1. Which is most popular – Benchmarking, Best Practices, Business Excellence, Innovation, Lean, Six Sigma, Balanced Scorecard, Knowledge Management, ISO 9001 or IS0 14001?

    March 7, 2017 by ahmed
    My friend from the Australian Organisation for Quality – Michael W McLean, Managing Director, McLean Management Consultants Pty Limited brought to my attention the usefulness and fun of using Google Trends. Michael had compared the popularity of business excellence with a number of other improvement methodologies and techniques. His point was the relative lack of awareness or popularity of business excellence in comparison to other improvement approaches, in particular in comparison to ISO 9001. This was disappointing but no great surprise as it supported the findings of a study that COER undertook for SAI Global on the Australian Business Excellence Framework (ABEF) in 2007 (study shown here) – this revealed that only 9.5% of senior managers/directors in Australia had heard of the ABEF and only 1.3% had used the ABEF to improve their performance over the last 5 years.
    The graphs below are from my own comparisons using Google Trends. The first graph shows the popularity according to the number of searches for Benchmarking, Best Practices, Business Excellence and Innovation. These topics are the areas of expertise for my organisation, the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER). The graph shows the popularity of these approaches over 5 years from a worldwide perspective and only including results of searches of a “business and industrial” nature rather than on “games” or “sport” for example.most_popular1The graph shows clearly that innovation is the most popular search item, approximately four times as popular as searches for best practices and benchmarking. Business excellence is a 1/100th as popular as innovation. (Note the numbers on the left hand axis represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. Likewise a score of 0 means the term was less than 1% as popular as the peak).

    The second graph shows the popularity according to the number of searches for Benchmarking, Lean manufacturing, ISO 9001, Innovation and ISO 14001. This graph reveals that Innovation is the most popular topic with ISO 9001 second (at 50% popularity), Benchmarking third, ISO 14001 fourth, and Lean manufacturing last.

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    The third and final graph shows the popularity according to the number of searches for Benchmarking, Six Sigma, Balanced Scorecard, Innovation and Knowledge Management. This graph reveals that Innovation is again the most popular topic with Six Sigma second (at 50% popularity), Benchmarking third, Knowledge Management fourth and Balanced Scorecard last.

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    These searches reflect the interests of business people around the world and therefore should be taken seriously. Innovation can be seen as the hot topic over the last 5 years and yet systems/approaches/methodologies to help organisations become more innovative are still in their infancy. Those of us that understand business excellence will recognise that business excellence models have innovation integrated into the model criteria and yet the models are relatively unknown and unused. This presents an opportunity for the administrators and promoters of business excellence to leverage off the interest in innovation to offer their holistic business excellence model as a guide to building innovative organisations.

    This article was written by Dr Robin Mann, Head of the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, NZ.


  2. COER News – Benchmarking and Business Excellence, February 2017

    March 5, 2017 by ahmed

     

    This February, the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER) has issued its latest newsletter.

    The first section includes important news about the upcoming 5th International Best Practice Competition and – closing date for entries 27 March.

    Whether you are looking to know the latest COER publications in the field or you would like to know what are the latest must attend events you will find it in COER’s newsletter.

    The contents for the newsletter are listed below:

    • 5th International Best Practice Competition
    • Podcast: Benchmarking – An interview with Dr Robin Mann
    • COER’s workshops
    • Benchmarking Certification (New 7-Star Recognition System)
    • PhD Research Opportunities
    • COER’s research projects
    • Winners of the 5th Global Benchmarking Award Dec 2016
    • Which is most popular – Benchmarking, Best Practices, Business Excellence, Innovation, Lean, Six Sigma, Balanced Scorecard, Knowledge Management, ISO 9001 or IS0 14001?
    • Which is most popular – Baldrige, EFQM or Deming?
    • Book: Deep in Crisis, The Uncertain Future of the Quality Profession
    • The QMOD (Quality Management and Organisational Development)/ICQSS Conference 2017
    • Baldridge Excellence Framework – 2017 Criteria emphasises 2 areas that no business can ignore
    • Interim Results – First Global Assessment on the Current State of Organizational Excellence

    You can download the newsletter from the COER website here


  3. It started out about an award, it ended up about operational improvement

    March 1, 2017 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Marie Bailey

    Throughout the almost 30-year history of the Baldrige Award, high-achieving organizations that might already be tops in their industries have been attracted to the idea of winning this highest, national, Presidential award for organizational performance excellence-another feather in their caps and highlight for customers and investors. But often, the journey to the award becomes something more. The journey becomes less about the award and more about what was learned along the way.

