Conative cloning is a phenomenon that we see with many businesses, where they’ve hired people with very similar conative strengths. Typically, a business owner hires somebody like themselves to delegate to. If that works well enough, they continue to hire people like themselves and previous employees. What worked in the past should work in the future, right? Not necessarily.

Cloning manifests itself in different ways.  In a previous blog, we talked about a couple of examples of companies that experienced issues with cloning.

Today, I want to talk about a family business and the issues they ran into. As a family business, they hired family members and friends. As the business grew, they reached their limit on family and friends they could hire.

In discussing what they were looking for in new hires, we discovered that they were outpacing their systems and processes. They were running into inefficiencies, but they didn’t know how to improve those systems and processes.

Through conative assessments, we learned that they had a conative gap – no one had a natural, conative strength to create or improve systems, or the Follow Thru strength. They had cloned other conative strengths, rather than filling this conative gap. They were using “duct tape” fixes: temporary adaptations to postpone the need for permanent solutions.

Their first step was to understand that this was not a current strength in the organization. They identified a couple of people in the organization who had Follow Thru strengths and had a knack for initiating or improving systems and processes. They began with one change at a time to avoid overwhelming employees, but eventually they made important organizational changes.

It all started with knowing what their strengths were and not having unrealistic expectations of the organization.

If you’re considering organizational change in your company, here are a few tips:

  1. Measure the instinctive strengths of the team members involved or the entire company. You can do that by taking the Kolbe A Index.
  2. Have a consultation meeting to interpret and discuss results.
  3. Figure out what strengths you have and leverage those. Move people around, if needed, to better utilize your employees’ instinctive strengths.
  4. Understand and use the results and knowledge of company strengths in future hiring.