1. Automobiles, Blind Spots, and Organizational Strategy

    December 8, 2017 by ahmed

    rear-view-mirror

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Harry Hertz

    Fall 2017
    How does an organization identify its potential blind spots? This is one of the most common questions I hear from people conducting strategic planning processes.

    To begin answering the question, I have a simple analogy that can be used as a springboard to organizational strategy. That is, today’s cars are equipped with three rearview mirrors and often a backup camera. The mirrors and camera let you visualize what is behind you, a place you have already been. They identify “competitors” from within your clear line of sight, but they do not tell you much about them. They are your “in-industry” competitors. Some cars have an embedded blind spot mirror in the outside mirrors. The blind spot mirrors allow a view of those close to you, potentially ready to overtake you. This is an important piece of trend data that puts you on the alert and identifies competitors from within your industry who might be ready to speed ahead and overtake your leadership position. However, what you really want to know is what lies ahead!You can look out your front windshield and see the road immediately ahead or use GPS to see the road a few miles or even hours ahead (the short-term horizon). This is all helpful information, but you really want to be able to look a year or two ahead and know what road you should be on and what the traffic (competition) will look like. Will you be on the same old roads or a new road (new products and services)? As a driver today, you want to know if you will be driving a car or using another mode of transportation entirely (deriving from new industry competitors or new travel modes within your industry). Will your competition be driverless cars or a hyperloop? Can you predict those new competitors today and plan accordingly? Can you even identify those non-industry competitors? These are the real blind spots you want to know as part of strategic planning, not the extrapolated data from a “rearview mirror.”At each stage of this blind spot analogy, you were broadening your view, eventually redefining your industry from personally driven automobiles to people moving. This could lead your organization to a major shift in “product line” and services, if you want to sustain the organization and its competitive position.

    The 2017-2018 Baldrige Excellence Framework describes blind spots as arising from incorrect, incomplete, obsolete, or biased assumptions or conclusions that cause gaps, vulnerabilities, risks, or weaknesses in your understanding of the competitive environment and strategic challenges your organization faces. Blind spots may arise from new or replacement offerings or business models coming from inside or outside your industry (as you currently define it). To conclude the analogy, competition could come from driverless cars or driverless car services that take you from chosen point to point (a new business model) or from outside your industry (significant changes in mass transport or hyperloops, for example).

    Where do we find the wisdom to recognize that our industry is people moving, not automobile manufacturing? How do we find what Donald Rumsfeld, the former Secretary of Defense, called the “unknown unknowns”? Kodak invented the digital camera but believed it was in the film industry/printing business, not the business to create memories that could best be shared online, digitally. It even realized that a “Kodak moment” was worth sharing but did not see far enough ahead to predict the business model for future sharing.

    In the remainder of this column, I will explore common traps that lead to blind spots, then explore some don’t do’s, and finally, how to look for blind spots.

    Blind Spot Traps
    I have identified seven common traps that lead to blind spots. Many of the traps arise from the work of Professor Bettina Büchel at IMD.

    1. Seeing what we expect to see: This is the theory of incongruence. We don’t see what is incongruent with our current beliefs and frame of reference. I remember seeing a video in which we were asked to count the number of times a basketball was passed; none of us noticed that a gorilla was walking among the players because we were so focused on basketball. We pay selective attention to our area of focus.
    2. Misjudging industry boundaries: We narrowly define our industry based on our current products or services and how they are used today.
    3. Failing to identify emerging competition: We don’t see emerging competition because they do not do things exactly as we do. They are tackling a different problem from our “blinders-on” perspective.
    4. Falling out of touch with customers: We think we know what our customers need and want. We have been serving them for many years and believe in their loyalty. We do not seek their input on changing needs or unmet desires.
    5. Overemphasizing competitors’ visible competence: We focus on our competitors’ current offerings and assume they will continue unchanged. We do not think about the research and development they may be doing on a disruptive product, service, or business model.
    6. Allowing organizational taboos or prohibitions to limit our thoughts: Our practices or policies can limit our thinking. We fail to question practices and policies that may be outdated or incongruent with current technology or regulation.
    7. Relying on history: This is the way we have always done things. We let our historical patterns guide our future.

    In essence, we fall into rigidity traps, rather than questioning the status quo.

