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In this edition of The Navigator we address the opportunities and challenges of formal development during our persistent pandemic. To help reflect on best practice, and compose this article, we've enlisted the aid of coach, colleague and friend, Laurel Marshall. We'd also like to thank our long time strategic partner, and comrade, Bob Power for his review and suggestions.

As we noted in a previous Navigator, the pandemic has provided a living global leadership laboratory that has provided stark contrasts in leadership competence. For example, both the New York Times and Forbes have noted that the most successful national leaders in terms of mitigating and controlling the pandemic have been women! OSI will be part of this international conversation at SIETAR's conference in October. Stay tuned for more information.

Please stay safe and be well as we all weather this storm.
We noticed that for many of us this time quarantined at home has provided found time to devote to personal growth. But COVID-19, recession, and social unrest have certainly presented a host of challenges to clear thinking and thoughtful plans. To help reflect on best practice, and compose this article we've enlisted the aid of coach, colleague, and friend, Laurel Marshall. We would also like to thank our Canadian comrade and strategic partner, Bob Power, for his read and review. Our complete article is included as an attachment but here are the elements we agreed were absolutely essential to any good professional development plan.

Pull those great ideas out of your head and write them down. Science suggests we encode goals in our brain, create clarity, and are more likely to achieve success, when we write down our developmental focus, actions steps and other key elements. Winging it won't work.
Objective feedback using an ideal state as a template is needed to reliably identify a developmental need.
Chose only one or two specific areas to work on at a time. Focus and attention enables progress and behavior change.

It's a good idea to visualize perfect execution, i.e., create and rehearse a mental rendition of your new competence, what it looks and feels like. Create your preferred vision of successful performance.

Goals, milestones, checkups along the way are absolutely necessary. They are touchstones to measure progress and alert your key supporters when it's time for feedback.
"What's in it for me?" (WIIFM) and "how will I feel" when I achieve the goal is super important. You need persistent motivation to sustain development over time.    
It does take a village to grow. Having mentors, coaches, supporters on your team is important - for feedback, emotional support, and accountability. Enlist a Community of Champions; surround yourself with a team of accountability partners. 

To truly grow you need to take focused action, i.e., schedule formal learning (workshops/books/webinars/etc.), schedule on-the-job experiences (projects, skill practices, etc.), solicit feedback and coaching (mentors, coaches, colleagues, and friends).
It is important to stay positive and focus on building a new set of skills and habits, but the change literature suggests that identifying possible challenges in making the needed change can help in preparing to overcome them, and manage expectations along the way. A growth mindset, focusing on ideas & solutions to overcoming obstacles is key!
Win every day! Recognize and acknowledge yourself for achieving small inspired actions toward achieving your desired state.

In sum, if you are truly serious about personal growth then you must be serious about planning to improve. This means putting in place a formal plan with accountability.  

        © 2020 Organization Systems International and BeInspired Coaching & Consulting

For more information about Polaris® please contact OSI at 858.455.0923 or email Crystal Matsuura at

If you have comments or experiences, please share with OSI! 
Below, please click on the link to see the full article!
New Polaris® Development Package:
In both work and academic contexts individuals often receive explicit or implicit competency evaluations in any number of ways including  performance evaluations, testing, multi-rater surveys (360's), assessment centers, selection/promotion screening and interviews, candid informal feedback from a trusted co-worker, or even indirectly from a work event (" I really needed to be better at managing conflict with THAT customer!").  Of course a diagnosis is only half the calculation in actually leveraging good feedback.  To truly take maximum advantage of that feedback disciplined ACTION is needed.  Indeed, in health care if a diagnosis is not followed by a prescription then malpractice might be inferred.
In 40 years of helping individuals diagnose and improve their skillsets OSI has assembled a set of best practice processes and documents to help up the probability of actual improvement. 
These helpful aids have been packaged and are now available for purchase and/or license.  
OSI Development Document
The Power of a Development Plan
PDF describing how important a structured development plan can be along with a listing of the elements of a best practice plan.
Polaris® Development Plan (with sample plan)
A "fill in the blank" best practice development plan that includes all the necessary elements of a structured plan. A complete, sample plan is included to illustrate all plan elements.
Polaris®Competency Vision Statements
Compelling narratives of a preferred positive future in a subset of the competencies most frequently in need of development.
Building a Development Plan PPT
Power Point deck to introduce concepts necessary to thinking about, drafting, and successfully executing a development plan. TTT notes included.
OSI Monograph Library
A set of several dozen articles written to help investigate, and remedy shortfalls in key competency areas; e.g.  articles on Communicativeness, Strategic Thinking, Visioning, Problem Solving, Creativity, etc. 

New Virtual Polaris® Certification Workshops:
We are now offering the Polaris® Certification Workshops via webinar (Zoom) for individual coaches and/or HR professionals interested in the OSI Polaris® Competency Model and its supporting applications, especially the 360° developmental assessment. For more information, please contact Crystal Matsuura at or 1-858-455-0923.

Book Links:
Co-authored by our very own president/senior consultant, Bruce Griffiths, and our business partner, Enrique Washington. Competencies at Work is a thorough, yet digestible look at contemporary competency modeling. It will equip readers to understand, build, and implement competency models as a foundational and integrating element in talent management systems. Readers will understand how competency models have evolved to be the current best-practice in defining criteria for all talent management applications such as selection interviews, promotion panels, assessment centers, job descriptions, and learning objectives. The book also provides specific guidance in the steps needed to establish a sustainable model, with research results on universal competencies contained in most contemporary models.

Competencies at Work is available now through Business Expert Press or Amazon.

Co-authored by our very own president/senior consultant, Bruce Griffiths, and our business partner, Nina Jones Morel. Redefining Competency Based Education provides an expanded definition of career competence, based on actual employer hiring and promotion requirements, which enhances university curricula to better prepare students for work and life. Readers will learn how private sector competency models have evolved to define criteria for hiring, promoting, and training talent. 

Redefining Competency Based Education is available now through Business Expert Press or Amazon.
At Organization Systems International, we are celebrating our 40th year of quality, service, and innovation. We deliver client success with a high-performance approach designed to enhance occupational relationships, improve operational efficiency, and sustain customer relationships.


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