1. Tips from five Baldrige award-winning organizations

    June 10, 2016 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Christine Schaefer

    Every fall and every spring, Baldrige Award recipients openly share their best practices with other organizations that want to improve their performance. This sharing and learning happens at two regional conferences in September and at the annual Quest for Excellence® Conference in April.

    For the benefit of those who missed those events last September and this April, below are five sets of tips shared by Baldrige conference presenters over the past year.

    How to Adopt the Baldrige Framework for Long-Term Use

    The following tips are from Joseph (Joe) Brescia, director for strategic management and process improvement; and James (Jim) Caiazzo, team leader for the Office of Strategic Management, at U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), a 2007 Baldrige Award winner in the nonprofit sector. For the full blog interview, see http://nistbaldrige.blogs.govdelivery.com/2015/09/01/a-baldrige-award-recipient-shares-leadership-practices-that-support-operational-excellence/.

    1. Establish a sense of urgency.
    The Baldrige Excellence Framework is a vehicle for establishing and maintaining transformational change in your organization. The responsibility of great leaders is to align the mission, vision, and values within the organization. Paint the vision of what change looks like and how the Baldrige framework gets you there.

    2. Use the Baldrige Criteria to provide a common language across your organization to discuss improvement so that everyone is using the same vernacular.

    3. Make sure you focus on results.

    In other words, the way to institutionalize the Baldrige framework is to actually use it to manage the business. That comes down to establishing a formal venue for senior leadership to review results and make changes as required. This way, when you have changes in leadership, with the venue institutionalized, it doesn’t live and die with the leadership that started it.

    How to Use the Baldrige Framework to Drive Your Desired Results

    The following tips are from Jayne E. Pope, CEO of Hill Country Memorial (HCM), a 2014 Baldrige Award winner in the health care sector. For the full blog interview, see http://nistbaldrige.blogs.govdelivery.com/2016/03/29/amid-struggles-of-rural-health-care-one-hospital-stands-out/

    1. Align and integrate processes within the workforce.
    Align all processes and the workforce to achieve strategic goals, with all processes supporting this alignment and integration. For example, when refining the workforce performance system, HCM asked how the redesign could integrate the system with the organization’s strategic plan. The organization developed quarterly coaching plans and an annual performance appraisal that aligns individual goals with strategic goals.

    2. Streamline processes and make them as easy to use and understand as possible.
    For example, HCM wants individuals to be experts at their jobs but doesn’t expect them to be performance improvement experts, so it developed easy-to-use worksheets that walk employees through process design and the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) methodology. Having such user-friendly tools allows every member of the workforce to be involved in performance improvement.

    3. To achieve strategic results, identify key action plans and monitor progress.
    Just having goals is not enough; develop robust action planning and monitor processes. For example, through HCM’s Strategic Breakthrough Initiative process, executives identify those key short-term action plans that will move the organization toward achievement of its strategic goals. These are 90-day action plans, and the team reports out progress on a weekly basis to the executives. This weekly report-out supports accountability and ensures that team members have the support and resources needed to achieve their goals.

    How to Get Started with Baldrige-Based Organizational Improvement

    The following tips are from Pete Reicks, senior vice president of performance excellence at Elevations Credit Union, a 2014 Baldrige Award winner in the nonprofit sector. For the full blog interview, see http://nistbaldrige.blogs.govdelivery.com/2016/03/23/with-humility-and-hard-work-elevations-credit-union-keeps-climbing-higher/.

    1. Embrace the journey, make the investment, and leave a legacy.
    You owe it to yourself, your workforce, your customers/students/patients, and your community. The hardest step is setting the goal. You have to commit. The journey is an investment. Just get started, regardless of the reasons to delay. The only better decision is to have started sooner.

    2. Use the power of the Baldrige framework and the magic of ADLI and LeTCI to affirm your Why (your organization’s mission and purpose).
    Become systematic in your How (approaches) and appreciate the Who, What, and When (deployment) occurring within an interdependent system (alignment and integration). Meaningful measurement (levels, trends, comparisons) of (aligned and integrated) results (operations, customers, workforce, leadership, and financial/market performance) drive accelerated cycles of applied learning.

    3. Make it FUN (really)!
    Celebrate! Make reaching for your goals fun. Have many carrots and few sticks. While gains may be slow at first, committed, talented, passionate people will be attracted to your organization as they see movement towards excellence. They will want to be part of it, to contribute and to attain excellence not only for today, but in an environment built to sustain excellence for generations to come. The Baldrige journey exposes talent, accelerates development, and is a magnet for others.

