1. Baldridge Excellence Framework – 2017 Criteria emphasises 2 areas that no business can ignore

    January 29, 2017 by ahmed


    The Baldrige Excellence Framework or the Criteria for Performance Excellence, has for the past 30 years, captured the essence of what excellent performing organisations do. It describes what it takes for an organisation to be sustainably successful in the long term. Reviewed every two years the Criteria changes are made to reflect the current business environment. The changes in the Criteria provide a useful indication of today’s business environment and what will drive the competitive advantage of leading organisations in the future.

    ‘Today the 2017–2018 Baldrige Excellence Framework offers organizations of all kinds the world’s most valuable, nonprescriptive guide for leadership and management that facilitates a systems approach to achieving organization-wide excellence.’, Robert Fangmeyer, Director of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program

    Whether or not you subscribe to the Baldrige framework or one of other Performance Excellence frameworks in use across 85 countries today, there are many thousands of organisations that use the Criteria to improve. Some of these organisations may be your competitors. The changes in the Criteria will be areas they will be focussing on right now to gain an edge in your market.

    So, what changes have been made in the Baldrige Excellence Framework for 2017?

    In making changes, the authors of the 2017-2018 Criteria for Performance Excellence, note the following:

    “The Criteria must balance two important considerations. On the one hand, the Criteria need to reflect a national standard for performance excellence, educating organizations in all aspects of establishing an integrated performance manage¬ment system. On the other hand, the Criteria need to be accessible and user-friendly for a variety of organizations at varying levels of maturity.”

    Two key areas

    There are two key areas that underpin the Criteria revision for 2017.
    The first is cybersecurity.
    In a recent blog posting ‘Has the dark side captured Yahoo!’, I described Yahoo!’s security problems in which thieves stole the private information from over 1 billion user accounts. Experts describe this as the largest known breach of its kind on the Internet.

    Yahoo! are not alone in not being able to keep their information systems secure. Some would say they were lucky because at least they knew their systems had been hacked. There were an estimated 300 million cyberattacks during 2015. Of those only 90 million were detected. This means 70% of cyberattacks go unnoticed. And such attacks are increasing at an annual rate of approximately 40 percent.

    For businesses and organisa¬tions of all kinds, managing and reducing cyber risks to data, information, and systems have become a necessity.

    The second key area is in enterprise risk management.

    Who would have thought that an earthquake, could cause a tsunami big enough to destroy emergency generators that were cooling a nuclear power plant, which in turn would cause a meltdown and radiation leakage, that would cause the evacuation of the only plant in the world that made Xirallic pigments, and prevent Ford customers from buying their favourite metallic black motor vehicles. See ‘Enterprise risk management and tuxedo black’. And yet that is exactly what happened to Merck at their Onahama factory when the magnitude 9.0 Tohoku earthquake hit off the coast of Japan in March 2011.

    It is essential that businesses or enterprises manage risk. The international standard ISO 31000: Risk Management—Principles and Guidelines, provides a framework from which all enterprise risks including those from events like the Tohoku earthquake may be identified, analysed, evaluated, and treated in a systematic manner.

    All organisations need to take risks to be successful. Deciding which risks are intelligent and worth taking needs to be carefully considered and can mean the difference between extinction, survival, or role-model performance.

    2017 Revision Criteria category changes

    For those familiar with the Baldrige framework, the following summarises where changes have been made for 2017.

    Category 1 (Leadership) has been re-organised, and duplication removed to clarify that senior leadership involves taking action in three key areas:

    1. vision and values,
    2. communication, and
    3. mission and organi¬sational performance

    Category 2 (Strategy) now emphasises the importance of considering the many questions about strategy as elements of managing strategic risk in your organisation. Questions on work systems have been reorganised to assist making decisions on work processes and effective work systems.

    Category 4 (Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management) has undergone change to improve clarity:
    The area on Best Practices has been moved to item 4.2 as part of manag¬ing organizational knowledge.
    Item 4.2, now renamed ‘Information and Knowledge Management’, has been reordered and realigned to focus on the quality and availability of data and information and on organisa¬tional knowledge, including the sharing of best practices.

    Data and Information security and emergency availability have been moved to Operations.