    Blind Spot “Don’t Do’s”
    Before discussing what you should do to identify blind spots, let’s look at some “don’t do’s” that organizations engage in.

    1. Don’t be a slave to strategy: In a world where technology, business models, economics, and global political environments are in a constant state of evolution, organizations need to be agile. Slavishly adhering to a strategy created several years ago can take an organization down a path toward obsolescence. An organization can devote years to an outdated strategy, achieve it, and fail as an organization. And if the organization does not fail, achieving an outdated strategy could lead to the conclusion that developing strategy is useless. Today, strategic plans need to be regularly reviewed and modified as conditions and opportunities warrant. The approach should be toward strategic thinking, not strategic planning as a periodic event.
    2. Don’t focus on fear: While a healthy respect for all sources of competition is important, fear should be turned into opportunity. Fear can stifle breakthrough thinking. Confront organizational challenges and seek to capitalize on them through disruptive ideas and new solutions, not extensions of old ideas. Explore new capabilities needed to pursue opportunities. As suggested by Clark in an HBR blog, war-game your potential failures. Perform a pre-mortem. Assume the idea will fail and look for options to avoid the failure.
    3. Don’t trust: Don’t rely on sources that we tend to give undue weight. Don’t trust the wisdom of the crowd. Group-think can lead to consensing on a safe path, rather than expressing bold ideas. Brainstorm with all opinions valued. Don’t trust instincts, seek data and careful analysis of implications. Perceptions can be clouded by personal biases. Don’t trust minimizers. It is easy to deny problems and assume things will get better. It is also easy to assume things are better than they appear. Don’t trust individual experts. Experts can get it wrong and different experts have different opinions and ideas. Seek the thoughts of multiple experts.

    Blind Spot Identification
    Finally, let’s explore the processes you should use to seek and identify potential blind spots.

    1. Explore upcoming technologies: Are any emerging technologies capable of being exploited for your next generation products or services? Are there emerging technologies that could create new industries that challenge yours? Are there new technologies that could generate add-ons to your existing offerings? If yes, would it be an intelligent risk for you to invest early and capitalize on your brand recognition to be a first entrant.
    2. Assess global trends: Investigate global changes in demographics, political environments, regulation, production and purchasing capabilities, and markets. Are there any major shifts likely that could impact your marketplace positively or negatively?
    3. Get out of your comfort zone: Break tradition. Shake up the norm. Try to identify and test your implicit assumptions. Take your leadership team to totally different surroundings. Get you news from a different source that has a different focus than your normal channel. Talk to people that you wouldn’t normally interact with. For example, if you are a physicist, talk to an economist or social scientist or industrial engineer. Ask probing questions. Try to talk to someone new on a regular basis.
    4. Seek employee input broadly: Discuss potential game-changing ideas with employees at all levels of the organization. Solicit and listen to their reactions. Solicit other ideas from them. Bring people together from different parts of the organization and different job functions to brainstorm together and to share what they are hearing or reading outside the confines of their workplace.
    5. Talk to your customers: Ask your customers about their unmet needs and desires. Talk to your customers’ customers to gain additional insight. Observe your customers in action to understand their behaviors and frustrations. Look for creative solutions.
    6. Broaden your field of view: Don’t assume companies or organizations will remain in current industry boundaries. Look at adjacent industries and benchmark what they are doing. Ask yourself what business are you really in (e.g. automobile manufacturing or people moving)? What is the ultimate goal or impact of your product or service for the user? Given global and technology trends is there a new business model you should pursue?

    Final Thoughts
    To find blind spots you need to look broadly and not be constrained by current biases and boundaries. You need to trust instincts less because they harbor your current biases. You need to seek new and different sources of information and synthesize what you learn. Verify your conclusions. Plan a specific course of action. Continue monitoring trends and your progress. Stay agile. Look not just straight ahead, but around corners.


