Since 2010, EPSE scientists and engineers have begun their EPSE journey with a survey-guided leadership development experience driven by OSI’s Polaris® Competency Model 3600 survey. Each EPSE participant is rated by supervisors, peers, and direct reports on a set of 41 leadership and management competencies that were derived from over 30 years of research into high performers in some of the world’s best companies including The Walt Disney Company, Nike Inc., SIEMENS, Wendy’s, and many others. Therefore, the Polaris® Competency Model provides an implicit curriculum for any leadership and management development program and so, to satisfy a lingering curiosity, we matched the Polaris® competency template against the EPSE curriculum and were pleased to see a dramatic overlap (see Figure 1).
While some of the title wording varied, the underlying constructs represented in the EPSE program and corresponding Polaris® competencies were remarkably similar and since the Polaris® competencies have been validated, this provided a ready content validation of the EPSE syllabus. Perhaps the greatest difference was in the Polaris® cluster of Personal competence, which includes core intrinsic qualities of Composure, Drive/Energy, High Standards, Initiative, Integrity and Results Orientation. This was not unexpected, as these competencies are typically on a short list for hiring criteria, because they represent personal qualities that are more difficult to train and are usually screened for in selecting talent. Those in the learning and development profession like to note that, “Development without diagnosis is like planting cut flowers,” so it’s very reassuring to know that the up-front EPSE 360 diagnosis provides an almost exact match (and hopefully a personal motivation) for the development that follows in the EPSE curriculum.