and is referred to as Prevention. It is characterized by the instinct to resist a form of action mode. Fundamentally, a person who is in the prevention operating zone for an action mode will tend to avoid behaving in that mode and attempt to rein-in someone who is behaving in that mode. For example, if an individual is in the prevention zone for follow through, they will tend to prevent over-regulating or getting boxed in by someone who has a significant amount of follow through instinct.

The next operating zone covers all scores from four to six and is called Response. It is characterized by the ability to accommodate behavior in an action mode. While someone who is in the response zone may not initiate a type of behavior they can certainly work in this way for a limited amount of time; either a small to moderate portion of each day or all day for a short time. For example, a person who is a responder to follow through will be able to work within a structure or procedures created by others.

The last operating zone encompasses the scores of seven or greater and is known as Initiation. An initiator will often insist performing in the corresponding action mode given any choice. They will tend to initiate that type of behavior and are most comfortable working in that way. For example, a follow through initiator will create plans or procedures to follow and be happy defining a structure to act within.

Figure 1 gives a visual interpretation of an individual's Kolbe Index score. The individual shown would be an initiator in fact finder and follow through, an accommodator in implementer and a resistor in quick start behavior. Additionally, the individual shown would be known as a 7724.

Armed with this knowledge, I took the test, fully intending to score high in Fact Finding & Following Through, scoring moderately in Implementation, and scoring low in Quick Starting.

And mind you, it wasn’t that hard at all, as all of the questions were posed so simply, that only a half dead baboon would not be able to get the kind of score he wished. For each question, the responder must chose one answer that is Most Likely and one that is Least Likely. Example; “When I work, I like to… A.) with my hands. B.) ...experiment. C.) ...research. D.) ...make graphs and charts.” Pretty ridiculous, eh? So I decided that the questions themselves were irrelevant, the only thing I needed to figure out was which answers belonged to the action modes I wanted to score in.

So, without further ado, here are screen snaps of the questions, my answers, and my guess at which action mode my "Most Likely" answer fell into. I’ll have more to say after you look at all the snaps.

For the above five questions, I answered:
1.) Most - Experiment (Quick Start), Least - Skill.
2.) Most - Build (Implement), Least - Sell
3.) Most - Decide (Fact Find), Least - Skip
4.) Most - Consistent (Follow Through), Least - unique
5,) Most - Originality (QS), Least - Realistic

For the above six questions, I answered:
6.) Most - Challenge (QS), Least - Practice
7.) Most - Hands (Imp), Least - Bored
8.) Most - Clarity (FT), Least - Durability
9.) Most - Physical (Imp), Least - Goals
10.) Most - Title (FF), Least - Commission
11.) Most - Interrupt (FT), Least - Guess

For the above six questions, I answered:
12.) Most - Model (Imp), Least - Color
13.) Most - Precise (FF), Least - Ideas
14.) Most - Speaking (QS), Least - Diagrams
15.) Most - Specifications (FF), Least - Ideas
16.) Most - Research (FF), Least - Varied
17.) Most - Uniform (FT), Least - Flex

For the above six questions, I answered:
18.) Most - Structured (FT), Least - Argue
19.) Most - Innovate (QS), Least - Constructions
20.) Most - Detail (Imp), Least - Impression
21.) Most - Thorough (FT), Least - Spontaneous
22.) Most - Props (Imp), Least - Imagination
23.) Most - Clear (FT), Least - Physically

For the above six questions, I answered:
24.) Most - Atmosphere (QS), Least - Quality
25.) Most - Depend (Imp), Least - Speed
26.) Most - Flow (Imp), Least - Myself
27.) Most - Quality (Imp), Least - Challenges
28.) Most - Skillful (Imp), Least - Intuit
29.) Most - Organize (FF), Least - Deadline

For the above seven questions, I answered:
30.) Most - Method (FT), Least - Explain
31.) Most - Realistically (FF), Least - Rapidly
32.) Most - Orderly (FT), Least - Unique
33.) Most - Find Out (FF), Least - Work Around
34.) Most - Reading About (FF), Least - Take Chances
35.) Most - Coordinated (FT), Least - Spontaneous
36.) Most - New Products (FF), Least - Define

So, as far as I could tell, I answered "Most Likely" to 10 Fact Finder questions, 10 Follow Through questions, 10 Implementor questions, and 6 Quick Start questions. I didn't keep track of the number and category of my "Least Likely" responses, since I was going to answer all of them in (mostly) Quick Start and (somewhat) in Implementor. Additionally, I know some of the "Least Likely" answers I gave were in the action modes I wanted to score strong in, but I also felt that I needed to 'mix things up' a bit so no obvious patterns could be detected.