    Category 5 (Workforce) includes two new requirements:

    1. The need to ensure new workforce members fit your organizational culture
    2. To consider the learning and development desires of workforce members in your learning and development system

    Category 6 (Operations) is where key work processes have been introduced as an overall requirement) to recognise the importance of being clear about these processes:

    The risks associated with product and process design also now need to be considered.
    Supply-chain management has been moved to reflect its importance as a key work process.
    The 6.2 (Operational Effectiveness) item, includes how information systems are managed during both normal operations and during disasters or emergencies.
    Information systems reliability, security, and cybersecurity need to be assured.

    Category 7 (Results)
    Item 7.1 Product and Process Results, now include results for security and cybersecurity processes and your safety system.
    Items 7.2 and 7.3 have had name changes.
    Item 7.4, Leadership and Governance Results, includes results for managing risk and taking intelligent risks.

    Using the Criteria
    There is no question about the value that any type of organisation of any size, in any industry, or at any stage of its maturity will benefit from the Criteria for Performance Excellence. For over 30 years the Criteria has provided leaders with answers to three fundamental questions;

    1. How can I tell if my organisation is doing as well as it could?
    2. How do I know?
    3. What should I improve or change?

    The Criteria tell you WHAT. They are non-prescriptive and will not tell you HOW.

    For the HOW, you need to learn what other successful organisations have done to improve, realise sustainable results, and get to the top of their chosen niche. This is best practice benchmarking, where you can learn from the best to apply even better practices to your own organisation. Best practice benchmarking saves us from starting with a ‘blank sheet of paper’, and increasingly this is available online. For example, the bpir.com, described as ‘the complete resource for improvement and business excellence’ provides thousands of benchmarks, best practices, tools, including networking with best practice leaders.

    Before you rush off to commission your best practice benchmarking project just remember to make sure that you have assessed your organisation against the very latest 2017 – 2018 Criteria so you know that you are working on the most important area you need to fix right now for 2017.

    Wishing you all the best for coming year,

    This article has been provided by Michael Voss, Owner of PYXIS & Associate Consultant of COER (Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, NZ)

  2. Future uncertain? Focus on efficiency, stewardship

    January 22, 2017 by ahmed


    Posted on Blogrige by Dawn Marie Bailey

    With new policies and directions from an incoming Presidential administration, and the news media theorizing about uncertain futures for organizations across the economic spectrum, U.S. organizations, more than ever, need to ensure that they are efficient and effective with their resources and, most importantly, are providing real value to their customers.For example, in a recent Becker’s Hospital Review article, Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove warned U.S. hospitals that they must focus on efficiency in order to prevent hospital closures, especially as a potential new health care delivery system may cause changes and consolidations in the insurance industry.

    The Baldrige Excellence Framework’s focus on results provides a natural guide for organizations on how to be efficient and effective. The framework and its Criteria lead an organization to examine itself from three viewpoints: the external view (How do your customers and other stakeholders view you?), the internal view (How efficient and effective are your operations?), and the future view (Is your organization learning and growing?).

    This blog focuses on that internal view and how Baldrige and its resources can help—and have helped—organizations ensure that they are efficient and effective with their resources. And along those lines of being efficient and effective with resources, is being a good steward of those resources.

    Stewardship can be defined as the care, conservancy, planning, attention, upkeep, and management of resources, whether they be financial, labor, or other type. And any organization that is not a good steward of its resources—including the resource of taxpayer dollars for government agencies—may find that those resources may not be there much longer. According to the Baldrige framework, for nonprofit organizations that serve as stewards of public funds, stewardship of those funds and transparency in operations are especially important areas of emphasis.

    This blog compiles stories of ways that the Baldrige Excellence Framework and its Criteria have helped U.S. organizations to be aligned, agile, and good stewards of their resources by listening to the voices of their customers and by taking intelligent risks to ensure future success. All of this leads not only to sustainability but, most importantly, creates value for customers, patients, students, and other stakeholders.

    Could Baldrige Help Detroit?” explores how the Baldrige Criteria focused Award recipients on treating their city governments as businesses—forcing them to consider financial stewardship, strategic priorities, customer engagement, and all the other considerations that must be addressed to keep a business sustainable.

