The name of the company is Mind Garden and its promise is to “grow the health of the human psyche.” That brand promise is personified in founder and president Dr. Robb Most, who exudes psychological health – naturally and sincerely.
“I am grateful to live in such a beautiful place, to know so many fine people, to have a wonderful family, to be healthy, to have a career that not only is of value and meaningful to me and my colleagues but provides benefit and growth to our world, and to enjoy the fun and many benefits of an active yoga practice,” he says, underscoring, in particular, his strong conviction for the “personal balancing” aspects of yoga.
Mind Garden publishes psychological assessments and instruments. Customers are in the helping professions – psychological researchers, psychology students, and consultants – working in areas like leadership development and family therapy. “Since our own goal is growing psychological health, all the people I work with feel a real sense of meaningfulness in their tasks, which is fulfilling,” Most says.
Most explains that when people hear “psychological assessment,” they typically assume clinical assessment but Mind Garden offers other kinds of assessment like coping, transformational leadership, flow, anxiety, etc. “A good assessment gets at the core of the concept and predicts behaviors of people,” he says. “Good instruments take many years and a lot of research to be of value.”
Mind Garden is fairly unique in providing “multi-rater” assessment where you can rate yourself and have others rate you on the same concepts – feedback which Most says is quite powerful. The company’s new Web assessment system allows a person not only to rate themselves across many instruments – or the same instrument over time – but also to get feedback from others.
Most grew up attending Menlo Park schools – Los Lomitas and Hillview – and now both lives and works in Menlo.
“I got my doctorate in psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit so I learned to appreciate the physical beauty and the ease of living here,” he says about his decision to return to the Bay Area after graduate school. He worked for 10 years as VP of Research and Development at Consulting Psychologists Press (now CPP) in Palo Alto before starting Mind Garden in 1994 and eventually opening offices in downtown Menlo.
“I love working in Menlo Park,” he says. “It has a small town feel, and when I walk around downtown, which I do a fair amount, I usually run into people I know and stop and chat. Menlo is a great town because buildings are not tall so there is a real feeling of the sky and because it has that small town intimacy.”
Photo by Chris Gulker