Introduction to the Pathfinder Assessment

Faced with opportunities and challenges, Pathfinders do not accept the status quo.
Rather, they innovate and find a new way.
In doing so, they create a path that benefits not only themselves but everyone who follows.

What is a Pathfinder?

Faced with opportunities and challenges, Pathfinders are the explorers, the trailblazers who just pick up the baton and figure out how to get the job done. They have a combination of characteristics that make them more likely to succeed when dealing with the associated ambiguity and risk.

Here are a few examples of how Pathfinders are different from other individuals:

  • Pathfinders have a strong ability to deal with ambiguity. When in situations without precedent, Pathfinders need to be agile and not just deal with ambiguity, but actually find a way to thrive within it.
  • Pathfinders don't need to be told what to do. They can operate without a playbook of any kind. They are self-directed, able to fully engage in tasks/roles largely, or even entirely, motivated by meeting a need. Broadly, Pathfinders see a need and jump in and figure things out as they go.
  • They have a curiosity that allows for creative solutions. This is critical when a lot of latitude is provided to find new solutions, products, or markets.
  • A Pathfinder's hunger is intrinsically rather than extrinsically motivated. They are looking for something far deeper and that has personal meaning for them.

Where Do Pathfinders Fit?

Pathfinders are a great fit for corporations operating in a rapidly changing environment and which, consequently, need to find new ways to succeed including, for example, developing new products and markets.

Self-managed organizations are also good places for Pathfinders to flourish. The autonomy that comes with a hierarchy-free organizational structure also comes with increased responsibility and accountability. Not everyone enjoys or can deal with this but Pathfinders can and do and those who flourish in self-managed organizations are high on the Pathfinder spectrum.

Startups also tend to be full of Pathfinders who hack through the proverbial jungle of early-stage growth, developing the trail (or Playbook) for others to follow as they scale.

Companies that are heavily rules-based and/or have roles that require a Playbook to be followed are not a good fit for Pathfinders. The frustration of being restricted in terms of what and how to do things will result in very low job satisfaction for a Pathfinder.

Understanding where you are on the Pathfinder spectrum will, therefore, be a great start in finding a role that is a good fit for you.

The Pathfinder assessment has been designed to test for the key skills that define a Pathfinder. These are the enduring human qualities that provide the foundations of success of a Pathfinder. While presented as five modules, each with constituent values, they all work together in an interconnected and symbiotic whole.

The Five Pathfinder Modules and their Constituent Values

The five Pathfinder modules and their constituent values
Individual assessment responses are scored for each module/value and use a clear visualization to indicate your score, e.g.:

An example of a scoring dial within the Pathfinder dashboardThe score is normalized between 0 and 100 and displayed from left to right.

The solid dark line indicates the threshold for Pathfinder performance.

A score in the first (reddish) segment indicates the individual has not yet reached the expected Pathfinder level.

A score in the final (green) segment indicates the individual has reached the expected Pathfinder level.

While there is a definite, quantified threshold for Pathfinder performance, the nature of assessments is that there is a trade-off between depth of assessment and accuracy. For this reason, we provide a tolerance for scores around the threshold. This is the central (amber) segment.

Scores above or below the threshold can help identify strengths to leverage and/or opportunities for growth.

Note that each module and value is designed and assessed through the lens of a Pathfinder. So, for example, the value "Positive" refers to the type of positivity a Pathfinder requires. Scoring low on this value does not mean an individual is 'negative', just that their positivity has a different composition, one that is less aligned with what is required of a Pathfinder. See the Pathfinder Modules/Values Explained link in the left hand sidebar for full details.