    In “Orchestra Faces Bankruptcy, Meets Baldrige, Brings Beautiful Music Back to Life,” the New Mexico Philharmonic was able to consolidate its resources by using Baldrige guidelines to become process-based and bring effective business management to the endeavor. Along the way, the orchestra even became a good steward of its gift of music and education, which was shared with economically challenged public school students.

    Baldrige and Strategic Planning/Budgeting” explains how a town used the Baldrige Criteria to conduct its strategic planning and budgeting processes, adopting a balanced scorecard to improve its performance measurement and management. For this achievement, the town was honored by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.

    In “How a Charity is Using Baldrige to Serve the Blind,” the Blind Foundation of India has used the Baldrige Criteria as a way to ensure optimum efficiency and effectiveness—serving over 15 million blind people and raising over $4 million.

    For Manufacturers, Baldrige Could be the ‘Cure’ for Focusing on the Future” tells the stories of how small and large manufacturers used the Baldrige Criteria to weather multiple recessions and come out stronger than competitors.

    Creating an Organizational Scorecard for the United States Golf Association” outlines how the USGA was inspired from the Baldrige Executive Fellows program to create an organizational scorecard to align metrics to key customers and the strategic plan.

    One Way to Carve Your Values—and Culture—in Stone” tells the story of how one Baldrige Award winner literally cemented the values of its employees in the culture in order to be a good steward of its internal resources.

  3. Building employee trust: Tips validated by the Baldrige excellence framework

    January 19, 2017 by ahmed


    Originally posted on Blogrige by Christine Schaefer

    In an online Harvard Business Review article this month, Sue Bingham, an expert on creating high-performing workplaces, addresses a growing concern among business leaders today that employees don’t trust their organizations. She then describes four practices to build employee trust. Those who have already read the latest edition (2017–2018) of the Baldrige Excellence Framework will see that Bingham’s four tips align with the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence (part of the framework).

    Following are examples of the connections.

    1. “Hire for Trust.”

    In elaborating on this guidance, Bingham cautions, “Don’t assume that technical skills and knowledge trump character.”

    The workforce-focused section of the Baldrige Criteria (known as category 5) begins with this assessment question as a basic requirement: How do you build an effective and supportive workforce environment? An organization being evaluated against the Baldrige Criteria is expected to describe systematic processes in response to that question and to the more specific question How do you recruit, hire, place, and retain new workforce members?

    Baldrige evaluation factors include whether (and the degree to which) an organization’s process is deployed, improved, and integrated. In regard to hiring practices, organizations scoring high in this area of a Baldrige assessment often describe hiring processes that use behavioral-based and team interview practices, among others (though the Criteria do not prescribe particular approaches), as means to aligning hiring outcomes with the organization’s identified values and related organizational culture.

    In her HBR article, Bingham makes clear that in high-performing organizations, trust is a key part of the culture. Also emphasizing the importance of the values that define the organizational culture, the leadership section (category 1) of the Baldrige Criteria begins with questions that ask leaders how they set and deploy the organization’s vision and values.

    2. “Make Positive Assumptions about People.”

    Bingham points out that negative assumptions by leaders about employees lead to micromanaging, which conveys distrust. She counsels leaders to “give challenging assignments with the clear and confident belief that your expectations will be met” and also recommends that they “promote transparency.”

    In the “Workforce Engagement” section (item 5.2), the Criteria ask about fostering an organizational culture characterized by open communication. The Criteria also ask, How do you empower your workforce?, stressing that leaders should give people the authority and responsibility to make decisions and take actions. When this happens, decisions are made closest to the front line, by people who have knowledge and understanding related to the work to be done.

    At a more fundamental level, the 11 core values and concepts of the Baldrige framework (and Criteria) include visionary leadership, valuing people, and ethics and transparency. In describing the valuing people concept, the Baldrige Excellence Framework booklet states (on page 41 of the 2017–2018 edition), “Valuing the people in your workforce means committing to their engagement, development, and well-being.”

    In addition, in describing visionary leadership, the Baldrige Excellence Framework booklet states (on page 40 in the 2017–2018 edition), “Senior leaders should serve as role models through their ethical behavior and their personal involvement in planning, providing a supportive environment for innovation, communicating, coaching and motivating the workforce, developing future leaders, reviewing organizational performance, and recognizing workforce members.”