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    At the upcoming 29th Annual Quest for Excellence® Conference, Allison Carter, director at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Public Sector LLP, will be sharing what the Baldrige journey meant to this consulting practice that was already considered at the top of its game among peer organizations.

    “We started our [Baldrige] process focused on the award. After a few years of developing Baldrige applications, we realized that if we really embraced the Criteria across our business, we would start to see some major improvements in the business. That makes sense whether you want to win an award or not, right?” asked Carter. “It started out about the award, and it ended up becoming about improving the business.”

    Carter said her Quest presentation will focus on the importance of and how to identify gaps in business operations using the Baldrige Excellence Framework.

    The process that PwC Public Sector used was to first look at the questions within the Criteria and flag those for further investigation that staff were not able to answer or were answering in different ways, she said. She added that the step of identifying gaps first was important to save a lot of time and headaches, especially if your organization moves to the Site Visit Review of the Baldrige Award process. It was also important to consider what you’re currently doing and how that might stack up with other organizations, Carter said.

    “A pitfall that many organizations may run into is something we found. . . . They pick up the Criteria to start writing an application, and they think we’ll just submit and we’ll win an award. And then they quickly realize after one or two times of doing that, a smarter approach is to first figure out where your gaps are and implement initiatives to address those gaps before ever submitting an application. So you’re not wasting your time, and you are focused instead on improving your operations using Baldrige standards.”

    An example of a success that PwC Public Sector has had using gap assessment methodology and looking at its Baldrige feedback was an integrated dashboard. Carter said the organization collects a lot of data on different things and uses that data to measure performance, but these data were housed in several different systems owned by several different people.

    “There wasn’t one place to go for all that information in one view to use it for effective decision making,” she said. “You could look at system A and system B and patch all of that together and start using it to make decisions, but it would have been much easier if that data was consolidated in one place–not only to look at everything all at once but to compare your performance over time.”

    She said PwC Public Sector Practice created a dashboard that pulled all of the information from these areas and systems into one dashboard that staff members could then use to get a holistic view of the metrics that were important to the business and to enhance the ability to make good decisions based on that data.

    Other top tips from using Baldrige that the organization has implemented follow:

    • Don’t look at Baldrige as an awards program. Look at it as an opportunity to improve your business. “It ultimately is an award, and everybody likes to win awards, but you should be focusing on Baldrige as an opportunity for improving and enhancing business,” said Carter.
    • When writing an application, it can’t be aspirational; it has to reflect reality. “It’s easy to write a Baldrige application about what you think you should be doing or what you want to do, but that doesn’t necessarily reflect how you’re operating, which is why identification of gaps is so important,” she added.

    At the upcoming Quest for Excellence Conference, in addition to learning about a structured methodology that participants can use for gap identification, Carter said she’ll also be sharing some leading practices that PwC Public Sector Practice uncovered through its own gap identification process.

    She added that using the Baldrige Excellence Framework and its Criteria “helps you to achieve a higher level of integration and coordination across your business that you wouldn’t necessarily get from using another framework like Lean/Six Sigma. Integration is really a key beneficial factor of using Baldrige.”


  4. The ups and downs in an evolution of excellence

    February 8, 2017 by ahmed

     

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Marie Bailey

    According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, an evolution is a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state. Here’s a story of an organizational evolution that includes a recession, natural disasters, and growth-and the excellence that came out of it.

    At the upcoming, 29th Annual Quest for Excellence conference, Jamie Capehart, Performance Improvement Specialist at Baldrige Award recipient Park Place Lexus, will be sharing a story of how the car dealership used the Baldrige Excellence Framework to propel itself through a recession, the loss of product due to a natural disaster, complacency, and massive growth. The session will outline the ups and downs of the service organization’s evolution of excellence.