    4. Ensure an operational rhythm.
    Bring rigor and purpose to your organizational forums and meetings. Get to a point where your staff can discuss their work with the same fluency with which they dissect their sports team the day after a game. If the water-cooler or happy-hour conversations at the local watering hole are more honest than those in your meetings, you’re not being effective. Measure your performance. How are you doing relative to leaders within and innovators outside your industry? Get comfortable with truthful conversations. Set emotion aside and find ways to work smarter, collaboratively.

    5. Recognize that the path of a Baldrige journey is not a straight line.
    Realize you’ll take some spills. Learn from them and move forward. Guard against “change fatigue.” Be smart about change. Evaluate new ideas by reconciling them against your core values and strategic plan. Know the difference between good and great. Sometimes you need an outside view. Bring in someone unencumbered by the internal organizational dynamics who can coach you through blind spots as well as affirm your organization’s strengths.

    6. Embrace what’s “simple smart” (after you’ve made the “simple easy” improvements).
    Simplistic solutions quickly applied to complex problems temporarily address symptoms yet are ultimately rendered ineffective by unaddressed root causes. Fortunately, the answer is often not fighting complexity with complexity. A simple-smart approach requires an appreciation for the hard work necessary to get under the hood, correctly diagnose root cause, and assess the trade-offs presented by potential solutions.

    How to Create a Strong Measurement System for Your Organization

    The following tips are from Fonda Vera, associate vice president of planning, research, effectiveness, and development; and Bao Huynh, director of institutional effectiveness, at Richland College, a 2005 Baldrige Award winner in the education sector. For the full blog interview, see http://nistbaldrige.blogs.govdelivery.com/2016/03/28/a-strong-performance-measurement-system-tips-from-a-baldrige-award-winning-college/.

    1. Begin with your mission, vision, and values in mind. Be sure to measure what you value.

    2. Identify key performance indicators and measures that will yield actionable data (i.e. why are you measuring this?).

    3. Be sure you are selecting important measures for your organization. Just because you can measure something doesn’t make it important.

    4. Commit to your measurement system for a year; then evaluate and revise it as appropriate.

    5. Use your results to create the next iteration of your strategic plan.

    How to Manage Your Organization’s Key Processes to Achieve Excellence and Innovation

    The following tips are from JoAnn Sternke, superintendent of Pewaukee School District, a 2013 Baldrige Award winner in the education sector. For the full blog interview, see http://nistbaldrige.blogs.govdelivery.com/2016/03/21/where-success-isnt-an-accident-process-management-tips-from-a-baldrige-award-winning-school-district/.

    1. Identify a process owner as the “go to” for this process, and have this person document the process so there is a collective understanding of the process throughout your organization.

    2. Know what’s key and measure this.

    3. Have a systematic review of the process. Remember the “S” and the “A” in Plan–Do–Study–Act improvement methodology. Don’t become so busy doing the process that you don’t evaluate it or refine it.

    4. Realize that your organization can ensure innovation through a systematic process, rather than “light bulb moments.” The quest to offer greater value to stakeholders drives both process improvement and innovation.


  2. The Meeker Method: 5 components of successful presentation

    June 7, 2016 by ahmed

    the_meeker_method

    Originally posted on Linkedin by Nancy Duarte

    Every year, venture capitalist and former securities analyst Mary Meeker and her team put together one of the most anticipated PowerPoint files — the Internet Trends report.

    At this year’s Code conference, she delivered 213 data-dense slides in 24 minutes and 40 seconds. Yes, you read that right.

    (See the slides and footage of the delivery here.)

    Each year after the report is released, I’m approached by many well-meaning fans asking for a comment because they think she’s breaking every rule in the book by not simplifying her slides. In contrast, I love her delivery and her slides. (I can hear you gasping.) Because it’s Mary being her genuine, whip-smart self, delivering incredible insights backed up with proof.

    5 Successful Components of “The Meeker Method”

    Know Your Audience
    Meeker knows that her live-audience enjoys her talk, but her real audience is the vast amount of people that read her slides afterwards. She delivered her talk earlier this week and the video has about 45,000 views, yet her slides have almost a million.

    Use Spreadable Media
    The slide deck itself is the spreadable media and she knows that. What she has created is a slidedoc. Slidedocs are powerful, dense documents made in slide software that are meant to be read, not presented. (Technically she does present it, which means the slides should be processed at-a-glance, but she does the at-a-glancing for us in her read-along.)

    Talk to the Trend of the Data
    If you choose to use The Meeker Method, it will only work if you don’t ramble at each data set. Meeker’s verbal stream gives only a few seconds per slide. She doesn’t intend for the audience to read the chart; just get an impression of the trend from the data. Sometimes she’ll say things like, “This is what a global trend looks like,” and click right on by. It’s impossible to process the data that quickly, but the audience knows not to sweat it because the report will be in their hot little hands soon. Meeker just wants you to know that the data supports her point and you can read the specifics later.

    Use Source Data in Its Original Form
    You can’t criticize Meeker’s visuals too much because many of her slides are compiled by committee, and she leaves them true to the source instead of marketizing the data. Slick matchy-matchy slides would undermine the validity of the data source itself.

    Convey the Narrative in the Data
    It’s impossible to be bored by Meeker’s presentations because she doesn’t drone for 10 minutes pointing out each annotation on a slide, she uses it to support her über-narrative. Other analytical types may struggle with the style. Many presenters of data drill into the data instead of keeping the larger narrative front and center.

    The way Meeker delivers her deck is like a data-dense version of Pecha Kucha — which challenges speakers to deliver presentations of 20 images for 20 seconds each — although Meeker averages about seven seconds per slide. But it’s no surprise that Meeker moves more than twice as fast as the rest of us. Her rapid pace, valuable data, and industry-shaping insights are what makes her talk spread.

    Overall, I think it works for her. The deck could definitely be more attractive and redesigned to be clearer but then it wouldn’t be uniquely Meeker.


  3. How the latest Baldrige award winners manage for innovation

    June 3, 2016 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted Blogrige by Christine Schaefer

    The Baldrige Excellence Framework (which includes the Criteria for Performance Excellence) fosters an approach to innovation that is systematic and integrated throughout an organization. Innovation, as defined in the glossary of the 2015–2016 Baldrige framework booklet, means “making meaningful change to improve products, processes, or organizational effectiveness and create new value for stakeholders. Innovation involves adopting an idea, process, technology, product, or business model that is either new or new to its proposed application.”

    This contrasts with a popular conception of innovation focused more narrowly on new products made possible by technological advancements. While it certainly includes “breakthrough” product changes as innovations, the Baldrige definition also encompasses discontinuous changes in any of an organization’s key processes and even in its structure or business model.

    Underlining the importance of such significant changes in products, processes, and/or the business model that yield a discontinuous change in results and contribute to an organization’s long-term success, managing for innovation is one of the core values of the Baldrige framework.

    Successful organizational innovation, according to the Baldrige glossary, “is a multistep process of development and knowledge sharing, a decision to implement, implementation, evaluation, and learning.” Given this definition, it follows that the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence ask an organization to define its innovation process (“How do you manage for innovation”), making the question an overall requirement in the “Operations” category (i.e., the key question for item 6.1c).

    So how do high-performing organizations respond to this question? In other words, what do good-to-excellent innovation processes look like? Consider the responses of the four organizations that most recently earned the prestigious Baldrige Award. The 2015 award recipients (honored at an April 2016 ceremony) are Charleston Area Medical Center Health System (a large health care organization), Charter School of San Diego (a K-12 education organization that is part of the county’s public school system), Mid-America Transplant (a nonprofit), and MidwayUSA (a small business and two-time Baldrige Award recipient). These Baldrige Award-winning organizations offer exemplary innovation processes for learning and inspiration from four different sectors.

    Baldrige Program Director Emeritus Harry Hertz observes in his Spring 2016 “Insights on the Road to Performance Excellence” column that the 2015 Baldrige Award recipients “have demonstrated a new level of maturity and commitment to fostering innovation.” Hertz’s column is based on his attendance at multiple presentations of the four organizations at the Baldrige Program’s annual Quest for Excellence® Conference in April.

    Hertz attributes the organizations’ success with innovation to their “leaders’ setting the environment and establishing formal innovation processes” so that “innovation has become truly embedded in the very core of how these organizations operate.” He also notes that “all four organizations clearly demonstrate the key ingredients for innovation: a supportive environment and intelligent risk taking.”

    Fortunately, for those interested in learning from national role models identified through the Baldrige Award, application summaries for all award recipients are publicly available on the Baldrige Program’s website (on the data-rich award recipient page). Drawing from those posted documents, following are descriptions of the innovation processes of the 2015 recipients.

    Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) Health System

    CAMC Health System describes and depicts its Innovation Management System at 6.1c in its Baldrige Award application. The process begins with three key sources for innovation: strategic opportunities identified during the Strategic Planning Process, ideas that come from internal performance reviews, and unanticipated sources.

    “Once analysis is completed and we determine through the use of intelligent risk criteria … that the strategic opportunity should be pursued,” states the organization, “we develop the implementation plan, seek approval from the appropriate decision-making group … , staff, and pilot the innovation” and “make financial and other resources available to pursue these opportunities through adjustments to budgets.”

    The organization then monitors progress and either scales up and fully deploys innovations that meet key success measures or discontinues those that don’t meet targets as part of the ongoing review process in order to support higher-level opportunities. CAMC Health System depicts this innovation process in a flow chart (below).