And my results - I scored a 6-8-2-5:

Now I don’t know how the final score is actually calculated, but as you can see, I got the results I wanted. And perhaps they are indeed not too far off of what they would have been, if I had taken the test in a na├»ve manner, given all the research I did and my natural tendencies as a chart and list maker and my fear of not making a move until I’m assured of success and my moderate abilities as a model maker, guitar player, and mechanic!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Armageddon Ain't What It Used To Be, Post #3

For the life of me, I could not get my scanner to scan this sheet in an orthographic manner! Every time I scanned it, the automatic (and un-turn-off-able) OCR and Image Adjustment would ALWAYS send the image tilted. So I had to assemble the ones you see above from several scans.

A piece of Rock & Roll History

Scanned from my Summer, 1974 issue of "Who Put The Bomp!" fanzine
Click on image to read all of Mr. Fowley's prose!

Who would have thought an innocent advertisement would have assembled such a bunch of no-good-niks as these five miscreants!
Not matter what anybody says - ROCK ON!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

I Find This Photo So Fascinating

Found this series of photos on a personal web site for Vietnam Veterans of the 3rd Marines. I was reading up on the Battle of Khe Sanh on the Wikipedia and linked to it. The first photo is actually the last photo, it shows an LZ after a helicopter has unloaded its troops, but I placed it first so you can get an overall view of the hillside. This group of Marines were part of an operation trying to clear the hillsides around Khe Sanh of NVA. The pictures were snapped by the helicopter's door gunner. Little did any of the Marines (nor helicopter crew) know, but they got dropped not more than 50 yards from a squad of NVA!

The second and third photos show the Marines right after they had left the chopper. Most of the men shown in these two photos were only minutes from dying, and I think that's what intrigues me the most. Because the two close-up photographs show the faces of real human beings like me, I can just imagine one of those guys, watching the helicopter fly away and how it would feel when the NVA opened up on me and watching almost all my buddies die.

The Yellow X's are NVA, The White X's are Marines (click on the picture to enlarge it)

The final photo here is the first photo but with markings showing were at least two of the NVA positions were, pointed out by one of the surviving Marines (and marked up electronically by the web site). Apparently, the NVA let the choppers fly right in, allowed them to unload their troops, and let them fly out again before they ambushed the Marines. According to the website, so intense was the NVA fire that it took three attempts to go back and evacuate the surviving Marines.

From the web site:
"The Marine (in photo #2) who's looking back at me (the camera man) snapping this picture is Ronnie Williams, and according to Gunny Hagar, was one of the wounded. He died the following day from shrapnel in left shoulder and chest. The surviving members of this team were pulled out later in the afternoon, along with their causalities. As soon as we dropped them they were immediately caught in interlocking fields of fire from the NVA."

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Armageddon Ain't What It Used To Be, Post #2

Two more, this time on white paper. See the next post next week

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Uncle Skippy

A few weekends ago, my friend Paul Gass was in town for the passing of his sister. After a long and tiring weekend for him, we took him out with us to run errands on that Sunday. It was no big deal, but we thought he might like to just get out of the house for a little while while we went to Lowe's and the Grocery Store.

After we were done, the kids fell asleep in their car seats so we drove around looking at houses for a while. While we were in the Northwood subdivision of Royal Oak, he directed us to the childhood home of one of his friends, Jackie Fagg. It was a big ol' Craftsman-style that has been for sale so long, Karen and I had seen it many time online - we were surprised to find out that that house belonged to someone we semi-knew.

He then related the tale of how at one point, Jackie's uncle Skippy had moved in to live with her folks for a while and that he was bit of an eccentric. He had sold all of his possessions, bought a printing press, and created and distributed ranting religious pamphlets decrying the government, warning us about the Russians & rock music, and heralding the coming of the Anti-Christ. "Haaa ha ha", we all laughed, "poor fellow". I then asked if Skippy's surname was also Fagg, which would have been just too funny, but alas, he was from the maternal side of the family.

Two weeks pass, Paul has since returned to Baltimore, and I'm driving around when Black Sabbath's "666" comes on the radio. As it does, my mind goes back to the first time I became acquainted with the concept of 666 - it was from a crazy religious pamphlet that some weirdo used to leave in mailboxes around my neighborhood. They were so funny, I saved them all! For a whole summer these 'tracts' would appear every week or so and I saved as many of them as I could. "HEY!!", I said to my self, "you don't suppose... ?".

I called Paul as soon as I got home, told him about my collection of pamphlets, and he confirmed that they were the very ones Jackie's uncle had made! Paul then described one to me over the phone that he remembered and sure enough, it matched one I hadn't described to him yet!

So, here is the first installment in a series I'm going to call, Armageddon Ain't What It Used To Be. Enjoy.