1. A car dealership that helps other organisations run better

    February 25, 2018 by ahmed

    don-chalmers-ford-dealership

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Christine Schaefer

    How did a car dealership in New Mexico earn America’s most prestigious award for business excellence? The last time we interviewed Lee Butler of Don Chalmers Ford (DCF), he described the company’s methods for ensuring ethical behavior, among other exceptional practices that helped the small business earn the Baldrige Award in 2016. DCF continues today to demonstrate the commitment of its founder, Don Chalmer, to “customers, quality, and community.” Beyond its business of selling cars, the national role model helps organizations in other states and other sectors improve and excel, too. To that end, at the Baldrige Program’s annual Quest for Excellence® conference in April, Butler will lead the session “Driving Forward with Systematic Leadership.” In a recent exchange (captured below), Butler described his upcoming presentation and his perspective on the Baldrige framework.

    Please briefly describe what attendees will learn at your conference session.

    We will focus on sharing our journey to performance excellence. This will include sharing our systematic approach to leadership while building a truck in the process to make it more fun. Attendees will learn the importance of persistence and [DCF’s] slow and steady approach.

    What are some examples of how you’ve seen organizations (or your own Baldrige Award-winning organization) benefit from this concept?

    We have benefited due to the systems perspective of our business and the processes that support those systems. We lost our owner Don Chalmers to cancer on Easter of 2014; in 2016, we won the Baldrige Award. This [demonstrates] the value of being systems-focused as an organization so that when someone like Don is no longer with us, the vision, values, and systems are in place so that the dealership is sustainable through mature systems [that are] not people-dependent.

    What are your top tips for introducing or sustaining use of the Baldrige Excellence Framework (including the Criteria for Performance Excellence) to promote an organization’s success?

    1. Get leadership commitment. If you are doing a Baldrige assessment for the award and that’s all your organization’s leadership wants, two things will happen: (1) you won’t make improvement a core approach to your business, and (2) you won’t win the award.
    2. Start with documenting a critical business system per Criteria category each year. Develop the key results to ensure that the system is meeting its intended purpose. I would start with the leadership system from category 1, and then document five more systems, like strategic planning, customer engagement, performance measurement, workforce engagement, and work process improvement. Then I’d do six more the next year. After five years, you should have most of your critical business systems documented, with the corresponding results.
    3. Get frontline employees involved early in the process. I would label it “our business model for performance excellence” and “the way we do business.” I would not label it “Baldrige.” That makes it seem like something new; yet you’re really just documenting what you already do and improving it.

    What is your “elevator pitch” about the Baldrige framework and/or assessment approach? In other words, what do you say to a group of senior leaders who are unfamiliar with the Baldrige framework if you have just a few minutes to tell them something about it?

    I say, “I’m sure you would NOT want to improve employee satisfaction, customers satisfaction, and your bottom line. I’m guessing you are accomplishing all of your goals, and all employees are meeting theirs.”

    “But if they are not, wouldn’t you want to have the approach to get better? Have I got a gift for you: the Baldrige Excellence Framework. We use it, and we have obtained benchmarks levels of customer and employee satisfaction.”

    Similarly, what do you say to business students about the Baldrige framework?

    If you have learned a lot of great theories on how to manage a business, and if you would like a real tool to help make your career soar and make you more marketable on your resume, become a Baldrige examiner. This will provide you master’s degree-level experience that will teach you more than any business book can.

    When did you first hear about the Baldrige framework?

    In 1993 while [I was working] at Honeywell, the corporation decided to use the Baldrige Criteria to help its operating units become more effective. We wrote our first Baldrige Award application that year and then applied at the state level through Quality New Mexico [a state-level, Baldrige-based award program. I’ve never looked back.

    Are there ways you’ve applied in your personal life what you’ve learned from using the Baldrige framework in your work?

    This learning makes you think differently and realize how many opportunities there are to develop approaches to improve stakeholder satisfaction and engagement. When I interact with companies and businesses in my life beyond DCF, I have to be careful—for example, when I get bad service as a customer—not to say, “Haven’t you read the Baldrige Criteria?”

