1. COER News – Benchmarking and Business Excellence, December 2016

    December 7, 2016 by ahmed

     

    This December, the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER) has issued its latest newsletter.

    If you are short of time to read the PDF we wish to inform you of a major event next year – The 5th International Best Practice Competition. This Competition will be held in Mumbai, India, 25/26th April 2017. The First Call for entries closes on 23 January 2017 so please think about what you do well inside your organisation and apply for entry at http://www.bestpracticecompetition.com/entry-form. This is a fun event and great for learning and sharing best practices. If your best practice is selected you will be invited to give an 8 minute presentation in Mumbai, India and share your best practice with more than 30 others with the chance to be selected as the Winner! Entry is free but there is a fee if you qualify to give a presentation to cover the competition’s administration costs.
     

     

    Whether you are looking to know the latest COER publications in the field or you would like to know what are the latest must attend events you will find it in COER’s newsletter.

    The contents for the newsletter are listed below:

    • 5th International Best Practice Competition
    • Dubai We Learn – Knowledge Sharing and Innovation Initiative
    • Benchmarking Certification (New 7-Star Recognition System)
    • A Guidebook for National Productivity Organisations
    • COER’s research projects
    • PhD Research Opportunities
    • Read the LATEST on our Best Practice Resource – BPIR.com
    • BPIR.com – Looking to make a Bigger Impact
    • COER’s workshops
    • Events
    • Other Activities/Articles of Interest

    You can download the newsletter from here


  2. Cyber security risk management: what should we be talking about?

    November 27, 2016 by ahmed

    Cyber_security

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Marie Bailey

    Disrupting, destroying, or threatening the delivery of an organization’s essential services—no matter what industry they are in—can be mitigated by chief information officers following six steps—among them elements that are in complete alignment with the Baldrige Excellence Framework, according to a cyber security expert.In a recent blog “CEOs: Interviewing CIOs? Six Things to Listen for Regarding Cyber Security Risk Management,” Todd McQueston, head of global product marketing and business development for Wolters Kluwer Health, compiled what C-suite leaders should be talking about, based on an interview with Bob Merkle, a cyber security risk management consultant. Among the six things to listen for include long-term systems thinking and a strong quality control system.

    McQueston also highlights the recent NIST announcement regarding the Baldrige Cybersecurity Initiative, which has been publicly endorsed by, among others, U.S. Chief Information Officer Tony Scott, who is helping to lead the President’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan. (The Baldrige Program is currently seeking feedback on the Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder, a self-assessment tool integrating Baldrige concepts and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework.) The Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder is intended to enable organizations to better understand the effectiveness of their cybersecurity efforts and identify opportunities for improvement.

    To read McQueston’s complete blog, please go to https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ceos-interviewing-cios-six-things-listen-regarding-cyber-mcqueston.


  3. A systems perspective to leadership and strategy

    November 25, 2016 by ahmed

    Strategy_Leadership

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Harry Hertz

    I recently read a summary of an interview with Wharton Professors Harbir Singh and Mike Useem. The interview relates to their new book, The strategic leaders roadmap. In the book they contend that successful senior executives must be capable of integrating strategic thinking with strong leadership skills.

    Leaders who adopt the Baldrige excellence framework have already successfully addressed this integrative need because of the questions in the Leadership and Strategy categories of the Baldrige criteria. Indeed, the key considerations that Singh and Useem outline are contained in item 1.1 on Senior Leadership and item 2.1 on Strategy Development and are systemically interrelated in the criteria.

    Here are the key points I gleaned from the interview and how they relate to the relevant Baldrige criteria:

    • Leaders must inspire the workforce, and must also deliver strategic inspiration and discipline: The Baldrige criteria (item 1.1) ask how senior leaders create a focus on action that will achieve innovation and intelligent risk taking, and attain the organization’s vision. Item 2.1 asks how the organization seeks out potential blind spots in its strategy to avoid a senior leader’s bias or potential lack of realization that there is a changing external or competitive environment. Such bias may cause a disciplined approach to a poor strategy.
    • Leaders may be good at strategic thinking, but thin on making things happen, driving strategy and change through the organization: This is the very reason that starting with the Baldrige excellence builder, the criteria ask (item 1.1) how senior leaders set an overall focus on action and, in specific, in item 2.1 ask about the ability to execute the strategic plan and to achieve transformational change.
    • Leaders must realize that execution is not just about the workforce following orders, but that it is about creating and enhancing the value proposition to the client and getting ideas from the entire workforce: In item 1.1, customers and the workforce receive significant attention. At the Excellence builder level the criteria ask: “How do senior leaders communicate with and engage the entire workforce and key customers?” In the more detailed Baldrige criteria there are questions about senior leaders’ two-way communication with the workforce, and their actions to reinforce a customer focus, foster customer engagement, and create customer value.
    • Leaders must balance quarterly results with setting the tone of an ethical climate and a policy of integrity first: Here too, item 1.1 of the Baldrige criteria sends a clear message by asking how senior leaders’ actions demonstrate their commitment to ethical behavior and how they promote an organizational environment that requires it.
    • Leaders must create agility and adaptability in the organization: Item 2.1 specifically asks how the strategic planning process addresses the potential need for organizational agility and operational flexibility.

    While I have given some very specific examples from the Baldrige criteria, these are just examples. The systems perspective of Baldrige means these topics are addressed at appropriate places throughout all seven categories of the criteria to cause linkages wherever valuable.

    Professors Singh and Useem summarize their treatise by saying that senior leaders must be strategic in thought and lead well. I would assert that you can simply operationalize this unified concept (and more) by following the advice given in items 1.1 and 2.1 of the Baldrige criteria. And in the process, gain a systems perspective of all that is important in leadership and strategy.


  4. 5 (budget) hacks for building amazing office culture

    November 22, 2016 by ahmed

    3x9 PLANNING & DESIGN

    Originally posted on LinkedIn by Ryan Holmes

    To be honest, my first office wasn’t much to look at. In fact, it wasn’t an office at all. It was my loft apartment in Vancouver. There wasn’t a fancy coffee machine or a foosball table or even a real desk to work at. But there was a rooftop patio – a little space where my tiny team and I could retreat to after work, to have a drink and admire the view. To this day, I’m convinced that that rooftop, and the culture it created, was one of the main reasons they stuck around.

    The phrase company culture is used so often that it can feel like an empty buzzword. But culture is what inspires employees to come to work, and to work hard. It’s what differentiates you from all the competitors out there, selling the same products in the same space. It’s the extra gas in the tank that helps you weather the bad times and excel during the good times.

    Some elements of culture are deep and sacred: the values and mission that underlie whatever it is you sell or make. Others represent a real – and important – investment: benefits and options plans, company retreats, sleek offices, etc.

    But building culture doesn’t always have to entail a huge cost or commitment. In fact, some of the most powerful culture-building tools are essentially DIY hacks. Hootsuite now has around 1,000 employees and we help more than 800 of the Fortune 1000 companies manage their social media. Pretty much everything has changed since those early days. But one constant has been finding creative ways to cultivate culture, without breaking the bank. Here’s a look at some of the most effective tools we’ve found over the years:

    The rooftop patio principle: After my first experience with a rooftop patio, I was hooked. My second office had one and, when we outgrew that, so did my third. These weren’t fancy spots, by any measure (and they didn’t add much to our leasing costs). But they did offer a space to retreat to that wasn’t a workspace. I think having this kind of safe zone completely changes how people interact and blends the lines between office and life (which is one of the real secrets of great culture).

    The rooftops became the scene of impromptu lunches and after-work beers. They hosted parties and off-kilter competitions. They offered a refuge from the pressures of growing a company and a place to let off steam. I was reminded how important this principle is recently when our London office finally graduated to a new space with an expansive rooftop patio. Suddenly, they’re hanging out after work and gelling as a team. At the end of the day, just putting a keg beside your desk doesn’t make a party. A dedicated space can make all the difference.

    The company that eats together, stays together: Food is a natural bridge builder. But company dinners, especially when you grow to a certain size, can get prohibitively expensive. Not to mention, when you’re stuck at a table it can be a challenge to mix and mingle, which kind of defeats the purpose. We overcame this early on with a pot-luck style strategy that brought together the joys of eating with the thrill of competition: the guac-off.

    Our first guac-off in the company’s early years featured 11 competitors and three simple rules: no pre-made guacamole mixes; contestants have to prepare their creations live; and everyone has to have fun. Since then, it’s become an annual tradition. We’ve evolved different categories (authentic, fusion, freestyle, etc.) and on occasion added margaritas to the equation. Over the years, we’ve embraced other DIY food traditions, as well. Among my favorites: “rookie cookies.” New employees have the option of baking (or buying) cookies for their department. These are set out on their desk, which lures over the rest of the team for casual introductions throughout the day. It’s a low-stress way to meet new colleagues and informally onboard new hires.

