1. How the Baldrige program supports Manufacturing Day 2016

    August 31, 2016 by ahmed

    mfg day

    Originally posted on Blogrige

    Helping to connect U.S. school children (the workforce of the future) with manufacturers, and providing manufacturers with a performance excellence framework, performance assessments, and other resources to help them improve their risks, supply chains, and overall operations are ways that the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program has supported U.S. manufacturing for nearly 30 years. By being an endorser of Manufacturing Day 2016, the Baldrige Program also is showing its support for this initiative by encouraging organizations across the country to participate in or host related events.

    Manufacturing Day (on October 7 this year) is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers and support entrepreneurs who are manufacturing their first product in the United States. The goal of the day is to address common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is—and what it isn’t.

    According to a July 2016 Industry Week article, “The top challenges to meeting [manufacturing leaders’] strong growth expectations are market volatility, rising material costs, price reduction pressures and increasing labor costs. To thwart such threats, according to our research, manufacturers are pushing hard to improve performance across a range of capabilities, starting with improving production processes, strengthening customer relationships and finding people with the right skills and experience.”

    Baldrige Performance Assessments and Other Tools, Including for Cybersecurity
    The Baldrige Program, which began in 1987 to develop, educate about, and promote criteria to help manufacturers become more competitive with their global counterparts, continues to promote manufacturing with customized tools to address and improve such performance issues as those noted above.

    • Baldrige Excellence Builder is a free, downloadable, self-assessment to help organizations improve the most critical aspects of their operations. It was designed with small- and medium-sized manufacturers in mind.
    • Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder (draft release date fall 2016) is the result of a collaboration of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Applied Cybersecurity Division and the Baldrige Program—with the help of U.S. Chief Information Officer Tony Scott and industry volunteers—to develop a self-assessment tool integrating Baldrige performance improvement and assessment concepts with the cybersecurity risk management concepts of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. The tool will enable organizations to better understand the effectiveness of their cybersecurity efforts and identify opportunities for improvement based on their cybersecurity and organizational goals and objectives.
    • The Organizational Profile and Are We Making Progress? ,as well as other free resources, are designed to help manufacturers assess their organizational performance and seek feedback.
    • The Baldrige Excellence Framework (which includes the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence) provides a systems approach to leadership, management, and organizational performance improvement that ensures an integrated focus on the unique factors that drive success for an organization. The framework is therefore complementary to the quality and process improvement tools that many manufacturers also use, such as Lean, Six Sigma, and ISO. The Baldrige framework works in conjunction with such improvement tools to ensure that an organization is making appropriate improvements to its most important processes in order to achieve organization-wide goals and objectives. Organizations can use the framework to seek feedback from training Baldrige examiners by applying for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

    Additionally, Baldrige Award recipients in manufacturing continue to share best practices through the annual Quest for Excellence® conference.

    Outreach to the Baldrige Community, including the Education Sector

    The Baldrige community supports the connection of schools and industry organizations to provide a forum for manufacturers to address their collective challenges, including connecting with future generations and addressing skilled labor shortages. The community includes a nationwide network of Baldrige-based state, local, and regional programs called the Alliance for Performance Excellence. The Baldrige community also includes an ever-growing pool of public and private schools at the elementary and secondary level, and colleges and universities that use Baldrige resources to monitor their progress and improve.

    With the support of the Baldrige Program, Baldrige Award recipients have shown their dedication to and benefitted from a focus on manufacturing. For example, in Garland, Texas, in 2015, Baldrige Award recipient KARLEE partnered with the Garland Chamber of Commerce, Garland Independent School District, Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), and local businesses to promote Manufacturing Day with tours of KARLEE throughout the day for students, families, and friends. As part of the Manufacturing Day event, several of the DCCCD community colleges, including Eastfield College and Baldrige Award recipient Richland College, toured KARLEE. To learn more about this event, read “Students from One Baldrige Community Learn Importance of Manufacturing.”

    To support U.S. manufacturing within the Baldrige community,

    • Higher education and K-12 school systems may be interested in participating in real or virtual field trips with manufacturers to introduce students to manufacturing careers and STEM education. Free resources for educators, employers, students, and parents include lesson plans and teacher resources.
    • Manufacturers can host events, such as facility tours, presentations, and roundtables, to educate their local community, media, and prospective employees and customers, about operations. Manufacturing Day resources provide tips to inspire a new generation of manufacturers.
    • Businesses, hospitals, associations, service providers, and other organizations can participate as community supporters of manufacturing; resources and ideas are available in the Manufacturing Day Community Planning Guide (PDF).

  2. Your comfort zone may destroy the world

    August 24, 2016 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on LinkedIn by Shelly Palmer

    Here’s what’s going to happen. You are going to read this post up to the point where you agree with me or you don’t. Then, either you will find something else to do or, if I have your attention, you will write a comment or an email that espouses your world view.

    This sounds great. Except it isn’t. Because whether you agree with me or not, a huge percentage of you will not read past the point where your personal bias is confirmed. If my writing is inside your comfort zone, you will stop reading because we see eye to eye. If my writing is outside your comfort zone, you will stop reading because your time to engage with content is limited and you don’t want to be uncomfortable while doing it. Sadly, staying in our ideological comfort zones has put us on a path to world destruction.

    I write an article every Sunday about emerging trends and the impact they may have on media, entertainment and marketing. If you know my work, you know I don’t write about politics or religion, just tech trends and what I think they mean. So comments from readers should be professional, should be on topic and should further the discourse with related criticism and opposing points of view. But that’s not what’s happening.

    Have a look at a few recent posts: “The Video Selfie That Changed the World” or “Russian Email Hackers: Are You Next?” or “Facebook Is Killing Clickbait and The Results Will Surprise You.” Then scroll down to the comments for an object lesson in the dangers of confirmation bias and the latest craze: spewing opinion as fact. If this were on some random site or a mainstream media site, I would not be surprised at all. But these posts are on a professional social network where (for obvious reasons) one would expect a certainly level of decorum.

    Social Media–Empowered Echo Chambers

    In the physical world, an echo chamber is a room where sound reflects off the walls. The early reflections are perceived as echoes and the later reflections are perceived as reverberation. In social discourse, an echo chamber is a place where like-minded people keep reinforcing each other’s world views. MSNBC is a left-leaning echo chamber. Fox News is a right-leaning echo chamber. You can name hundreds of examples yourself.

    But echo chambers do not challenge our world views, they do not expand our minds, and they do not promote Socratic debate. They just blanket us in the comfort of what we like to hear. Importantly, it doesn’t matter how much moral high ground you believe your echo chamber represents – an echo chamber is a closed-loop system that constantly feeds back on itself. Living in an echo chamber is not an evolutionarily stable strategy.

    The Quick, but Painful, Death of Truth

    Journalism has been on life support since the advent of social media, but this past year we have witnessed the quick, painful death of truth, and it may be gone forever. Put a comfortable lie in an echo chamber, and nobody will challenge it. It will reverberate until it is accepted as actually true. Then, the willfully ignorant will shout it as loudly as they can. It may be their truth, but that does not make it true.

    Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

    While we may not post really stupid stuff online or make outrageous comments to inspire others to do violence, we are all guilty of enjoying the pleasures of our respective comfort zones. We live in a world with extraordinary filters. They can easily be programmed to only send us notifications of things we want to hear. There are websites and news feeds across the entire spectrum of belief systems, and it is super easy to find your comfort zone and stay there. Don’t.

    The best way to get the world on track is to do our best to understand each other. We need to relearn how to respect other points of view. We don’t need to agree with them, but we need to read far enough down the page to understand what is really being said. We must listen when we converse. We must see when we look.

    The alternative is a cacophony of isolated echo chambers, each believing that they have the moral high ground, and each sure that their respective deity is on their side. It’s clearly where we are headed, and in practice, we may already be there. You may not think that your comfort zone could destroy the world, but your comfort zone is a place where you accept the things you cannot change. To make the world a better place, it’s time for all of us to change the things we cannot accept.


  3. Just doing nothing gets you nothing

    by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Marie Bailey

    When just beginning something-be it a journey for improvement or an initiative to ensure you are prepared and fortified for unavoidable challenges-it’s best to start small, just one step at a time.

    At the upcoming Baldrige regional conference in Chicago, Melanie Taylor, deputy superintendent, curriculum and instruction, at Baldrige Award recipient Iredell-Statesville Schools, will outline how to start small on a Baldrige journey—and why such a journey is so important for educators, as well as for others.

    To help an organization get started, Taylor said she plans to touch on key areas; for example,

    • the Organizational Profile
    • Are We Making Progress?
    • Baldrige Excellence Builder

    “I’m going to talk about starting small,” said Taylor. “You’ve got to get started in order to improve. Just doing nothing gets you nothing. Eat the elephant one bite at a time.”

    Through a series of questions, I asked Taylor to give me some background on her topic “How to Get Started on Your Baldrige Journey?” and what learnings she intended to share with the regional conference audience.

    What do you feel is the value of a Baldrige journey?

    Baldrige provides some established, proven criteria to help you. Start with a self-assessment to gain a better understanding of how well you’re communicating your goals, mission, vision, and values internally and externally. Baldrige resources also provide considerations on developing relationships that give you an opportunity to network and benchmark with other organizations and learn best practices. It’s an opportunity to grow and improve what you’re already doing. You may think you’re doing well, but how does that compare to others?

    What are your top tips for using Baldrige resources to support education?

    The Baldrige framework helps with identification and alignment of key processes to get everyone in your organization moving in the same direction and focused on the things that matter. By getting everyone around the table up front, you’re able to be more effective. We’ve also been able to become more efficient, especially on the operations side. This is especially important in light of the cuts that many states (at least North Carolina) have seen in recent years.

    The Baldrige framework also has considerations for measurement and comparisons. By really looking at your data and that of other similar districts that may be outperforming you with similar subgroups or in certain areas, you’re able to identify exemplars to learn best practices.

    It’s helpful to get someone in your organization trained on the Baldrige framework relatively early on. You’ll need some experts on board to help with clarification and to help move the processes along.

    It’s also important for leadership to be bought in and to model behaviors for staff. At Iredell-Statesville Schools, senior leadership was great at modeling expectations. We trained/implemented Baldrige thinking all the way down to the kid/classroom level, so it was pervasive at all levels of the organization. If kindergartners can understand and utilize Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA; continuous improvement), anyone can do it.

    What else might participants learn at your conference session?

    My focus will really be on processes for schools to take home. While I’m always happy to share our district experiences and my personal reflections, my focus will be on ways to get started on your journey and the importance of doing something.


  4. Seven fundamentals of a winning innovation team

    August 19, 2016 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on The Innovation Resource by Robert Tucker

    Sooner or later, you’re going to be asked to lead an innovation team. This will be your time to shine, if you’re up to the challenge. The distinguishing aspect of leading a special purpose team is that you’re not in control, you can only influence behavior. You’re tasked with figuring out how to do something new, so you and your mates are going on a learning journey. So what you do in the formative stages will greatly impact the team’s chances of success. Follow these seven suggestions to guide your success:

    1. Keep team size small, even for big projects. In Silicon Valley, the “pizza rule” has taken hold. If you can’t feed a team with two pizzas, your team is too big. Lots of research supports this notion. Once a group gets beyond five to seven people, productivity and effectiveness begin to decline. Communication becomes cumbersome. Managing becomes a pain. Players begin to disengage, and introverts withdraw. When it comes to team size, less is more.

    2. Pay attention to group chemistry and emotions. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon point to three factors that make a team highly functioning. 1) Members contributed equally to the team’s discussions, rather than letting one or two people dominate; 2) Members were better at reading complex emotional states; and 3) Teams with more women outperform teams with more men. The emotional component – how we feel when we are engaged with a team – truly matters but is all too often never discussed. Pay attention to how the people you’re inviting onto your team relate to others. Assess human factors like trust, empathy, ability to resolve conflict, and seek and offer forgiveness. Acknowledge people’s selfless behavior and achievements. Always give credit to your team rather than take credit yourself, and practice empathy at all times.

    3. Calculate people’s Teamwork Factor. Will Wright, developer of The Sims, Spore and other best-selling computer games, analyzes what he calls a person’s teamwork factor. “There is a matter of, how good is this person times their teamwork factor,” Wright told interviewer Adam Bryant. “You can have a great person who doesn’t really work well on the team, and they’re a net loss. You can have somebody who is not that great but they are really very good glue, and [they] could be a net gain.” Team members Wright considers “glue,” share information effectively, motivate and improve morale, and help out when somebody gets stuck. Be aware of not only the needed skill sets, but who works well together and who does not.

    4. Don’t go overboard with diversity. Can too much diversity be a detriment to team chemistry? Researchers at Wharton think so. Too much diversity of “mental models” can be a drag on forward progress, say professors Klein and Lim. If members of a team have a “shared, organized understanding and mental representation of knowledge” about the nature of the challenge, it can enhance coordination and effectiveness when the task at hand is complex, unpredictable, urgent and novel. The researchers concluded that team member who share common models can save time because they share a common body of knowledge.

    5. Establish a group process. Nancy Tennant, who led an amazingly successful innovation initiative at Whirlpool some years ago, once told me about joining an ad hoc governmental team tasked with solving a very big problem. “They brought a group of people together from all over the world to help them brainstorm. They spent a lot of money, put us in a room and said ‘think hard.’ But we didn’t know each other. We didn’t have a group process. And we just couldn’t do it.” A group without a process is like a ship without a rudder. It will have a harder time innovating. Establish team rules at the outset. Address how you’ll treat each other, how you’ll respect each other, and articulate how much of time each member is committing to the team. Effective teams establish clear goals and rules at the outset, and hold each other accountable.

    6. Pay attention to what is going on outside the team. Since your dedicated team is charged with getting something new accomplished, it is natural to think of it as the “innovation team.” But doing so leads those not part of the team wondering how the project will effect them, and whether they support or oppose the team’s challenge. You must be careful to begin building buy-in for your efforts from the very beginning. Day to day managers see innovation teams as a threat or a special case that should be ignored. Teams appointed by the CEO can be seen as the ‘CEO’s pet project’ leaving a chance for them to be condemned or subtly derailed. Team leaders and members must spend as much time working in the external environment as working in their team. Be sure to build trust and open communication with the rest of the organization.

    7. Pay attention to the 3Rs of innovation: Result, Reputation, and Residuals. What motivates people over the long haul is not money, but intrinsic rewards. Harvard’s Teresa Amabile’s research shows that feelings of accomplishment, that we are making progress, doing important work are the biggest motivators. As the team leader, keep the three Rs in mind: 1) Result. If you hit your target, you’ll have another accomplishment on your track record; 2) Reputation: your status in the organization rises. Senior management will be delighted. Colleagues will talk you up, praise your contribution, and invite you to join future projects. 3) Residuals: the lasting payout of participating in a successful collaborative team is that you get to see your “product” being used by customers, both internal and external. You know you’ve made a difference, solved a problem, or created an opportunity for the organization, your team, and most of all yourself.


  5. One Way to Carve Your Values- and Culture-in Stone

    August 14, 2016 by ahmed

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Marie Bailey

    How are you expected to behave at work? And do you think a coworker would answer this question in the same way?

    In the Baldrige Excellence Framework and its Criteria, values are defined as the guiding principles and behaviors that embody how your organization and its people are expected to operate. They influence and reinforce your organization’s desired culture. Further, they support and guide the decisions made by every workforce member, helping your organization accomplish its mission and attain its vision appropriately.