  2. The Quality Management Forum

    December 3, 2017 by ahmed
    The Quality Management Forum is the quarterly refereed publication of the Quality Management Division of the American Society for Quality (ASQ). The Forum includes articles on quality management as well as information on QMD activities such as the annual conference and the certified quality manager program.

    qmf2017

    In this issue:

    • Using the Baldrige Criteria amd Self-assessment as Strategic Drivers, by Dr Denis Leonard
    • Chair’s Message, by Jan Tucker
    • Editor’s Note, by Sandy L. Furterer
    • New Technological Platform for Organizational Exceelence, by Dawn Ringrose
    • Further Development of the ASQ QMS Model for Healthcare, by Zachary J. Brennan
    • Kutralwe Prescholl’s Journey of Excellence: A Case Study, by Dr Jorge Roman
    • Book Review: The Probability Handbook and The Probability Workbook
    • Quality Management Journal Preview
    • Coach’s Corner, by J.R. McGee

    Click here to download the Quality Management Forum

    Join the Linkedin group of the Organizational Excellence Technical Committee (OETC) – ASQ Quality Management Division (QMD) and get the latest update on Business Excellence from around the world.

     


  3. BPIR Newsletter: November 2017

    November 25, 2017 by ahmed
     
     

    Hi,

    Welcome to November’s edition of the BPIR Newsletter. sharing with you best practices, improvement tools, and events.

    Best Practice Events

    BPIR News

    • Baldrige Award Winners 2017….read more
    • Best Practice Report – Smart Services….read more
    • Singapore Quality Award Winners 2017….read more
    • South African Quality Institutes latest news….read more
    • EFQM Excellence Award winners 2017 and 14 new success stories….read more
    • Best Practice Report – Design Thinking 2….read more
    • Boosting knowledge sharing between government entities….read more
    • Al Jazeera International Catering wins Arabia CSR Award 2017….read more
    • Baldrige Principles Bring Organizational Change, Learning to National Guard….read more

    Smart Services Best Practice Report

    This report outlines the best practices research undertaken by BPIR.com in the area of Smart Services. The best practices have been compiled under seven main headings. This new layout is designed to enable you to scan subjects that are of interest to you and your organisation, quickly assess their importance, and download relevant information for further study or to share with your colleagues.

    In this report:

    • What are "smart services"?
    • Which organisations have received recognition for excellence in smart services?
    • How have organisations reached high levels of success in smart services?
    • What research has been undertaken into smart services?
    • What tools and methods are used to achieve high levels of success in smart services?
    • How are smart services measured?
    • What do business leaders say about smart services?

    Spotlight on Self-Assessments

    Have you tried to find a self-assessment tools lately? We have over 85 to assess all aspects of your organisation from how your organisation develops its strategy to how it serves its customers. Here are three typical examples:

    Environmental Report/Statement Evaluation Checklist: This Checklist will help you to assess whether your environmental report meets the reporting requirements of Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) or ISO 4001.

    Strategic Planning: This self-assessment aims to assess the strengths and weaknesses of an organization’s strategic planning process. It helps to examine how effective communication is between employees and decision-makers; whether the company’s reporting relationships match the strategy; rewards are tied to desired results; and strategy is evaluated after it’s implemented.

    Marketing Excellence: This self-assessment questionnaire measures the marketing readiness of your organisation; it will identify gaps in your marketing preparedness and quickly establish if you have the data and tools that will positively contribute to your organisations marketing endeavours. The questionnaire does not score your organisations performance; it simply measures the marketing intelligence of the organisation. The questionnaire is designed to address three fundamental areas of intelligent marketing, Basic Research, Planning, and Measurement.

    Join now to get access to a library of self assessments and many more features.

      

      

    BPIR Tip of the MonthBest Practice Case Studies

    Direct access to over 4700 case studies from high-performing organisations across the world – more than 30 different countries represented.

    Why risk precious time and resources when using a tool or technique for the first time? Leverage the experience of other organisations that have spent time and resources perfecting their practices and technique highly effective. Find out who should lead and manage a tool’s implementation, how to train others to use it, where to use it first, and how best to obtain buy-in. Experts agree that benchmarking other organisations’ successful practices is the fastest way to deliver significant performance improvements.

    Click here to see a video clip on how to do it.

    .