    Also, I did try to develop a family mission statement once and failed miserably.

    As a Baldrige Award recipient committed to sharing best practices with others, your organization gets inquiries from others striving for improvement. Would you please tell us about some of those?

    We have had people from Chicago, New Zealand, Texas, and Arizona visit us to hear our story. We also received a call from a water utility in Virginia who is using the Baldrige framework, and we are assisting them on their journey through our consulting branch.


  2. The challenges facing Tonga after Cyclone Gita and how business excellence can help

    February 21, 2018 by ahmed
    Beautiful Tonga comprising of 169 islands, 36 inhabited, facing major hardship

    Beautiful Tonga comprising of 169 islands, 36 inhabited, facing major hardship

    February 21, 2018. Posted by Dr Robin Mann, Head of the Centre for Organisational Excellence (COER) and BPIR.com Limited, New Zealand.

    I was lucky. I managed to get the last flight and seat out of Tonga before Cyclone Gita arrived. I was supposed to leave Tonga on the evening of the 13th February but when I arrived at my hosts, the Public Service Commission on the 12th, all the staff were securing the building and planning to depart home as soon as possible – a state of emergency had been declared. I was advised to leave Tonga and transport was arranged to the airport. The journey, normally a 30 minute drive, took one and half hours due to the long queue of cars as families were purchasing gas supplies with power lines expected to be downed. On arrival at the airport I was informed by Air New Zealand that the flight was over booked and I should go back to my hotel. However, I waited in case some passengers did not turn up, luckily this was the case and I managed to purchase the last seat out.

     

    With the arrival of Cyclone Gita many Tongan dreams and hopes were severely tested as homes and livelihoods were damaged or destroyed. The category four storm was the strongest to hit the Islands since modern records began 60 years ago. NASA said the estimated sustained winds from the storm reached 230kmh, gusting to 278kmh. Related deaths to the disaster have been recorded as two but could have been many more. Ten days on major problems exist with thousands of homes severely damaged and difficulty in providing water and power to all areas. To compound matters there is a threat of a Dengue fever outbreak with 53 cases prior to the disaster.

     

    Destruction of Parliament House, 1000s of homes damaged

    Destruction of Parliament House, 1000s of homes damaged

     

    I arrived in Tonga on Wednesday 7th February on an assignment to assist the Public Service Commission (PSC) develop a strategy for excellence for the public sector. Dr Lia Maka, CEO, of PSC and her staff stressed the need for change and the desire to develop a public service culture whose “minimum standard is excellence”. We talked about the approaches of other countries to embed excellence within the fabric of government and the economy. I shared my experience of working in Singapore and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which have made dramatic strides forward in short periods of time. The common thread between these countries has been a strong and stable leadership with a clear vision to become the best that they can be. This has been backed up by the use of capability building through business excellence models and learning from best practices. Singapore on most international measures is now in the top 10 in the world and often No. 1., for example, in School Education1 and Government Effectiveness2. The UAE on most international measures is in the top 30 but climbing quickly with high ratings already in a number of areas such as No.1 for Transport Infrastructure3 and No.2 in Country Capacity to Attract Talent4.

    Together we set about working on a business excellence strategy for Tonga. We decided on a three-year strategy of capability building prior to business excellence awards being introduced. The proposed strategy consists of annual business excellence self-assessments facilitated by PSC to enable public sector agencies to identify their strengths and opportunities for improvement, an annual business excellence conference, a best practice competition at which each public sector agency shares between one to three good to best practices, two best practice sharing days per year between public sector agencies for each category of excellence, and 10 targeted benchmarking projects per year to address areas of major concern that would bring large rewards once the identified best practices were implemented. All activities would be designed to maximise the involvement of public sector staff from the various agencies so that a spirit of improvement and transformation would be fostered as wide as possible.

