Diagnostic Services

Competency Modeling

If you want to succeed, you have to define success. Competency modeling defines what success is for leadership and management in your organization. OSI can customize a competency model to identify and validate the knowledge and skill required for exceptional performance in target roles. This is accomplished through interviews, focus groups, research, and surveys. The competency model provides a foundation for position descriptions; valid, legally defensible hiring/selection criteria; succession and career planning; and formal training and development criteria.

OSI’s universal competency model, Polaris®, is based on over three decades of competency research in over 100 client organizations. Polaris® can be used as a foundation for an organization’s custom model.

Competency Modeling

Assessment Centers

An assessment center is not a physical place; it’s a process by which individuals perform work-related activities while being observed by third party trained assessors. Assessment centers are designed with exercises and simulations that recreate aspects of the work environment. Participants then go through the exercises while being observed by trained assessors. Behaviors are then recorded and rated against pre-determined competencies. Assessment centers provide both participants and organizations with objective information regarding the individual’s capabilities and potential for developing competence necessary to perform successfully in a given role.

Assessment centers are run between three and five days and closely replicate real-life behavior. They are held in groups of six or twelve participants and are a very cost-efficient method of assessment and/or development. The centers are objective and consistent, relevant and job-related, precise and in-depth, valid and highly reliable fair opportunities to demonstrate skills and promote diversity.

OSI Assessment Centers

Competency-Based Interviewing

The hiring or promotion of an employee is one of the most important decisions that any organization can make as it impacts the organization far into the future. Research shows that competency-based behavioral episode interviewing is the best method for selecting/promoting employees. This technique involves using valid competency criterion to ask the candidate to provide behavioral episode stories of past performance and have multiple trained interviewers to assess each candidate against competencies relevant to the target role.

OSI has developed an interviewing program called Star Select. This program is based on the Polaris® Competency Model and contains an interviewing guide, competency-based interview questions, and an interview training program that can also be used as a train the trainer workshop.

OSI Competency-Based Interviewing

Team Effectiveness Surveys

OSI provides an assessment of a team’s strengths and weaknesses based on a model of the ideal team. OSI provides an off-the-shelf team diagnostic survey, TEAMx, which is based on research on high performing teams. OSI can also customize a team effectiveness evaluation to meet an organization’s specific need.

OSI Team Effectiveness Surveys

360° (Multi-Rater) Surveys

A 360° survey provides managers with a comprehensive analysis of their strengths and weaknesses via a simple, anonymous process. Typical 360° surveys solicit behavior-based feedback from those who are most often in contact with the participants: their supervisor(s), peers, and direct reports. Feedback from multiple sources is a powerful tool for personal and professional development because it offers employees the rare opportunity to compare how they and others view their performance.

Upon survey completion, participants and their coaches receive detailed, individualized reports that include ratings and written comments. This information is then used to develop individualized action plans for development.

OSI has a proprietary 360° software system and has processed thousands of 360° surveys over the last two decades. OSI routinely customizes 360° surveys to reflect organization-specific requirements. OSI also offers an off-the-shelf 360° survey based on the Polaris® Competency Model.

360° (Multi-Rater) Surveys

Strategic Planning Sessions

The most successful organizations are clear about their mission, and the strategy they will employ to accomplish that mission. OSI has developed a process to assist an organization’s strategic leadership team to engage these very important issues. As a result, the organization develops a clear focus and a plan to reach strategic objectives. This process includes mission and values clarification and validation, issues in the corporate environment (customers & competition), organizational strengths and weaknesses, and strategic issues and actions.

OSI Strategic Planning Sessions

Individual Candidate Assessments

OSI follows the best practice of combining validated personality and other testing with performance-based simulations and behavioral episode interviewing, conducted by highly qualified industrial psychologists to provide the best diagnosis and readiness assessment for both development and succession management.

OSI partners with the world’s largest online test vendor, PAN Testing, to provide a wide range of online measurements to evaluate leadership effectiveness and potential.

Because of OSI’s 30+ years of experience with assessment centers, OSI has developed dozens of individual simulations (in-basket exercises, role plays, business cases) assessing a wide range of leadership competencies.

OSI believes in customizing assessments to fit individual needs and can combine testing, interviewing, and simulations to provide the most reliable and valid assessments.

OSI Individual Candidate Assessments


I worked directly for Bruce in the early 1990′s at OSI and have continued to leverage his knowledge, expertise, and counsel to this day. Bruce combines his deep expertise in OD with a broad-based business sense that makes him extremely effective at what he does. He can help an executive team develop high level strategy, and is grounded enough to help the same executives develop the operating mechanisms to turn the strategy into results.
Mark Alders

We’ve worked with Bruce Griffiths and OSI over the last 7 years and they’ve provided us a customized, comprehensive Competency Profile, 360 degree Feedback Survey, Competency Development Guide, and Competency-based Interviewing Questions. These tools have really helped State Auto integrate our competencies into our culture, and we use them for development, selection, coaching, succession planning and when creating job descriptions. They’ve been excellent partners!
Cathy Ellwood
STATE AUTO INSURANCE COMPANIES, Officer Org Devel & Talent Acquisition

The Polaris competency model provides for a systematic approach to managing your human capital. From recruiting, to on-boarding, to performance appraisal, to developing your people, it is an easy to use method that will positively impact the culture of your organization and allow optimization of all talent management systems.
Carl Crown
COUNTY OF ORANGE, CA, Former Director of Human Resources

I found the Polaris Competency Model by OSI to be very effective in support of hiring, training and leadership development. Best of all, it is simple to use and I haven’t found a better product that is also backed by great service.

Jeff Holmgren
TSA, Federal Security Director

OSI Organization Systems International

Providing talent solutions in leadership and management.

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  • Organization Systems International
  • 227 N El Camino Real, Suite 205
  • Encinitas, CA 92024
  • Phone: 1.858.455.0923
  • Fax: 1.858.455.6161