    Park Place Lexus, which sells and services new and pre-owned Lexus vehicles, and sells Lexus parts to the wholesale and retail markets at its two locations in Plano and Grapevine, Texas, began its journey to excellence in 1994, benchmarking business practices outside of the automobile industry, with the intent of emulating the best business practices staff could find and bringing innovation to the industry. Four years later, the company conducted its first internal assessment using the Baldrige Criteria (now part of the Baldrige framework) to identify areas for improvement. But a lot has happened since 1994.

    michaelainsworth@gmail.com

    Capehart said using Baldrige resources guided the organization to solidify its internal teams “to propel us into the future with sustainable processes and plans,” adding that the process has created a “Baldrige bond.” Park Place Lexus is even being honored this year with a best practice recognition for its focus on customers.

    “Since going through the Baldrige process, we have been able to break down walls and look at our business from a whole perspective versus a siloed perspective,” she said. “Our performance improvement teams have realized more success in one year than they had in the previous three years utilizing the knowledge gained through the framework, as well as through other [Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award] MBNQA recipients.”

    As a Baldrige Award recipient, Park Place Lexus, through Capehart, will be sharing other tips to help U.S. organizations improve and evolve. For example, Capehart suggests

    • Do a very honest gap analysis using the Baldrige framework and other available Baldrige assessments.
    • Thoroughly understand the Baldrige Criteria, attend state/national Baldrige conferences, network with recipients, and invest in a coach.
    • No matter how far from being “recipient worthy” you may feel along the way, follow the Baldrige process as far as it can take you. Then, do it again!

    Capehart said Park Place Lexus has continued to use Baldrige resources since its win in 2005. “Our industry/sector is highly competitive, and the [Baldrige] framework helped us think strategically through each category and facet of our business to uncover blind spots, including segmentation of our Clients/Members, the effective use of data, and understanding what true innovation and risk taking can do.”

    And such thinking has certainly contributed to its evolution of excellence.

    What could such an evolution look like for your organization?


  5. The Impact of the Baldrige Award . . . 15+ Years Later

    February 1, 2017 by ahmed

    15years

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Christine Schaefer

    Earlier this month, 2001 Baldrige Award-winning University of Wisconsin–Stout hosted a lively campus engagement session. (See for yourself via this video of the livestreamed event, which kicked off with dancing.) The university holds the so-called “You Said… We Did” sessions each January to demonstrate its responsiveness to the input of its employees and students.The same week, UW–Stout released news highlighting the ongoing impact of the Baldrige Award and excellence framework on its values and practices.

    Following is a recent conversation on that impact with Meridith Drzakowski, a senior Baldrige examiner and the assistant chancellor at UW–Stout who oversees the university’s office of Planning, Assessment, Research and Quality.

    1- Tell us about your university’s ongoing use of the Baldrige Excellence Framework (which includes the Education Criteria for Performance Excellence)?

    Since the 2001 Baldrige Award, nearly all of the people who were part of the team that led us through that process have left UW–Stout. However, within the past several years, we’ve started an informal Baldrige team. Membership is open to the entire campus, and we meet several times throughout the year to discuss ways in which we are following the Baldrige Criteria and addressing our opportunities for improvement. The focus isn’t about writing a new Baldrige Award application; instead, it’s about how we can continue to grow and learn using the Baldrige Criteria.

    We also send teams to various Baldrige professional development offerings through the state-level Baldrige programs in Wisconsin and Minnesota, as well as to the Baldrige regional conferences and occasionally to the Quest for Excellence® Conference. And we encourage them to become examiners through the state-level Baldrige programs.

    In addition, we use a Baldrige-based approach to meet our regional accreditation requirements through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). At the HLC’s 2017 conference, I’ll be co-presenting with Jan Garfield, another Baldrige examiner and HLC peer reviewer, about how to integrate HLC requirements into daily operations. We’ll be talking about how understanding and using ADLI (i.e., Approach/Deployment/
    Learning/Integration, which are process evaluation factors in the Baldrige Criteria) can reduce the burden associated with preparing for comprehensive visits, quality initiatives, and required reports associated with meeting HLC requirements.

    Incidentally, UW–Stout had its comprehensive review in March 2016. The review team leader said it was the best portfolio he had ever seen.

