1. Baldrige Principles Bring Organizational Change, Learning to National Guard

    August 31, 2017 by ahmed

    Idaho_Army_National_Guard

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Marie Bailey

    What are the benefits and challenges of starting a Baldrige-based program from scratch in your organization?Lt. Col. Rory Thompson started such a program at the Idaho Army National Guard. In this blog, he shares his experiences on how he has been working from within to encourage a defense organization to implement Baldrige’s learning principles to achieve organizational performance excellence.

    “If defense organizations in the United States are to navigate the complexity of today’s unpredictable security environment and attain competence in organizational adaptability, innovation, integration, and process improvement, what new ways of thinking and acting are available to achieve these objectives?” asked Thompson, PMP, G3, Idaho Army National Guard Strategic Planning Manager, in his paper (submitted at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom) “How Can Defense Organizations Sustain a Competitive Advantage in the Security Marketplace? An Analysis of the Idaho Army National Guard’s Implementation of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.”

    He found these news ways of thinking and acting through applying principles of the Baldrige Framework and the Army Communities of Excellence (ACOE) Program, which is based on Baldrige.

    According to Thompson, he volunteered to attend training and develop the organization’s Baldrige program because in his previous positions, he kept experiencing the same general problems. “We lacked defined systematic processes to manage operational work effectively to meet our customers’ or stakeholders’ requirements, or we had a defined process but no means to evaluate it to determine ways to improve,” he said.

    “In these instances,” Thompson added, “the organization was inadvertently accepting higher amounts of unnecessary risk or contributing to rework and waste. I found myself questioning processes and wondering how or why we seemed to jump from crisis to crisis. Based on the Baldrige-based training from the Army National Guard ACOE program, I began to frame problems from a systems perspective. In other words, I relied less on individual process management and began working on organizational process management. The point is that organizational behavior and reinforcing systems play a critical part, and until we can address system issues, the processes people manage will continue to return the same result.”

    The Idaho Army National Guard began its journey to become a learning organization in 2014 with its first application to the Army ACOE program. It used the Baldrige Framework as an organizational management and maturity model to achieve the following:

    • Provide high-quality services to customers, partners, and stakeholders
    • Guide and facilitate organizational learning as a method to increase efficiency and organizational effectiveness
    • Empower the workforce to contribute to quality
    • Manage complexity and risk

    In his paper, Rory writes that the Idaho Army National Guard’s initial priority was “to influence organizational culture and human behavior through an organizational design modification that adjusted the common military functional management model to a matrix management model. The objective for the design modification was to break down barriers of communication and enable departmental cross-talk and sharing of information.”

    The next priority was to set the conditions for a learning organization. According to his paper, “The primary objective of the organizational learning model was to provide a reference point for the workforce to view learning from feedback as it occurs at tactical, operational and strategic levels of work. The secondary objective was to reinforce how the Idaho Army National Guard supports a climate for learning and information sharing. The tertiary objective was to ensure that paths of learning were available at the operational, tactical, and strategic levels of operation.”

    “As we became more familiar with the concepts of the Baldrige Framework and overcame some initial hurdles, we have had great successes, and we will continue, as is the beauty of the Baldrige Criteria [with the Baldrige Framework],” said Thompson.

    One of his favorite recent examples of successes in using Baldrige and other continuous improvement training programs are employees calling him or contacting him directly wanting to get involved, get trained, and start effecting positive change, he said. In addition, new methods to communicate externally and internally to the workforce, customers, partners, and stakeholders have emerged; these include an external website, internal podcasts, external and internal social media platforms, a new brand and logo, and new organizational strategy layered with Baldrige concepts. There’s even been more “workforce engagement and willingness to explore better ways of doing things,” Thompson added.

    “The overall experience is and has been critical to my organizational management/leadership skills,” said Thompson. “This [Baldrige] framework has opened doors I had no idea existed. The moment I became involved in Baldrige, my eyes and mind opened to at first what was confusing and different, but as I learned the framework, I began to view organizational management from a much different perspective. As I learned more about the Baldrige framework, I began to see gaps in my own ability to manage organizations.”