    An essential element of the strategy is that each agency take responsibility for its own excellence journey and a helping hand is provided when needed. I advised against introducing a business excellence award for at least 3 to 4 years. Administering a business excellence award requires substantial resource and for organisations that are just beginning an excellence journey the award criteria and assessment methods would be too daunting. With annual self-assessments conducted across all public sector agencies it will be possible to track their performance and determine the average level of excellence for Tonga’s public sector. This will provide a base-line for moving forward year on year.

     

    Services being considered for Tonga’s public sector

    Services being considered for Tonga’s public sector

     

    Tonga ranks around 100 on most international measures with an average GDP per capita of US$4,160 which means many Tongans seek employment overseas. Indeed, approximately 100,000 people live in Tonga whilst a similar amount live in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Now, as a result of Cyclone Gita the challenges are even greater but Tongans are strong, determined people – look no further than Pita Taufatofua who has competed at both the Summer Olympics (Taekwando) and Winter Olympics (Cross country skiing). Without snow in Tonga, Pita trained by strapping planks of wood to his feet and sliding across a beach or using roller skis. Discussing the cyclone, in an interview with Newshub, Pita said “We’ve been rebuilding for a thousand years, we’ve had cyclones come before. What hasn’t been affected is the heart of the people. Buildings we can repair but the core values and the core strengths of the Tongan people, no cyclone can come through and affect them. That hasn’t been touched.

     

    Pita Taufatofua practicing on skates to Olympic flag bearer and cross-country skiing.

    Pita Taufatofua practicing on skates to Olympic flag bearer and cross-country skiing.

    There is a cause for optimism. Prior to leaving Tonga I was invited with PSC to discuss the proposed strategy with the Deputy Prime Minister and Cabinet. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Semisi Lafu Kioa Sika said he approves of the strategy and will be delighted to support its presentation to the CEOs of the public sector agencies. The Hon Dr Tevita Tu’I Uata, Minister for Commerce, Consumer, Trade, Innovation and Labour, who has had previous experience of business excellence when working for Boeing in the United States, was most enthusiastic. Dr Tevita had been part of the team that helped Boeing win the United States business excellence award – the Malcolm Baldrige Award. He said that the pursuit of excellence using business excellence models will be a Game-changer for Tonga.

     

    A happy team after our visit to the Cabinet. Dr Lia Maka, CEO, PSC (right), Dr Robin Mann, COER, Charlotte M. Vuki, PSC, and Moleni Ika, PSC.

    A happy team after our visit to the Cabinet. Dr Lia Maka, CEO, PSC (right), Dr Robin Mann, COER, Charlotte M. Vuki, PSC, and Moleni Ika, PSC.

     

    The focus on Tonga right now is the clean-up and repairing homes and livelihoods. This is the first step. The strategy for excellence in Tonga’s public service will be launched formally in June/July this year.

    To help Tonga overcome this crisis, please click on a link to make a donation. The Tonga National Emergency Management Office manages donations to the disaster from most charities and ensures money is spent wisely. Remember, every little bit helps, thank you. face

    Adventist Development Relief Organisation (ADRA) New Zealand
    Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand
    Christian World Service
    Habitat for Humanity Emergency Disaster Appeal for Cyclone Gita
    Oxfam New Zealand
    Rotary New Zealand
    Redcross New Zealand
    Tearfund New Zealand Cyclone Gita Appeal
    Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA)

    References
    1. OECD (2016), PISA 2015 Results (Volume I): Excellence and Equity in Education. OECD Publishing. Paris
    2. World Bank (2016). The Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) project. World Bank. Washington, DC
    3 & 4. Schwab, K and Sala-i-Martin, X. (2017). The Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017. World Economic Forum. Geneva


  3. Winners of Abu Dhabi excellence awards honoured

    February 4, 2018 by ahmed
    Abu Dhabi Excellence Award 2017 winners with Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council

    Abu Dhabi Excellence Award 2017 winners with Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council

    Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, deputy chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, honoured the top federal entities and employees who received the Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government Performance, on Wednesday.The award ceremony, held at Emirates Palace, saw hundreds of government officials, ministers, officers from the UAE Armed Forces and the Abu Dhabi Police, as well as the nominees, eager to see which federal entities won the prestigious awards.