    3. “Treat Employees Fairly, Not Equally.”

    According to Bingham, a disciplinary policy that treats everyone the same “strips people of their individuality and unique abilities to contribute.” She advocates that leaders instead have supportive discussions with individual employees when there are concerns about performance, given that being treated with respect and support can make people feel safe enough to accept responsibility and motivate them to determine solutions to effectively address their problems.

    Again, in describing the valuing people concept, the Baldrige Excellence Framework booklet states (on page 41 of the 2017–2018 edition), “Valuing the people in your workforce means committing to their engagement, development, and well-being. Increasingly, this may involve offering flexible work practices that are tailored to varying workplace and life needs. Major challenges in valuing your workforce members include demonstrating your leaders’ commitment to their success, providing motivation and recognition that go beyond the regular compensation system …”

    4. “Create a Zero-Tolerance Policy for Deceitfulness.”

    Bingham states, “High-performance companies value trust so much that they implement and enforce zero-tolerance policies for betraying it.”

    Of course, to build trust leaders must be held accountable to the same values and policies. The Baldrige Criteria requirements in the leadership section (category 1) emphasize leaders’ personal actions reflecting the organization’s values and legal and ethical behavior. In the “Senior Leadership” section (item 1.1), Criteria questions include these: How do senior leaders’ personal actions reflect a commitment to [the organization’s] values? How do senior leaders’ actions demonstrate their commitment to legal and ethical behavior?

    What’s more, the Baldrige framework booklet’s description of visionary leadership states, “As role models, [senior leaders] can reinforce ethics, values, and expectations while building leadership, commitment, and initiative throughout your organization.”

    I’ve drawn out but a few of the ways the Baldrige framework aligns with Bingham’s expert guidance on building trust with employees. But from this sampling of material, I hope it’s clear that using the Baldrige framework to lead and manage an organization will put one on the right track to cultivating employee trust and high performance.

  4. What America still needs, part 2

    January 6, 2017 by ahmed


    Originally posted on Blogrige by Robert Fangmeyer

    In my last blog, I talked about the role of the Baldrige Excellence Framework and Criteria for Performance Excellence in enabling organizations of all kinds to achieve sustainable high performance. As I stated, a critical factor in this is the ongoing process of keeping the Baldrige Criteria at the leading edge of validated leadership and performance practices. Through significant and intentional evolution over 29 years, today the Baldrige Excellence Framework offers organizations of all kinds a nonprescriptive leadership and management guide that facilitates a systems approach to achieving organization-wide excellence.As the Baldrige framework and the Criteria evolve to remain relevant and effective, they must balance two important considerations. On the one hand, the Criteria need to reflect a national standard for performance excellence. They need to serve as a tool for educating organizations in all aspects of establishing an integrated performance management system that effectively considers and addresses internal and external stakeholder needs and expectations. On the other hand, the Criteria need to be accessible and user-friendly for a variety of organizations at varying levels of maturity.

    To strike this balance, changes reflected in the 2017–2018 Baldrige Excellence Framework focus on strengthening two areas of growing importance to organizations’ long-term success (cybersecurity and enterprise risk management, or ERM) and on making the Criteria more logical from the users’ perspective.


    There were an estimated 300 million cyberattacks in 2015—only 90 million of which were detected—and attacks are increasing at an annual rate of approximately 40 percent. For organizations of all kinds, managing and reducing cyber risks to data, information, and systems have become a necessity.

    The Baldrige Criteria have addressed the security of information systems and the confidentiality of information since 2001. In the 2017–2018 revision, Criteria requirements and notes now reflect the growing importance of protecting against the loss of sensitive information about employees, customers, and organizations; protecting intellectual property; and protecting against the financial, legal, and reputational aspects of breaches. Just consider the immediate and potential long-term impact of the recent disclosure that 1 billion Yahoo email accounts were compromised in 2013, along with another 500 million in 2014.

    Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)

    No organization is risk-free. Intelligent risk management requires your organization to decide when and how to take and manage risks. These decisions can mean the difference between extinction, survival, or role-model performance. The Baldrige framework—through its systems perspective—has long addressed ERM. The future competitive advantage that will flow from good ERM is based on holistically addressing risk and taking actions—including pursuing intelligent risks—as part of an organization’s overall strategic approach to managing its performance.

