1. Study reveals business-changing journey for small businesses

    December 9, 2016 by ahmed

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Marie Bailey

    Many economists have surmised that the health of U.S. small businesses is key to the health of the U.S. economy. In fact, a Forbes article by Ian Shepherdson, “Small Businesses Are The (Missing) Key To A Full Economic Recovery,” cites that small firms account for about half of the nation’s gross domestic product and employ about half the workforce, “so if they are struggling it is very hard for the economy as a whole to grow in line with its long-term trend.”So how can we help give a foundation to U.S. small businesses so that they don’t need to struggle?

    A recent study “Quality management (QM) leads to healthier small businesses,” published in the Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, explores how small businesses in the housing industry that have embraced quality management approaches, such as Baldrige, Six Sigma, and EFQM, are seeing improved performance.

    Study authors William H. Murphy and Denis Leonard interviewed ten owners of small family-owned businesses who have won the National Housing Quality Award (NHQA), which is based on the Baldrige Excellence Framework and its Criteria. Sponsored by Professional Builder magazine and the National Association of Home Builders Research Center, the NHQA provides housing contractors with the opportunity to submit Baldrige-based award applications to receive an assessment by QM experts on development gaps and to possibly receive an award. (See also the recent blog “Adapting Baldrige to the National Housing Industry.”)

    “Once small business owners realize that the QM journey is a sensible, necessary, business-changing journey, change can happen swiftly,” write Murphy and Leonard. “Yet, truly seeing the truth of this claim and following up by changing one’s business toward a QM journey is often a tough step for many small business owners to take. After all, small business owners are often extremely busy, with time-pressing commitments and little wiggle room for figuring out how to engage new platforms such as QM. Yet, as our interviews repeatedly revealed, life gets a lot easier for everyone once QM is part of the business.”

    The Baldrige Excellence Framework, with its eligibility category for small businesses (500 or fewer paid employees), is one quality management tool that the study cites.

    “Baldrige, once believed too complex for small businesses to pursue, let alone attain, has proven to be a platform providing excellent performance results for small businesses,” write Murphy and Leonard. According to another article—“Don’t count TQM out: evidence shows implementation pays off in a big way” (Quality Progress, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 35-42)—Baldrige small business category winners outperform benchmark companies by an average of 63 percent, while large organization winners outperform their benchmarks by only 22 percent.

    Indeed, two of the four 2016 Baldrige Award recipients are small businesses: Don Chalmers Ford and Momentum Group. The other two recipients, both in the health care sector, are also small: Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation Center – Mountain Valley is a 68-bed skilled nursing center and Memorial Hermann Sugar Land is a 149-bed community hospital.

    As a whole, the small business owners interviewed in the study were “certain that positive outcomes follow” once a business implements QM; however, the owners did recognize some barriers to engagement. “A key variable precluding business improvement may be the belief that one’s business is doing fine without QM,” write the study’s authors. “If this is the case, familiarity with QM may be a necessary but not sufficient factor in small businesses adopting QM—until there is an accompanying belief that one’s small business has weaknesses in the absence of QM, embracing QM may not occur.”

    Small business owners recommend customizing tools and staying the course once started on QM. “Interviewees strongly feel the barriers are small relative to gains realized through QM,” write the study’s authors.

    According to Murphy and Leonard, “The first step toward launching QM is generally the hardest, as most businesses have to stumble along for a while before truly catching on to QM’s logic and potential. And yet, by targeting easy projects and using a few tools from QM toolboxes, change for the better is soon realized. Over time, with a conviction gained by success and the developing belief that QM is a game changer for one’s small business, owners may find themselves pushing their QM platforms in unexpected directions.”

    To find the complete article, go to “Quality management (QM) leads to healthier small businesses.”

  2. COER News – Benchmarking and Business Excellence, December 2016

    December 7, 2016 by ahmed


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

    If you are short of time to read the PDF we wish to inform you of a major event next year – The 5th International Best Practice Competition. This Competition will be held in Mumbai, India, 25/26th April 2017. The First Call for entries closes on 23 January 2017 so please think about what you do well inside your organisation and apply for entry at http://www.bestpracticecompetition.com/entry-form. This is a fun event and great for learning and sharing best practices. If your best practice is selected you will be invited to give an 8 minute presentation in Mumbai, India and share your best practice with more than 30 others with the chance to be selected as the Winner! Entry is free but there is a fee if you qualify to give a presentation to cover the competition’s administration costs.


    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
    • Dubai We Learn – Knowledge Sharing and Innovation Initiative
    • Benchmarking Certification (New 7-Star Recognition System)
    • A Guidebook for National Productivity Organisations
    • COER’s research projects
    • PhD Research Opportunities
    • Read the LATEST on our Best Practice Resource – BPIR.com
    • BPIR.com – Looking to make a Bigger Impact
    • COER’s workshops
    • Events
    • Other Activities/Articles of Interest

    You can download the newsletter from here

  3. Cyber security risk management: what should we be talking about?

    November 27, 2016 by ahmed


    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Marie Bailey

    Disrupting, destroying, or threatening the delivery of an organization’s essential services—no matter what industry they are in—can be mitigated by chief information officers following six steps—among them elements that are in complete alignment with the Baldrige Excellence Framework, according to a cyber security expert.In a recent blog “CEOs: Interviewing CIOs? Six Things to Listen for Regarding Cyber Security Risk Management,” Todd McQueston, head of global product marketing and business development for Wolters Kluwer Health, compiled what C-suite leaders should be talking about, based on an interview with Bob Merkle, a cyber security risk management consultant. Among the six things to listen for include long-term systems thinking and a strong quality control system.