    Inspired by his learning, Thompson became an examiner with Performance Excellence Northwest, a Baldrige-based program and member of the Alliance for Performance Excellence that covers the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. He also earned a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and went to PROSCI Change Management training, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training, and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt training.

    Thompson offers advice for others who may be trying to start an internal Baldrige program, but he warns that there is no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach because there are simply too many external and internal organizational variables.

    “There is no set timetable, and the organization will cue you in when it is ready to press harder. You should manage expectations early; however, you are not out to win an award. The award is a byproduct of a relatively mature system,” he said.

    Some general advice follows:

    • Start the program small, and be careful not to “upset” the traditional ways of doing things.
    • Try to select those for your implementation team who have some leverage and longevity in the organization, and who show a natural inclination towards continuous improvement and quality.
    • Get small wins with your team to help build momentum.
    • Find a balance between controlling implementation and stifling innovation.
    • Eventually work Baldrige concepts into the strategy without upending the overall structure.
    • Speak the language your organization understands. Do integrate Baldrige concepts but avoid using specific Baldrige terminology.

  2. COER News – Articles on Business Excellence, Benchmarking, Best Practices and Innovation

    August 13, 2017 by ahmed
    The Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER), BPIR.com’s sister organisation, recently published its latest newsletter for August 2017.
    Download a copy of COER’s August 2017 Newsletter here.
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    The contents of the newsletter are described below:

    • Learn from the Winners of the 5th International Best Practice Competition
    • Learn from the Winners of the 1st Organisation-Wide Innovation Award
    • Launch of the 2nd Cycle of “Dubai We Learn” Government Projects, April 2017
    • 1st Progress Sharing Day of “Dubai We Learn”, June 2017
    • Benchmarking Certification (7-Star Recognition System)
    • TRADE Benchmarking Training for Best Practices and Innovation
    • COER assists the APO with its Business Excellence Initiatives
    • Selection of Recent Academic Publications on Business Excellence
    • PhD Research to start on the use of Business Excellence Worldwide
    • PhD Research Opportunities
    • BPIR.com – Sharing Best Practices
    • ASQ’s Quality Management Forum Publication on Organisational Excellence
    • Book Review: Deep in Crisis, The Uncertain Future of the Quality Profession
    • COER’s Partner Activities/Articles of Interest

  3. The Quality Management Forum

    August 5, 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.

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    In this issue:

    • A Special Edition on Organizational Excellence, By Prashant Hoskote
    • Chair’s Message, by Jan Tucker
    • Sustaining Business Excellence at Organizational and National Levels, by Dr Robin Mann
    • The Need for Self-Assessment in a Diverse Emerging Economy, by Paul Harding
    • The Value of Excellence Awards: An Australian Perspective, by Ravi Fernando
    • Organizational Excellence Frameworks – How to Fail, by Prashant Hoskote
    • News from the QMD/HCD Healthcare Technical Committee
    • Book Review: Quality-I is Safety-II: The Integration of Two Management Systems
    • 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.

     


  4. To invent your organization’s future, experiment, question, sometimes fail

    April 14, 2017 by ahmed

    Blogrige1

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Marie Bailey

    Create an innovation advantage for your organization by letting go of industrial-age principles, embracing imagination, and experimenting even if you might fail, said Polly LaBarre, co-founder and director of Management Lab (MLab) and co-founder of MIX (Management Innovation eXchange). LaBarre, who delivered the 29th Annual Quest for Excellence Conference keynote presentation, said, “You cannot have some big opportunities without having some big misses. . . . Mistakes should be shared and picked apart for every last tidbit of insight.”LaBarre asked the conference audience, “How do you build the capacity for innovation and the adaptability that keeps your organization growing and thriving?” and “Are you capable of changing as fast as the world is changing? . . . The next game changer probably will come out of nowhere. Your customers, patients, stakeholders have more information, more choice, higher expectations than ever before. . . . In that context, are you constitutionally adaptable?”

    The modern industrial-age organization was not built for adaptability and innovation, she said. Instead, the assembly-line plants from years ago were designed “to maximize standardization, specialization, predictability, and control,” said LaBarre, adding that the business model was to “get flesh and blood human beings to become widget-producing robots.”