    2- Would you please describe a few examples of how Baldrige-based practices have contributed to your organization’s success?

    One of the most significant processes that has been impacted by the Baldrige Criteria is our planning process. The planning process aligns feedback we receive from the campus with data we collect on key performance indicators and with our budget. Our student jobs program and “You Said…We Did” events are great examples of initiatives/actions implemented through this process.

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    To encourage innovation, one principle that is important to us in planning is starting with the idea first, and identifying resource needs second. It’s easy to start by saying, “We only have $X dollars,” and then let that limit your thinking. However, starting by thinking big has helped us to implement new initiatives in innovative ways.

    One example is our e-Stout (laptop) program. Students pay a per-credit fee to receive a laptop that is refreshed every two years and that they keep after graduation. The fee also provides for a number of support services, software programs, etc. This idea would never have come forward if we started by looking at the amount of money we had available.

    Other examples of innovative ways we have funded initiatives include partnerships with our foundation office, forming grant-writing teams to apply for external funding, and increasing efforts for fundraising. (We have a university priority on fundraising and are starting the process of implementing a comprehensive campaign.)

    Baldrige has also helped us to focus on a smaller number of metrics that are most important to us. Every five years, we update the list of our key performance indicators that we use to assess the success of our strategic plan. Although we collect data on hundreds of metrics campus-wide, the Baldrige framework helps us prioritize to focus on those metrics that are most important to our success and that align with our strategic plan—which keeps them to a small number.

    3- What are your top tips for using the Baldrige framework to support improvement and innovation?

    -Trust the process. When new faculty and staff members are hired at UW–Stout, it’s common for them to look at our planning process and say that it’s too time-intensive or complex or impossible to reach consensus with so many stakeholders. We tell them to trust the process, to give it a year and then decide whether they think it works or not. After the year is over, most people understand and buy in to the importance of the process.
    -You can start small. You don’t have to begin by deciding to write an entire Baldrige Award application or implementing all of the Baldrige Criteria. Start with the Organizational Profile, and then pick a specific item or core value to start with. The way we engage people in the process is by involving them in aspects of the Criteria that impact them directly or that they are interested in learning more about, or about which they have ideas or concerns. It’s not about receiving the award; it’s about learning and growing as an organization.

    4- Would you please outline what participants may learn at your university’s session, “From Crisis to Confidence,” at the Baldrige Program’s Quest for Excellence® Conference in Baltimore in early April?

    During difficult budget times, the easy thing to do is to stop or cut back on new, innovative ideas that emerge through the strategic planning process or to administer across-the-board cuts.

    However, despite the significant and ongoing budget cuts that UW–Stout has experienced over many years—including the most significant cuts we’ve ever received within the last biennium—we have always continued to focus on what’s important and never stopped planning, listening, and making decisions based on the data. We’ve had to cut back and be more selective about what is funded, but we’ve never stopped putting our time and resources into these processes.

    Our presenters, Maria Alm and David Ding, will also discuss how visionary leadership at UW–Stout has helped support our focus on what’s important. And we will discuss the critical role that the leadership has in building and maintaining trust, as well as some of the processes we use to build trust.

    [Added Alm, “Participants will learn how UW-Stout’s commitment to the Baldrige Criteria helped us navigate the most recent round of state budget cuts. While the cuts were significant, we never lost sight of the importance of (and our values related to) planning, innovation, and people. For that reason, after what was a very difficult year, we were still able to celebrate our accomplishments and to dance!”]

    5- What are a few key reasons that organizations in your sector can benefit from using the Baldrige framework?

    The framework can help [universities] meet regional accreditation requirements. We have one process for planning, one process for accountability, one process for assessment, etc., and requirements for the HLC are integrated within those processes.

    At the same time, Baldrige helps us put our primary focus on taking action because it will benefit the organization. In other words, the framework can help organizations focus on taking action not because an external organization told them they had to do something but because it’s important to them. When an organization is trying to encourage buy-in on processes related to planning and assessment, the last thing that people want to hear is, “We are doing this because it’s required by our accrediting body.”

    Also, the Baldrige framework provides guidance in making resource decisions—in good times and in bad.