    CAMC-Health-System-Innovation-Management-Process

    Charter School of San Diego (CSSD)

    According to its Baldrige Award application, CSSD’s innovation management process begins with determining strategic opportunities to pursue through consideration of internal and external success factors: “Once an idea or opportunity is received through the listening methods, senior leaders determine alignment to the vision, mission, and values; strategic initiatives, and the core competency,” states the organization. “A champion is identified based on his/her capability and capacity. Research is conducted and data [are] gathered through the [Process Design and Improvement System] PDIS. Senior leaders consider the data to determine if financial and other resources should be made available to support the idea or opportunity. Specific measures are identified to test the viability of the process.”

    CSSD relies on effective financial management to make financial and other resources available to support innovation and risk taking. In addition to “responsible cash flow management, budget controls, revenue enhancement, and expenditure controls,” CSSD’s maintenance of reserve accounts is a “key component to financing innovation.” As it states in its application, CSSD has three reserve funds available, with one targeted to support innovation. CSSD makes decisions to discontinue pursuing an opportunity through analysis of measures during its PDIS process.

    Beyond its process for managing innovation, as Hertz has pointed out, “CSSD was created with innovation at its core. Every system and process was a design innovation.” In addition, as CSSD shared at the Baldrige Program’s Quest Conference and Hertz subsequently describes, “The organization’s July strategic initiatives meeting includes an education reform and innovation plan for the short term (two years or less) and the long term.”

    Mid-America Transplant

    In its Baldrige Award application summary, Mid-America Transplant (MTS) states that “innovation is a core value and core competency at MTS and is embedded in the culture from the governance level with a Board of Directors vested in intelligent risk taking through the mission-driven workforce.” According to Hertz, at the 2016 Quest conference MTS CEO Diane Brockmeier described the five characteristics of her organization’s innovation culture as (1) visionary leadership with a sense of urgency; (2) transparent, two-way communication; (3) mission-driven, cross-functional teams; (4) a commitment to learning; and (5) effective external collaboration.”

    Mid-America-Transplant-Improvement-and-Innovation-Process

    MTS both describes and depicts its Improvement and Innovation Process (IIP; shown above) in its Baldrige Award application summary at 6.1c. “Innovation is initiated and managed through the IIP (Figure 6.1-2), which is an integral part of the [Operational Management Process] OMP, Learning and Development System] LDS, and the [Strategic Thinking Process] STP,” states the nonprofit organization.

    According to MTS’s application, after discussion of an innovation originates in the STP, OMP, or LDS, a business plan is developed. The Leadership Team prioritizes plans in Strategic Discussions (SDs), and an innovation team composed of staff members from multiple departments may be formed. Innovation teams use performance improvement tools and data analysis to develop new processes to test and implement. Plans determined to be aligned with the organization’s vision, mission, and values may be implemented in MTS operations during the “Deploy Plan” step of the IIP process; those determined to be intelligent risks are managed through a method called the MTS Incubator. After that, states MTS, “deployment and integration of plans include effectiveness checks and re-evaluation as needed.”

    Embedded in the IIP is MTS’s Priority Matrix, which helps MTS identify intelligent risks and validate (at LT meetings) the scope, schedule, and resources of those it decides to pursue. Decisions to discontinue such opportunities are also evaluated through the IIP, states MTS. “The Effectiveness Check and Priority Matrix, key components of the IIP, allow for a systematic review of current projects as well as proposed projects and ensure the agility to enhance support for higher-priority opportunities.”

    MidwayUSA

    “We manage innovation by developing, categorizing, prioritizing, and implementing strategically important ideas,” states two-time Baldrige Award recipient MidwayUSA in its 2015 Baldrige Award application summary. Among the means that the small business cites for developing innovation are strategic planning meetings, annual process reviews, and customer input methods, as well as numerous methods and meetings that focus on knowledge sharing, organizational performance (based on the Baldrige framework), and future opportunities.

    MidwayUSA’s 2015 Baldrige application summary also references formal calls for innovation, including employee focus groups. The organization records all innovation ideas in its Performance Improvement System (PIS), which all employees can access to add ideas. “We currently have over 3,400 ideas captured in our PIS in various stages of consideration and implementation,” states MidwayUSA’s application. “Since 2011 we have implemented over 2,000 ideas.”

    MidwayUSA describes how it reviews and prioritizes innovative ideas to pursue through its strategic and departmental performance meetings as well as its Work Process Management Process and Continuous Improvement meetings. The company captures innovation ideas that it identifies as strategically important in its “Bucket List” in the PIS, and it reviews these ideas for consideration as action plans to be included in its strategic plan.

    How does your organization manage for innovation?