    Performance Appraisal at an award winning Charter school

    Senior Leadership (SL) Performance Appraisal at the Charter School of San Diego (CSSD), a US Charter School and winner of the 2015 Baldrige National Quality Award, was a three level process. Every other year, the BOD members underwent individual evaluations, facilitated by the President of the Board. The process included a self evaluation form and approval by the board as a whole. The BOD evaluated the CEO. The Chief Business Officer and the Director of Instruction and Innovation were evaluated by the CEO through scorecard results that directly tied to SI achievement. Performance evaluations did not determine executive compensation, which was determined through the Salary Compensation Council and approved by the BOD. Benchmark data, cost of living differentials and levels of responsibility were key determinations for executive compensation. All evaluations served as inputs into the Strategic Planning Process.

    Remember to
    Regularly check out the bpir.com for benchmarks, best practices and business excellence. We know you will find valuable knowledge and we always welcome your feedback, so if you have time, please email any comments about our services to feedback@bpir.com.
    If you are currently not a member of the BPIR, or wish to upgrade your membership then please review our membership offerings at JOIN NOW. you won’t be disappointed.

    "To know the road ahead, ask those coming back" – Chinese Proverb Note: this newsletter has been sent to you because you have subscribed to it or to the BPIR.com or one of its partner resources or we believe you wish to be on the list for other reasons. Should you wish to unsubscribe please click here or email contacts@bpir.com.

     
     

  4. Baldrige Award Winners 2017

    November 17, 2017 by ahmed

    Baldrige_Winners_2017

    Originally posted on Commerce.gov

    U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross named two small businesses, one city government, and two health care organizations as the 2017 recipients of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Baldrige Award is a Presidential-level honor, recognizing exemplary practices among American organizations and businesses including an unceasing drive for radical innovation, thoughtful leadership, and administrative improvement. This year’s awardees are proven success stories, providing a rubric for other businesses across the country to follow.

    “This program is about much more than recognizing successful organizations or winning a single award,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The organizations which are given the Baldrige Award embody the competitive spirit which drives the American economy forward.”

    The 2017 honorees are located in five different states, including the first Baldrige Award winner from Hawaii, a repeat winner from Alaska, and the first utility company to win the award.

    The 2017 Baldrige Award recipients-listed with their category-are:

    • Bristol Tennessee Essential Services, Bristol, TN, small business sector
    • Stellar Solutions, Palo Alto, CA, small business sector
    • City of Fort Collins, Fort Collins, CO, nonprofit sector
    • Castle Medical Center, Kailua, HI, health care sector
    • Southcentral Foundation, Anchorage, AK, health care sector

    “When companies implement the ground-tested Baldrige approach, they create organizations that employees and customers love, that continually improve, and that produce innovative and outstanding results,” continued Secretary Ross.

    The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) manages the Baldrige Award in cooperation with the private sector. An independent board of examiners recommended this year’s Baldrige Award recipients from a field of 24 applicants after evaluating them in seven areas defined by the Baldrige Excellence Framework: leadership; strategy; customers; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce; operations; and results. An organization may compete for the award in one of six categories: manufacturing, service, small business, health care, education and nonprofit (including government agencies).

    “This year’s honorees demonstrate clearly that organizations of all kinds can achieve sustainable high performance,” said Robert Fangmeyer, director of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. “The missions for these organizations are dramatically different, but they share a laser focus on doing the right things for their customers, employees and communities using the Baldrige framework. The payoff is great operational and business results.”

    To date, nearly 1,700 U.S. organizations have applied for the Baldrige Award, and there are more than 30 independent Baldrige-based state and regional award programs covering nearly all 50 states. Internationally, there are nearly 80 programs based in whole, or in part, on the Baldrige Program. In addition, many organizations use the Baldrige framework as a leadership and management guide to drive improvement and innovation strategies without applying for any of these awards.

    Over the years, millions of copies of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, the core of the Baldrige framework, have been distributed or downloaded. This widespread acceptance and use both nationally and globally has dramatically impacted all types of organizations.

    For example, below are achievements by the 2017 Baldrige Award winners.