    McQueston also highlights the recent NIST announcement regarding the Baldrige Cybersecurity Initiative, which has been publicly endorsed by, among others, U.S. Chief Information Officer Tony Scott, who is helping to lead the President’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan. (The Baldrige Program is currently seeking feedback on the Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder, a self-assessment tool integrating Baldrige concepts and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework.) The Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder is intended to enable organizations to better understand the effectiveness of their cybersecurity efforts and identify opportunities for improvement.

    To read McQueston’s complete blog, please go to https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ceos-interviewing-cios-six-things-listen-regarding-cyber-mcqueston.

  4. A systems perspective to leadership and strategy

    November 25, 2016 by ahmed

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Harry Hertz

    I recently read a summary of an interview with Wharton Professors Harbir Singh and Mike Useem. The interview relates to their new book, The strategic leaders roadmap. In the book they contend that successful senior executives must be capable of integrating strategic thinking with strong leadership skills.Leaders who adopt the Baldrige excellence framework have already successfully addressed this integrative need because of the questions in the Leadership and Strategy categories of the Baldrige criteria. Indeed, the key considerations that Singh and Useem outline are contained in item 1.1 on Senior Leadership and item 2.1 on Strategy Development and are systemically interrelated in the criteria.

    Here are the key points I gleaned from the interview and how they relate to the relevant Baldrige criteria:

    • Leaders must inspire the workforce, and must also deliver strategic inspiration and discipline: The Baldrige criteria (item 1.1) ask how senior leaders create a focus on action that will achieve innovation and intelligent risk taking, and attain the organization’s vision. Item 2.1 asks how the organization seeks out potential blind spots in its strategy to avoid a senior leader’s bias or potential lack of realization that there is a changing external or competitive environment. Such bias may cause a disciplined approach to a poor strategy.
    • Leaders may be good at strategic thinking, but thin on making things happen, driving strategy and change through the organization: This is the very reason that starting with the Baldrige excellence builder, the criteria ask (item 1.1) how senior leaders set an overall focus on action and, in specific, in item 2.1 ask about the ability to execute the strategic plan and to achieve transformational change.
    • Leaders must realize that execution is not just about the workforce following orders, but that it is about creating and enhancing the value proposition to the client and getting ideas from the entire workforce: In item 1.1, customers and the workforce receive significant attention. At the Excellence builder level the criteria ask: “How do senior leaders communicate with and engage the entire workforce and key customers?” In the more detailed Baldrige criteria there are questions about senior leaders’ two-way communication with the workforce, and their actions to reinforce a customer focus, foster customer engagement, and create customer value.
    • Leaders must balance quarterly results with setting the tone of an ethical climate and a policy of integrity first: Here too, item 1.1 of the Baldrige criteria sends a clear message by asking how senior leaders’ actions demonstrate their commitment to ethical behavior and how they promote an organizational environment that requires it.
    • Leaders must create agility and adaptability in the organization: Item 2.1 specifically asks how the strategic planning process addresses the potential need for organizational agility and operational flexibility.

    While I have given some very specific examples from the Baldrige criteria, these are just examples. The systems perspective of Baldrige means these topics are addressed at appropriate places throughout all seven categories of the criteria to cause linkages wherever valuable.

    Professors Singh and Useem summarize their treatise by saying that senior leaders must be strategic in thought and lead well. I would assert that you can simply operationalize this unified concept (and more) by following the advice given in items 1.1 and 2.1 of the Baldrige criteria. And in the process, gain a systems perspective of all that is important in leadership and strategy.

  5. Chapter on Organizational Excellence for the global encyclopedia

    November 19, 2016 by ahmed


    This article has been provided by Dawn Ringrose, Organizational Excellence Specialists, OETC and GBN, Canada

    Dawn had the unique honour to author a Chapter on Organizational Excellence for the Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-31816-5_16-1). The Editor in Chief was Ali Farazmand, the publisher was Springer International Publishing Switzerland and the encyclopedia was published in 2016.The Chapter:

    • answers the question “What is Organizational Excellence?”
    • shares key research findings that validate the positive relationship between implementing an excellence model and improving organizational performance
    • lists the key benefits of implementing an excellence model
    • identifies a gap in the literature that was addressed by the Organizational Excellence Framework publication
    • describes the key steps to follow when implementing an excellence model
    • concludes with the challenge that remains, to increase awareness about excellence models and describes research that is being undertaken to address this challenge, the ‘first global assessment on the current state of organizational excellence’ (Organizational Excellence Technical Committee, QMD, ASQ)

    About the author:
    Dawn Ringrose MBA, FCMC is Principal of Organizational Excellence Specialists and Author of the Organizational Excellence Framework and related toolkit. Her qualifications include: Certified Organizational Excellence Specialist (OES, 2011), Certified Excellence Professional (NQI, 2004), Registered ISO 9000 Specialist (ICMCC, 1996), Assessor of Quality Systems (IQA IRCA, 1996). She has worked in the area of organizational excellence since 1990 and is currently the representative for Canada on the Organizational Excellence Technical Committee (QMD, ASQ) and Global Benchmarking Network.
    Interested organizations are invited to: