Making the BSA more Effective, Efficient, and Empowered

The Polaris Method

Making the BSA more Effective, Efficient, and Empowered

Stakeholder is the person(s) along the line, and sometimes at end of the line, the one who wants, needs, or uses our products and services as a member of the team that serves the customer: our youth members.


Value is determined from the points of view of the stakeholder and the customer; any activity that adds value is one that potentially transforms BSA service in a way that allows the stakeholder to benefit the customer.


Efficiency may be the single most important term in understanding the Polaris Method, since it involves eliminating waste or streamlining any activity or any part of the process that could detract from the stakeholder’s perceived value or appreciation of how they are being supported.


Empowerment is the end result of combining value and efficiency, in such a way that the stakeholder has increased capacity and capability to fully utilize our resources and take full advantage of them.

The Polaris Method Elevator Pitch:

The Polaris Method is a way of thinking and operating designed for efficiency, effectiveness, and empowerment. The Polaris Method is rooted in Change Management and Lean Management blended together with a Scouting twist for the BSA. 

What is The Polaris Method?

Over the years, we have added several new processes for staff and responsibilities for volunteers. Today, all these layers feel burdensome and people are prioritizing their time, ignoring some parts and under-supporting others. Years of having layer upon layer placed upon a person’s responsibilities breeds a negative atmosphere.

The Polaris Method aims to train Local Councils and National Office Departments to be more efficient though Lean Management methodologies. Polaris Method has a sister approach called Breakthrough Projects which aims to delayer complex BSA-wide systems like Roundtables and the number of responsibilities placed on a District Executive. Both of these projects aim to implement the Streamline & Simplify portion of the BSA’s Game Plan. Polaris Method Training is designed with Change Management principles at the forefront (Phase 1), and Lean Management principles on the backend (Phase 2).

Successfully implemented, Polaris Method results will yield:

  • high employee trust, engagement, and satisfaction at the workplace
  • employee mindset of proactively seeking positive and gainful improvements in all areas of work and customer service by modifying current standard operating procedures
  • a streamlined approach to project implementations with consistent clarity, alignment, and collaboration
  • ability to align the entire team to focus on bottom line goals and being okay letting go of non-high priority items, projects, properties, events, etc.
  • new language and terminology that will make issues feel more solvable and less daunting

Why "The Polaris Method" name?

Scouts and Scouters have long navigated by Polaris, “Pole Star,” also known as the “North Star.” When Scouts hike, they use the North Star to guide them in their journey. The aim for The Polaris Method to be the go-to methodology when a BSA employe or team is not sure what to do or wants to do something better. We ultimately aim for this to be the operating mindset of BSA at all levels, hence the name Polaris.

What's Next?

Until the end of 2018 we will be focusing specifically on the Western Region. We plan to have a launch event in early 2019. Want your council to be an early adopter? Email us requesting to be on the email invite list.

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