    The fifth Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government Performance, which is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, had a total of 52 government authorities competing for the 12 institutional awards.

    A total of 110 employees and 42 director-generals also competed for the 12 Executive Council Chairman Medals. Abu Dhabi Ports received four awards on Wednesday, coming in first with the most number of titles. It also won the grandest institutional award for the ‘Out-standing Entity on Abu Dhabi Government Level.’

    The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), received three awards – Award for Excellence in Innovation, Award for Excellence in Organisational Enablers, as well as the Award for Excellence in Digital Government.Dr Matar Al Darmaki, CEO of Seha, told Khaleej Times that receiving the awards will encourage entities to work harder and strive for excellence. “We are honoured to win three awards today, as well as the chairman medal. These awards encourage the company to work hard and to move forward, in order to achieve greater goals.”

    Dr Al Darmaki pointed out that the awards also encourage the entity to increase its customer satisfaction and improve the performance, both financially and operationally. “I would like to thank the government of Abu Dhabi for their encouragement and giving us the chance to be part of this award,” added the Seha CEO.

    The Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre (Adnec), Statistics Centre Abu Dhabi (SCAD) and the Abu Dhabi Housing Authority (ADHA), were also among the federal entities who received the institutional awards.

    Suhaila Al Munthari, who received the ‘Chairman Executive Council Medal: Distinguished Administrative Employee,’ said winning the award will motivate her to achieve higher goals in her career.

    “It is really an honour for me to win this award.”

    “The award will allow me to always try to do a better job and fulfil my purpose in my career,” added the 30-year-old, who works in the Department of Culture and Tourism Authority.

    Saeed Al Kaabi, the Director of the fifth Abu Dhabi Award for Excellence in Government Performance, explained how the award works as a mechanism to support the culture of institutional excellence.

    “These are the key awards in the Abu Dhabi government that honour the high-performance entities working towards excellence in leadership in their core business and in their institutional core support area.”

    “The awards are critical, because they motivate different government entities towards high performance, which in return, will be reflected on the community and the people of UAE, and in specifically in Abu Dhabi,” he added.


  4. Automobiles, Blind Spots, and Organizational Strategy

    December 8, 2017 by ahmed

    rear-view-mirror

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Harry Hertz

    Fall 2017
    How does an organization identify its potential blind spots? This is one of the most common questions I hear from people conducting strategic planning processes.

    To begin answering the question, I have a simple analogy that can be used as a springboard to organizational strategy. That is, today’s cars are equipped with three rearview mirrors and often a backup camera. The mirrors and camera let you visualize what is behind you, a place you have already been. They identify “competitors” from within your clear line of sight, but they do not tell you much about them. They are your “in-industry” competitors. Some cars have an embedded blind spot mirror in the outside mirrors. The blind spot mirrors allow a view of those close to you, potentially ready to overtake you. This is an important piece of trend data that puts you on the alert and identifies competitors from within your industry who might be ready to speed ahead and overtake your leadership position. However, what you really want to know is what lies ahead!You can look out your front windshield and see the road immediately ahead or use GPS to see the road a few miles or even hours ahead (the short-term horizon). This is all helpful information, but you really want to be able to look a year or two ahead and know what road you should be on and what the traffic (competition) will look like. Will you be on the same old roads or a new road (new products and services)? As a driver today, you want to know if you will be driving a car or using another mode of transportation entirely (deriving from new industry competitors or new travel modes within your industry). Will your competition be driverless cars or a hyperloop? Can you predict those new competitors today and plan accordingly? Can you even identify those non-industry competitors? These are the real blind spots you want to know as part of strategic planning, not the extrapolated data from a “rearview mirror.”At each stage of this blind spot analogy, you were broadening your view, eventually redefining your industry from personally driven automobiles to people moving. This could lead your organization to a major shift in “product line” and services, if you want to sustain the organization and its competitive position.