    • The City of Fort Collins’ has a “Aaa” credit rating and ranks in the top 10 percent of cities nationally as a place to live and work, and for quality of culture and recreation, job opportunities, air quality and attractiveness. It ranks in the top 1 percent for drinking water quality and emergency preparedness.
    • Bristol Tennessee Essential Services is an electricity and fiber services utility company that serves 33,000 customers with only 68 employees. It offers the fastest internet available in the United States at 10 Gigabits per second, has implemented efficiencies that saved its customers approximately $70 million over the last 40 years, and has customer satisfaction levels approaching 100 percent on many products and performance measures.
    • Stellar Solutions is a woman-owned small business specializing in technical expertise and management of aerospace programs with a vision of helping every employee achieve their dream job. Stellar’s revenue has grown from a rate of 1.18 percent in 2013 to 6.81 percent in 2016, and from 2013 to 2016, 100 percent of customers say they would recommend the company to others. In addition to its core services, the company operates a humanitarian R&D program called QuakeFinder focused on the goal of developing technology and methods to forecast earthquakes worldwide.
    • Southcentral Foundation won its first Baldrige Award in 2011. It is a nonprofit, health care organization owned, managed, and driven by Alaskan Native “customers-owners” who live within a 107,000-square-mile area, including 55 villages reachable only by plane. Its unique health care delivery system combining mind, body and cultural measures of wellness produces 90th-percentile rankings for screenings such as diabetes, cardiovascular health and cervical cancer, as well as numerous other health care outcomes and quality measures.
    • Castle Medical Center is a 160-bed acute care facility and community hospital system on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu. Between 2014 and 2016, it improved performance by 12 percent on composite measures of safety, evidence-based care and mortality related to its clinical care processes. The health care organization ranks in the top 10 percent for disease prevention and treatment programs.

    The Baldrige judges also may recognize applicants’ best practices in one or more of the Baldrige Criteria categories by organizations that are candidates for the award but are not selected as winners.

    This year, the judges have chosen four organizations for this honor (listed with the categories for which they are acknowledged):

    • Donor Alliance, Denver, CO, Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management (category 4) and Operations (category 6)
    • Howard Community College, Columbia, MD, Customers (category 3) and Operations (category 6)
    • Methodist Healthcare System of San Antonio, TX, Leadership (category 1) and Strategy (category 2)
    • Tri County Tech, Bartlesville, OK, Leadership (category 1) and Workforce (category 5)

    The 2017 Baldrige Awards will be presented at an April 2018 ceremony during the Baldrige Program’s 30th annual Quest for Excellence® conference, which will be held in Baltimore, MD.

    The Baldrige Program raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence in driving the U.S. and global economies; provides organizational assessments, training, tools and criteria; educates leaders in businesses, schools, health care organizations and government and nonprofit organizations; shares the best practices of national role models; and recognizes those role models with the Baldrige Award. The Baldrige Program is a public-private partnership managed by NIST and funded in part through user fees, with some support from the Baldrige Foundation.

    The Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987 and is not given for specific products or services. Since the first group was recognized in 1988, 118 awards have been presented to 110 organizations (including eight repeat winners).


  5. Best Practice Report – Smart Services

    November 7, 2017 by ahmed

    Smart services can be important for both the private and public sectors. They enhance the ability of a service provider to understand the needs of its customers (or citizens, residents or visitors), design solutions to address those needs, and then deliver them effectively. Smart services include the use of innovative policies, business models, and technology to address service challenges. While the concept of smart services does not always include technology, the ability to use technology as an enabler to intelligently analyse huge amounts of information (information systems and networks) is key to delivering value to customers. The best organisations and governments usually have the advantage of proactive intimacy with their customers or residents. Governments around the world have taken seriously to building smart communities, smart cities, and smart nations in preparation for the fourth industrial revolution (or Industry 4.0). Organisations would be wise to invest in networks and technologies that help them compete in this new wave of providing smart services.

    This report outlines the best practices research undertaken by BPIR.com in the area of Smart Services. The best practices have been compiled under seven main headings. This new layout is designed to enable you to scan subjects that are of interest to you and your organisation, quickly assess their importance, and download relevant information for further study or to share with your colleagues.

    Sub-Topics:

    • What are “smart services”?
    • Which organisations have received recognition for excellence in smart services?
    • How have organisations reached high levels of success in smart services?
    • What research has been undertaken into smart services?
    • What tools and methods are used to achieve high levels of success in smart services?
    • How are smart services measured?
    • What do business leaders say about smart services?

    Access the report from here, if you are a member login first so you can download the entire report as a printable pdf file and have immediate access to all the content.

    Over 80 best practice reports are available to BPIR.com members so why not join? New best practice reports are added every one to two months.