Case Study


    Leadership Development

    Polaris leaders discuss the contributions that the Carlson School's Executive Education courses made to the Polaris Leadership Development Program.


At a time of tremendous growth, Polaris becomes an Executive Education member for round-the-clock access to professional development opportunities and expert advice.

Polaris Industries, Inc. designs, engineers, and manufactures off-road and on-road vehicles sold in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Within the past five years, the company doubled its workforce to 6,000 employees. To capitalize on the phenomenal expansion, Polaris CEO Scott Wine contacted the Carlson School to help the company manage the growth and cultivate strong leaders.

To get the most highly customized advice and in-depth learning experiences from expert Carlson School faculty, Polaris leaders joined the Carlson Executive Education membership program. Membership granted Polaris employees access to focused, short courses, Polaris-specific courses, and Carlson School faculty’s advisory services. Additionally, Polaris HR conducts talent reviews to pinpoint employee skill gaps, and Executive Education advisors now recommend short courses to fill those gaps.

Working alongside trusted Carlson School faculty, Polaris agreed two distinct programs would be necessary to address the needs of both managers and directors. In 2011, the company launched the Polaris Leadership Development Program 2 (PLDP2), a 5-day program that includes exploration of global mindset, strategy, and operations.

The following year, Polaris Leadership Development 1 (PLDP1) began. This personalized learning plan incorporated strategy, communication coaching, and the global mindset to best develop the company’s mid-level managers.

Both programs lead participants through a series of classes and culminate in an executive-sponsored capstone project. We provide training to prep the Polaris team to address the strategic projects.

As an ongoing Carlson Executive Education member, Polaris recently initiated a project to incorporate Carlson School faculty’s expertise to design a branding framework