    In the latest revision, some Criteria requirements and notes now highlight (1) that risk is inherent in everything organizations do, and (2) that the challenge is to balance the level of risk taken with the organization’s sustainability and opportunities for innovation.

    To make the Criteria more accessible and logical from users’ perspective, we have simplified several Criteria items, and some requirements have been moved, removed, or changed in wording to aid readers’ understanding.

    For those who are newer users of the Baldrige Criteria, the Baldrige Program last year published an abridged version of the Baldrige framework for the first time. Called the Baldrige Excellence Builder, this resource consists of the most important questions for organizations seeking to improve their performance. A new Baldrige Excellence Builder based on the 2017–2018 Baldrige Excellence Framework will be available in late January (PDF) and mid- to late February (for printed copies). In addition, for an assessment tool targeted at your organization’s cybersecurity risk management efforts, download the Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder.

    The 2017–2018 Baldrige Excellence Framework is available now. The sector-specific versions for health care and education organizations will be available in mid-January 2017.

  5. What America still needs, part 1

    by ahmed


    Originally posted on Blogrige by Robert Fangmeyer

    Last week, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program released the 2017–2018 Baldrige Excellence Framework (Business/Nonprofit version). This booklet includes the 26th version of the Criteria for Performance Excellence published by the program since 1988. Although a lot has changed in the world (and in the Criteria) since that first version, one thing hasn’t: the Baldrige framework enhances the growth and sustainability of America’s businesses and other organizations by improving their efficiency, effectiveness, and outcomes.A couple of weeks ago I read with great interest the report No Recovery, produced by Gallup for the U.S. Council on Competitiveness. The report makes a strong case that U.S. economic recovery is being hampered by a serious decline in productivity, brought on in large part by systemic quality issues in health care and education. Obviously, the concerns with the quality of health care and education in the United States are not new. They have been a priority for every administration for at least the last 25 years. However, their clear connection to an overall decline in the nation’s productivity, investment, and economic growth is not as widely recognized—and certainly has not been effectively addressed on a large scale.

    Baldrige can help. In its first versions, the Criteria helped address the quality crisis of the 1980s by enabling and encouraging businesses to adopt a robust, leadership-driven, customer-focused quality management system. And it worked! Numerous studies and data analysis confirmed that organizations that adopted the Baldrige framework outperformed competitors and peers. In 1999, the Baldrige Award process (and other Baldrige resources) officially expanded to cover the health care and education sectors. The nonprofit sector (including government organizations) was added in 2007, enabling the Baldrige program to support all sectors of the economy.

    Today, however, merely having high-quality products and services alone is no longer sufficient to create and sustain a competitive advantage; in most industries, it is a prerequisite, and not having it is a barrier to entry. Therefore, in support of the program’s larger purpose of improving the U.S. economy by improving our national competitiveness, as the drivers of long-term success have evolved, so, too, have the Baldrige Excellence Framework and Criteria.

    Recent Studies and data analysis continue to demonstrate that organizations that use the Baldrige framework and Criteria outperform their competitors and peers. Baldrige works, and it works for organizations of all kinds, including health care organizations, education systems and institutions, large service businesses and manufacturers, small businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies.

    A 1995 report of the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, Building on Baldrige: American Quality for the 21st Century, stated, “More than any other program, the Baldrige National Quality Award is responsible for making quality a national priority and disseminating best practices.” The Baldrige Program continues to help address national priorities by developing and disseminating the globally recognized and emulated standard of organization-wide excellence, by identifying role-model organizations through the Baldrige Award process, and by sharing role-model best practices. The program is also involved in initiatives to help address our national cybersecurity (or cyber resilience, if you prefer) needs, and to help address the deeply complex issues facing communities across the nation.

    One critical factor in our ability to help build and sustain high performance in organizations of all kinds is our ongoing process to keep the Baldrige Criteria at the leading edge of validated leadership and performance practices. Today the 2017–2018 Baldrige Excellence Framework offers organizations of all kinds the world’s most valuable, nonprescriptive guide for leadership and management that facilitates a systems approach to achieving organization-wide excellence. This publication is available now. The latest versions for health care and education will be available in mid-January 2017.

    In the next blog, I’ll describe the changes in the new version of the framework.