Recently I worked with two very competent and pleasant law staff members on a data conversion.  The process was a bit of a roller coaster ride where one person was thrilled and the other a little bit(byte) terrified during the ride.  We joking referred to the mid part of the process as being upside down in a high speed turn.

One staff person suggested ‘some’ records seemed to be missing (they were not) .  In re-tracing the steps I said ‘… in Excel we created the full name by combining two fields( first and last) using the ‘concatenate’ command” see below.  The staff person responded  ‘Oh, concatenate, that’s one of my favorite Excel commands’.   Right then I knew that this was probably going to go smoothly. I think I heard some music.  We identified where the missing record was (seemed the last name was in two parts, something like  ‘Ben Adams Franklin’ and they were looking at Adams not Franklin).

This reaction reminded me of the usefulness of the Kolbe test.  Kolbe  would likely indicate that the person who knew and loved the concatenate command was well suited for this data conversion type of task.  We all recognize that everyone has a logical and an emotional aspect in the way they think.  According to Kolbe, the third aspect is the ‘conative’ aspect of the mind. ‘Kolbe Indexes are the only tests that look at conation, evaluating the instinctive talents you were born with – identifying the way you take ACTION.”

I recall a certain highly regarded lawyer state how employee turnover was all but eliminated once the firm started using the Kolbe test for all new hires.  So moral of the story is it probably is time well spent to be careful in assigning the right person to any particular task or job.  Kolbe tests can help.


First Name Last Name
Nancy Davolio
Andrew Fuller
Formula Description (Result)
=A2&” “&B2 Combines the names above, separated by a space (Nancy Davolio)
=B3&”, “&A3 Combines the names above, separated by a comma (Fuller, Andrew)
=CONCATENATE(A2,” “,B2) Combines the names above, separated by a space (Nancy Davolio)