    The 2017-2018 Baldrige Excellence Framework describes blind spots as arising from incorrect, incomplete, obsolete, or biased assumptions or conclusions that cause gaps, vulnerabilities, risks, or weaknesses in your understanding of the competitive environment and strategic challenges your organization faces. Blind spots may arise from new or replacement offerings or business models coming from inside or outside your industry (as you currently define it). To conclude the analogy, competition could come from driverless cars or driverless car services that take you from chosen point to point (a new business model) or from outside your industry (significant changes in mass transport or hyperloops, for example).

    Where do we find the wisdom to recognize that our industry is people moving, not automobile manufacturing? How do we find what Donald Rumsfeld, the former Secretary of Defense, called the “unknown unknowns”? Kodak invented the digital camera but believed it was in the film industry/printing business, not the business to create memories that could best be shared online, digitally. It even realized that a “Kodak moment” was worth sharing but did not see far enough ahead to predict the business model for future sharing.

    In the remainder of this column, I will explore common traps that lead to blind spots, then explore some don’t do’s, and finally, how to look for blind spots.

    Blind Spot Traps
    I have identified seven common traps that lead to blind spots. Many of the traps arise from the work of Professor Bettina Büchel at IMD.

    1. Seeing what we expect to see: This is the theory of incongruence. We don’t see what is incongruent with our current beliefs and frame of reference. I remember seeing a video in which we were asked to count the number of times a basketball was passed; none of us noticed that a gorilla was walking among the players because we were so focused on basketball. We pay selective attention to our area of focus.
    2. Misjudging industry boundaries: We narrowly define our industry based on our current products or services and how they are used today.
    3. Failing to identify emerging competition: We don’t see emerging competition because they do not do things exactly as we do. They are tackling a different problem from our “blinders-on” perspective.
    4. Falling out of touch with customers: We think we know what our customers need and want. We have been serving them for many years and believe in their loyalty. We do not seek their input on changing needs or unmet desires.
    5. Overemphasizing competitors’ visible competence: We focus on our competitors’ current offerings and assume they will continue unchanged. We do not think about the research and development they may be doing on a disruptive product, service, or business model.
    6. Allowing organizational taboos or prohibitions to limit our thoughts: Our practices or policies can limit our thinking. We fail to question practices and policies that may be outdated or incongruent with current technology or regulation.
    7. Relying on history: This is the way we have always done things. We let our historical patterns guide our future.

    In essence, we fall into rigidity traps, rather than questioning the status quo.

    Blind Spot “Don’t Do’s”
    Before discussing what you should do to identify blind spots, let’s look at some “don’t do’s” that organizations engage in.

    1. Don’t be a slave to strategy: In a world where technology, business models, economics, and global political environments are in a constant state of evolution, organizations need to be agile. Slavishly adhering to a strategy created several years ago can take an organization down a path toward obsolescence. An organization can devote years to an outdated strategy, achieve it, and fail as an organization. And if the organization does not fail, achieving an outdated strategy could lead to the conclusion that developing strategy is useless. Today, strategic plans need to be regularly reviewed and modified as conditions and opportunities warrant. The approach should be toward strategic thinking, not strategic planning as a periodic event.
    2. Don’t focus on fear: While a healthy respect for all sources of competition is important, fear should be turned into opportunity. Fear can stifle breakthrough thinking. Confront organizational challenges and seek to capitalize on them through disruptive ideas and new solutions, not extensions of old ideas. Explore new capabilities needed to pursue opportunities. As suggested by Clark in an HBR blog, war-game your potential failures. Perform a pre-mortem. Assume the idea will fail and look for options to avoid the failure.
    3. Don’t trust: Don’t rely on sources that we tend to give undue weight. Don’t trust the wisdom of the crowd. Group-think can lead to consensing on a safe path, rather than expressing bold ideas. Brainstorm with all opinions valued. Don’t trust instincts, seek data and careful analysis of implications. Perceptions can be clouded by personal biases. Don’t trust minimizers. It is easy to deny problems and assume things will get better. It is also easy to assume things are better than they appear. Don’t trust individual experts. Experts can get it wrong and different experts have different opinions and ideas. Seek the thoughts of multiple experts.