    Company clothes people actually wear: Lots of companies pump out piles of t-shirts, beer koozies, keychains, hats and stickers with their name and logo on them. This swag is then pawned off on employees, as well as customers and prospects. Nine times out of 10, it’s ugly, poorly made and discarded as soon as it’s handed out. We found that taking an entirely different approach can be an effective differentiator and culture builder.

    For starters, we handed the creative process over to our own graphic designers. And we emphasized that the goal wasn’t to plug Hootsuite but to create t-shirts, hoodies, even socks, that people wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen in. The result: company clothes that people actually want to wear, inside and outside the office. In fact, there’s always a backlog of orders for the latest designs. This isn’t a costly measure by any means. But putting a little style in your swag reinforces the feeling that there’s something special going on and something worth being part of.

    The power of random coffees: One of the biggest challenges in fast-growing companies is silos. Imaginary walls spring up between departments. Before you know it, the sales team and the engineering team, for instance, feel like two totally different companies. They’re not meshing socially and – just as worrying – they’re not collaborating or exchanging information on projects. This lack of coordination inevitably hurts the final product and the customer’s experience.

    This is a huge problem and there’s really no easy fix. But one hack we’ve discovered to at least break the ice is a random coffee program. Employees sign up and are paired with a peer – blind date-style – from another department. They then set up a time to meet over a coffee break. It turns out this can be just the nudge needed to open up a future connection with other teams. It’s not that people don’t want to cross departmental divides, after all: Oftentimes, it’s simply that they don’t have a space or a system to do so.

    DIY parties are more fun: Company parties aren’t just a nice perk, they’re also a way to strengthen bonds between team members. But here’s the thing: gatherings for dozens – if not hundreds – of people can easily get cost-prohibitive. If there’s a restaurant or venue involved, even a simple event can break budgets. As a result, many companies limit themselves to just one or two bashes a year, despite the clear culture-building benefits.

    Early on, we found a workaround, really out of sheer necessity: a DIY party concept we called Parliament. Each month, two departments would join forces to host a fete for the entire company, in the office. We’d give them a modest budget of a few hundred dollars and pretty much complete autonomy to design their dream party. We even added a competitive element: at the end of the year, employees would vote on the best bash, with winners getting year-long bragging rights. The result was a crescendo of increasingly creative themed parties: from a Mexican beach night to a disco-themed country fair and an ‘80s-inspired high-school homecoming. All of this may sound silly, but these Parliaments went a long way toward crystallizing and strengthening our culture as Hootsuite grew from 100 to 1,000 employees.

    None of these culture-building hacks is especially deep or involved. And none of them will mean much unless a company already has a foundation in place: a mission, a commitment to employees, a healthy work environment. But, in many respects, a company culture is the sum total of the little things. It’s whatever makes someone excited to come to work at the start of the week, rather than indifferent. Creating this atmosphere doesn’t require a huge budget or elaborate perks, but it does require genuine attention and interest from management. Great cultures may be born organically, but to grow and thrive they need support.


  5. Chapter on Organizational Excellence for the global encyclopedia

    November 19, 2016 by ahmed

    Encyclopedia

    This article has been provided by Dawn Ringrose, Organizational Excellence Specialists, OETC and GBN, Canada

    Dawn had the unique honour to author a Chapter on Organizational Excellence for the Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-31816-5_16-1). The Editor in Chief was Ali Farazmand, the publisher was Springer International Publishing Switzerland and the encyclopedia was published in 2016.The Chapter:

    • answers the question “What is Organizational Excellence?”
    • shares key research findings that validate the positive relationship between implementing an excellence model and improving organizational performance
    • lists the key benefits of implementing an excellence model
    • identifies a gap in the literature that was addressed by the Organizational Excellence Framework publication
    • describes the key steps to follow when implementing an excellence model
    • concludes with the challenge that remains, to increase awareness about excellence models and describes research that is being undertaken to address this challenge, the ‘first global assessment on the current state of organizational excellence’ (Organizational Excellence Technical Committee, QMD, ASQ)

    About the author:
    Dawn Ringrose MBA, FCMC is Principal of Organizational Excellence Specialists and Author of the Organizational Excellence Framework and related toolkit. Her qualifications include: Certified Organizational Excellence Specialist (OES, 2011), Certified Excellence Professional (NQI, 2004), Registered ISO 9000 Specialist (ICMCC, 1996), Assessor of Quality Systems (IQA IRCA, 1996). She has worked in the area of organizational excellence since 1990 and is currently the representative for Canada on the Organizational Excellence Technical Committee (QMD, ASQ) and Global Benchmarking Network.
    Interested organizations are invited to: