A war room of strategic breakthroughs and other tools

April 7, 2018 by ahmed

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Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Bailey

When an organization ponders a journey to performance excellence, it may wonder where to begin, what to measure, and what to expect, including what short-term successes are achievable. Such pondering could be made much simpler with a field guide.
Jayne Pope, chief executive officer, and Emily Padula, chief strategy officer, for 2014 Baldrige Award recipient Hill Country Memorial (HCM), will share their strategy at a session titled “A Field Guide to HCM’s Remarkable Strategic Breakthroughs” at the Baldrige Program’s annual Quest for Excellence® Conference in April.

In a recent virtual exchange (captured below), Pope and Padula collaborated on answering questions, ranging from their upcoming presentation to their funniest Baldrige moment.

What will Quest for Excellence attendees learn at your conference session?
Participants will learn how HCM develops its strategic goals and fully deploys them throughout the organization, with specific tools and measurable outcomes. The presentation is a field guide to achieving your next strategic breakthrough.

How has your organization benefited from its journey to excellence?
The Strategic Breakthrough Initiative (SBI) is one of the processes that HCM has embraced along its Baldrige journey. It has given us the focus we needed to accomplish hundreds of strategic action items. We started SBIs in 2011 and saw huge improvements within two years. We are now reaching twice as many of our strategic goals.

As a Baldrige Award recipient, HCM started a Sharing Days program for organizations on performance excellence journeys. Over time, we have shared some of our helpful practices with hundreds of people. Our SBI process and war room format became a popular takeaway. We have since had many attendees send us back pictures of their “war rooms” and tell us how helpful the SBI process has been for them. The process has worked for all kinds of organizations, including a luxury car company, schools, banks, universities, and other hospitals.

What are your top tips for introducing or sustaining use of the Baldrige framework to promote an organization’s success?
At HCM, we regularly measure internally and assess our performance on all the typical items you would find in Baldrige Criteria category 7 (results). We measure externally through annual Baldrige coaching assessments, which help us identify our strengths and our performance excellence gaps.

We learned so much from completing the Baldrige application for so many years. It was the best education process for us. We continue to complete some version of the application every year, even though we are not eligible to apply again for a few years.

What do you view as key reasons or ways that health care organizations benefit from using the Baldrige framework?
In health care, we owe it to our patients and community to be the best that we can be. The Baldrige framework sets the highest bar. It helps us to figure out how to be best in every aspect of our business, from workforce engagement to patient safety. We compare ourselves to the very best, and we learn from them while being challenged to become better.

What is your “elevator pitch” about the Baldrige framework and/or assessment approach? In other words, what would you say to a group of senior leaders who are unfamiliar with the Baldrige framework if you had 1-2 minutes to tell them something about it?
We would say that Baldrige is a proven means of making your organization great for the people it serves and those who work for you. The framework supports long-term sustainability and leads to innovation—which is especially needed right now in the health care world, as well as in many other industries.

Do you have any funny stories or anecdotes that you’re willing to share about your experience with Baldrige?
The funniest story happened at our Sharing Days. Two reluctant employees were sent by their boss to learn about the hospital’s Baldrige experience. By the end of the program, the women were really engaged and excited to share their Baldrige knowledge with their boss. A few days later, we received a photo of them wearing red t-shirts that said—We drank the Baldrige Kool-Aid!

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