    Blind Spot Identification
    Finally, let’s explore the processes you should use to seek and identify potential blind spots.

    1. Explore upcoming technologies: Are any emerging technologies capable of being exploited for your next generation products or services? Are there emerging technologies that could create new industries that challenge yours? Are there new technologies that could generate add-ons to your existing offerings? If yes, would it be an intelligent risk for you to invest early and capitalize on your brand recognition to be a first entrant.
    2. Assess global trends: Investigate global changes in demographics, political environments, regulation, production and purchasing capabilities, and markets. Are there any major shifts likely that could impact your marketplace positively or negatively?
    3. Get out of your comfort zone: Break tradition. Shake up the norm. Try to identify and test your implicit assumptions. Take your leadership team to totally different surroundings. Get you news from a different source that has a different focus than your normal channel. Talk to people that you wouldn’t normally interact with. For example, if you are a physicist, talk to an economist or social scientist or industrial engineer. Ask probing questions. Try to talk to someone new on a regular basis.
    4. Seek employee input broadly: Discuss potential game-changing ideas with employees at all levels of the organization. Solicit and listen to their reactions. Solicit other ideas from them. Bring people together from different parts of the organization and different job functions to brainstorm together and to share what they are hearing or reading outside the confines of their workplace.
    5. Talk to your customers: Ask your customers about their unmet needs and desires. Talk to your customers’ customers to gain additional insight. Observe your customers in action to understand their behaviors and frustrations. Look for creative solutions.
    6. Broaden your field of view: Don’t assume companies or organizations will remain in current industry boundaries. Look at adjacent industries and benchmark what they are doing. Ask yourself what business are you really in (e.g. automobile manufacturing or people moving)? What is the ultimate goal or impact of your product or service for the user? Given global and technology trends is there a new business model you should pursue?

    Final Thoughts
    To find blind spots you need to look broadly and not be constrained by current biases and boundaries. You need to trust instincts less because they harbor your current biases. You need to seek new and different sources of information and synthesize what you learn. Verify your conclusions. Plan a specific course of action. Continue monitoring trends and your progress. Stay agile. Look not just straight ahead, but around corners.


  5. Baldrige Award Winners 2017

    November 17, 2017 by ahmed

    Baldrige_Winners_2017

    Originally posted on Commerce.gov

    U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross named two small businesses, one city government, and two health care organizations as the 2017 recipients of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Baldrige Award is a Presidential-level honor, recognizing exemplary practices among American organizations and businesses including an unceasing drive for radical innovation, thoughtful leadership, and administrative improvement. This year’s awardees are proven success stories, providing a rubric for other businesses across the country to follow.

    “This program is about much more than recognizing successful organizations or winning a single award,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The organizations which are given the Baldrige Award embody the competitive spirit which drives the American economy forward.”

    The 2017 honorees are located in five different states, including the first Baldrige Award winner from Hawaii, a repeat winner from Alaska, and the first utility company to win the award.

    The 2017 Baldrige Award recipients-listed with their category-are:

    • Bristol Tennessee Essential Services, Bristol, TN, small business sector
    • Stellar Solutions, Palo Alto, CA, small business sector
    • City of Fort Collins, Fort Collins, CO, nonprofit sector
    • Castle Medical Center, Kailua, HI, health care sector
    • Southcentral Foundation, Anchorage, AK, health care sector

    “When companies implement the ground-tested Baldrige approach, they create organizations that employees and customers love, that continually improve, and that produce innovative and outstanding results,” continued Secretary Ross.

    The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) manages the Baldrige Award in cooperation with the private sector. An independent board of examiners recommended this year’s Baldrige Award recipients from a field of 24 applicants after evaluating them in seven areas defined by the Baldrige Excellence Framework: leadership; strategy; customers; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce; operations; and results. An organization may compete for the award in one of six categories: manufacturing, service, small business, health care, education and nonprofit (including government agencies).

