Break the Performance Barrier

Breakthroughs in human performance are rare. Yet a new type of evaluation can help you boost employee productivity to new levels.


Originally published in Business 2 Business Magazine, West Michigan Editions, March 1996.

Rarely do we see a real breakthroughs. However, on May 6, 1954, an English runner, Roger Banister, made a significant breakthrough- the first man to break the 4 minute mile barrier.

Breaking that barrier had been a goal for runners for centuries. Back in Greece, coaches tried some pretty strange tactics to speed up their runners. One was to release wild animals to chase the runners, forcing them to run faster or be attacked. Another was to feed them real tiger’s milk. None of these tactics worked, so experts decided that man’s body was simply not designed to run that fast. But on that day in May, Roger Bannister proved the doctors, trainers, and experts wrong. Interestingly enough, 37 runners broke the four minute mile in the following year. And in 1956, 300 runners accomplished the same feat. It took just one man to do it, and the rest believed.

Kathy Kolbe, CEO of Kolbe Corp. in Phoenix, Arizona has also achieved a breakthrough in the field of human performance. Kolbe has originated and developed a system which she calls Performance Forecasting. At the heart of Performance Forecasting is the Kolbe Conative Index, a proven and reliable tool to assess what people will do, what they won’t do and what they are willing to do.

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