    “All of the practices and systems that we have built and embedded in our organizations [including] budgeting, performance review, ROI calculations, inventory. . . . All of those things were invented over a century ago to routinize the nonroutine,” said LaBarre; “When [today’s] challenge is for every organization to become ever-more adaptable, ever-more innovative, ever-more inspiring and engaging, those principles don’t serve us well. There’s no competitive advantage left. . . . We can’t solve the new problems with the old principles.”

    Innovation

    LaBarre said that innovation in today’s organizations tends to get compartmentalized if it is not embedded in every activity, every function. “As a result, the 90% of people who do not have a formal innovation role, think of innovation as someone else’s job. And those companies then end up commercializing and capturing just a tiny potential of their people and their organizations,” she said.

    The efficiency principles of the industrial age are still critical and necessary, LaBarre said, but to “transcend the inevitable tradeoffs of discipline without the cost and the drag on agility . . . and the crushing of human initiatives,” organizations should also consider pro-innovation principles such as aspiration, experimentation, diversity, freedom, and openness. She illustrated several real organizations who have embedded such principles and asked the audience to consider, “What kind of sustaining advantage can innovation bring?”

    The first tip for our organizations, LaBarre said, is to expand autonomy. “Control [of people, information, deviation from the norm] is the wrong design when you want to unleash people’s best imagination, initiative, passion–the human gifts that are in so much demand today but which cannot be commanded or controlled into existence.”

    Freedom

    LaBarre pointed out that we’ve all experience a huge expansion of freedom in our personal lives, especially with our ability to connect with anyone, anywhere in the world. “We can challenge, speak up, have a voice in the world, but the workplace lags so far behind,” she said, adding that in their personal lives, people can buy houses, cars, etc., but in the workplace, they may not have the authority to purchase a desk chair.

    She asked the audience to consider, in their organizations, “Who does the thinking and who does the doing?” She described freedom as giving employees more opportunities and more channels to have meaningful roles.

    She shared with the audience that she has traveled around the world looking for organizations that have reinvented their management models, “swapping out industrial bureaucratic DNA for pro-innovation and pro-adaptability.” In some of these companies, LaBarre said she found employees with total autonomy, which is balanced by extensive accountability, especially by coworkers who, for example, conduct each other’s performance reviews. These organizations are growing their leadership capacity, she said.

    LaBarre spoke of the “latent creative potential” of employees and cultures of collaboration. Invite everyone to be part of the strategic and creative realm, she suggested. In one organization she visited, LaBarre said she found hundreds of “communities of passion” that work on strategic priorities and local problems, and resolve issues must faster than they could under a standard corporate model.

    “Design systems and practices for more headroom and elbow room,” she said, “so people can operate outside of their spheres. . . . People can find natural collaborators, pursue their passions, [find] the slack [they] need for trying new things, for experimenting, and for taking risks.”

    Experimentation

    “If you want to build innovative, adaptive capacity, there is no more powerful leverage than experimentation,” said LaBarre.

    How life itself has flourished is a perfect example of experimentation, according to LaBarre. “Life has become ever more capable and complex in the process without a CEO, SVP, or strategic plan at the helm,” she said. “Evolutionary progress . . . is a product of rampant experimentation. Mutations are mistakes. Let me put it another way, if life was run by Six Sigma, we would all still be slime.”

    LaBarre said experimentation is about cycling through ideas, testing assumptions, getting feedback, discarding what isn’t working, and building on what is. “It’s a strategy for measuring your insights,” she said.

    Organizations should develop the facility to fail in order to learn, because in the words of Pixar Animation Studios, according to LaBarre, “Pain is temporary. Suck is forever.” Or, in other words, she said, Pixar understands that “if you are going to try new things, you’re going to have errors” and that’s how you learn.

    Questions

    To truly build an innovation capability at your organization, “Ask more questions than you give answers,” she said. “If you’re open, curious, you can surface more possibilities. As a leader, craft stretch questions. . . . Invest as much in what could be as what is. . . . Walk in stupid. . . . Practice the innocence of children to gain fresh eyes to innovation.”