    “This year’s honorees demonstrate clearly that organizations of all kinds can achieve sustainable high performance,” said Robert Fangmeyer, director of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. “The missions for these organizations are dramatically different, but they share a laser focus on doing the right things for their customers, employees and communities using the Baldrige framework. The payoff is great operational and business results.”

    To date, nearly 1,700 U.S. organizations have applied for the Baldrige Award, and there are more than 30 independent Baldrige-based state and regional award programs covering nearly all 50 states. Internationally, there are nearly 80 programs based in whole, or in part, on the Baldrige Program. In addition, many organizations use the Baldrige framework as a leadership and management guide to drive improvement and innovation strategies without applying for any of these awards.

    Over the years, millions of copies of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, the core of the Baldrige framework, have been distributed or downloaded. This widespread acceptance and use both nationally and globally has dramatically impacted all types of organizations.

    For example, below are achievements by the 2017 Baldrige Award winners.

    • The City of Fort Collins’ has a “Aaa” credit rating and ranks in the top 10 percent of cities nationally as a place to live and work, and for quality of culture and recreation, job opportunities, air quality and attractiveness. It ranks in the top 1 percent for drinking water quality and emergency preparedness.
    • Bristol Tennessee Essential Services is an electricity and fiber services utility company that serves 33,000 customers with only 68 employees. It offers the fastest internet available in the United States at 10 Gigabits per second, has implemented efficiencies that saved its customers approximately $70 million over the last 40 years, and has customer satisfaction levels approaching 100 percent on many products and performance measures.
    • Stellar Solutions is a woman-owned small business specializing in technical expertise and management of aerospace programs with a vision of helping every employee achieve their dream job. Stellar’s revenue has grown from a rate of 1.18 percent in 2013 to 6.81 percent in 2016, and from 2013 to 2016, 100 percent of customers say they would recommend the company to others. In addition to its core services, the company operates a humanitarian R&D program called QuakeFinder focused on the goal of developing technology and methods to forecast earthquakes worldwide.
    • Southcentral Foundation won its first Baldrige Award in 2011. It is a nonprofit, health care organization owned, managed, and driven by Alaskan Native “customers-owners” who live within a 107,000-square-mile area, including 55 villages reachable only by plane. Its unique health care delivery system combining mind, body and cultural measures of wellness produces 90th-percentile rankings for screenings such as diabetes, cardiovascular health and cervical cancer, as well as numerous other health care outcomes and quality measures.
    • Castle Medical Center is a 160-bed acute care facility and community hospital system on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu. Between 2014 and 2016, it improved performance by 12 percent on composite measures of safety, evidence-based care and mortality related to its clinical care processes. The health care organization ranks in the top 10 percent for disease prevention and treatment programs.

    The Baldrige judges also may recognize applicants’ best practices in one or more of the Baldrige Criteria categories by organizations that are candidates for the award but are not selected as winners.

    This year, the judges have chosen four organizations for this honor (listed with the categories for which they are acknowledged):

    • Donor Alliance, Denver, CO, Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management (category 4) and Operations (category 6)
    • Howard Community College, Columbia, MD, Customers (category 3) and Operations (category 6)
    • Methodist Healthcare System of San Antonio, TX, Leadership (category 1) and Strategy (category 2)
    • Tri County Tech, Bartlesville, OK, Leadership (category 1) and Workforce (category 5)

    The 2017 Baldrige Awards will be presented at an April 2018 ceremony during the Baldrige Program’s 30th annual Quest for Excellence® conference, which will be held in Baltimore, MD.

    The Baldrige Program raises awareness about the importance of performance excellence in driving the U.S. and global economies; provides organizational assessments, training, tools and criteria; educates leaders in businesses, schools, health care organizations and government and nonprofit organizations; shares the best practices of national role models; and recognizes those role models with the Baldrige Award. The Baldrige Program is a public-private partnership managed by NIST and funded in part through user fees, with some support from the Baldrige Foundation.

    The Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987 and is not given for specific products or services. Since the first group was recognized in 1988, 118 awards have been presented to 110 organizations (including eight repeat winners).