    So can you name your company’s organizational values?

    You may have to go to your company’s website to find them or dig out an operating manual, but what if the organizational values were literally carved into stone at your feet. Would you then have any question about the behaviors expected of you at work?

    In summer 2015, two-time Baldrige Award recipient MidwayUSA completed Operation Concrete Values, a project where more than 300 employees permanently carved their values into the sidewalks of the 21-acre MidwayUSA campus in Columbia, Mo. The carved values are now repeated across the entire 4-building campus, covering 17 entrances for a total of 20 sets of company values.

    Image-2-Max-Stacey-Eric-and-engraving

    MidwayUSA’s stated values are Honesty, Integrity, Humility, Respect for Others, Teamwork, Positive Attitude, Accountability, Stewardship, and Loyalty. Now carved in stone throughout the campus, they serve as the non-negotiable family principles that help guide MidwayUSA’s employees in their decision making and interactions with one another. But an important point here, according to the organization, is that these are the personal values of the people who work at MidwayUSA, which have been adopted by the organization.

    MidwayUSA’s CEO and founder, Larry Potterfield, explained the genesis of the idea: “It all began in the fall of 2006, as we started aligning the operations at MidwayUSA with the [Baldrige] leadership and management principles [in preparation for a Baldrige Award application],” wrote Potterfield in a short story about Operation Concrete Values. “One of the Baldrige questions was, ‘What are your stated vision, purpose, mission, and values?’

    We had a mission statement . . . but we struggled long and hard over the concept of company values. You see, values aren’t strategies, they aren’t goals; they’re about ethics—doing the right thing. . . . They come from employees. . . . Great companies simply adopt the most relevant of those values, then hire employees who share them.”

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    Continued Potterfield, “Values must be deployed. . . . Every employee must know and share the same values, to create a culture of trust. Our mission statement was posted in multiple locations throughout each building, and our interviewing and reviewing processes were updated. . . . But then came a revolutionary idea; why don’t we engrave our values into our sidewalks, as a further reminder to each employee, our quests, and prospective employees.

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    In celebration of the engraving project, what the organization believes to be the first of its kind in the nation, Potterfield said, “Our company values are much more than checking a box and feeling good about it. Our values are something each and every one of our employees personally identify with, and they are embodied both at home and at work. We think something this important should be more than simply written down, it should be carved in stone.”

    A strong adherence to core values that shape culture is of course a hallmark of Baldrige Award recipients.

    For example, in a recent blog about Baldrige Award Recipient Elevations Credit Union, Kim Felton wrote, “At Elevations, we build our team to serve our membership by believing in and demonstrating our five core values: Integrity, Respect, Passion, Creativity, and Excellence. We are so pleased when members share with us that they see our core values reflected in everything we do.”

    At Baldrige Award Recipient Charter School of San Diego (CSSD), everything school employees do is based on the organizational value “kids come first” and the core competency “transforming lives.” For example, CSSD resource centers (where teachers work one-on-one with students) sponsor families for meals and school supplies during winter holidays, support work experiences for students, and provide career and health support for students and their families. Teachers also make a regular practice of visiting students’ homes, traveling in pairs.

    At Baldrige Award Recipient Mid-America Transplant (MTS), the organizational values of Compassion, Innovation, Integrity, Quality, and Teamwork serve as a guiding force for how the workforce lives the culture on a daily basis. MTS defines what each value means to each employee: “Compassion: We feel and show concern for others. Innovation: We make meaningful changes to improve. Integrity: We act according to what is right and wrong. Quality: We do our best, always. Teamwork: We work in harmony with others.”

    At Baldrige Award Recipient Charleston Area Medical Center Health System (CAMCHS), employees receive training on how the values of Quality, Service with Compassion, Respect, Integrity, Stewardship, and Safety should drive behaviors, and the behaviors drive achievement of the core competency to improve the health and economics of CAMCHS’ community.

    So do you know what are your organizational values and whether they drive your culture? Is your organization ready to set them in stone?