    She encouraged the audience to question every orthodoxy in their industries and to hack every process to imbue it with innovation principles. “Questions that no one has asked before spawn innovative answers that no one has sought before,” LaBarre said, adding “invite the subversive in.”

    Innovation Panel

    To further explore innovation, senior leaders from the four 2016 Baldrige Award recipients joined LaBarre on stage. They talked about how they define innovation and how they equip people to handle it.

    Roger Arciniega, CEO of Momentum, said, “Culture is most important. You need a structure for innovations to break through. A big barrier is employees not wanting to be associated with failure,” adding the importance of not having a “gotcha” mentality.

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    The health care senior leaders on stage, Maryruth Butler, executive director of Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation Center – Mountain Valley, and Malisha Patel, vice president of operations at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land, discussed how to stimulate innovation and still ensure patient safety.

    Don Chalmers Ford’s Andy Strebe, director of fixed operations, said innovation sometimes means being open to ideas that make you uncomfortable. The leaders also talked about getting out of the way of employees’ ideas, integrating work processes with action plans, looking for innovation in the supply chain, simplifying innovation, trusting employees, and putting down your “pivot foot” (i.e., practicing values-based innovation).


  5. Being remarkable from the boardroom to the bedside

    March 31, 2017 by ahmed

    HILL-COUNTRY

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Marie Bailey

    “Remarkable” means extraordinary, uncommon, worthy of notice or attention, unusual.

    Would you use that word to describe your place of work? How about your hospital? Now imagine how much more confidence you would have in your health care provider if it had proven itself to be extraordinary or remarkable.

    Baldrige Award recipient Hill Country Memorial continues to work toward being remarkable every day, with continuous improvements in the care it provides and in all areas of its operations.

    At the upcoming 29th Annual Quest for Excellence® Conference, Dr. James R. Partin, chief medical officer at Hill Country Memorial, will be presenting on the hospital’s “journey from good to remarkable” and on how other organizations might learn to make their operations remarkable, too.

    In a virtual interview, Partin shared with me Hill Country Memorial’s journey.

    What makes Hill Country’s journey remarkable?

    I think what makes Hill Country’s journey remarkable is the focus on improvement at all levels of the organization; from the boardroom to the bedside, each individual is committed to providing the highest quality of care and service to our patients and community. Another key has been our ability to integrate Baldrige into our day-to-day operations. We don’t “do Baldrige,” but rather we look at our processes and determine how we can revise/improve them to meet the Baldrige Criteria [found within the Baldrige Excellence Framework] and improve performance.

    Can you share an example of your success along the journey?

    One of our biggest successes along the journey was in the deployment of our strategic plan. We integrated this deployment into our cascade of strategic goals through department goals to support the strategic targets and individual employee quarterly coaching plans; these plans address how each employee implements action plans to help his/her department achieve departmental goals that roll back up to achievement of strategic goals.

    Another success is our implementation of the Strategic Breakthrough Improvement (SBI) Process. This process includes 90-day, interdisciplinary, organizational-level improvement teams that work on strategic action plans. Through the SBI and cascading goal processes, we have improved achievement of strategic targets from approximately 50% annually to 85% annually.

    What are your top tips for using Baldrige resources to support such a journey?

    • Don’t make Baldrige another thing you are doing. Rather, look at your processes and determine how you can improve them to address the Baldrige Criteria.
    • Share results with all stakeholders. Let people know how the work they are doing is helping the organization achieve its goals.
    • Involve physicians in improving key processes within the organization.

    What else might participants learn at your conference session?

    The most striking example of how Hill Country Memorial has continued to use the Baldrige Excellence Framework is in the Strategic Development Deployment Process. We continue to use the process and timeline to define our strategy annually for managing our strengths and improving our weaknesses to meet the changing health care environment, increasing competition, and the ever-changing payment models.

    What are a few key reasons that organizations in your sector can benefit from using the Baldrige Excellence Framework?

    The Baldrige framework

    • provides an organizational approach to improvement that is balanced;
    • helps an organization focus on key results and the processes that support those results, really honing in on important improvement opportunities; and
    • uncovers gaps/opportunities that staff may not know existed in the organization.