1. 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.

  2. 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:

  3. Call to participate in the 1st Global Assessment on the current state of organizational excellence

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


    At the 10th International Benchmarking Conference Dawn will be presenting on the ‘first global assessment on the current state of organizational excellence’. To date, we have received close to 200 assessments but do not have a statistically significant sample from all countries. In the next 10 days we urge all COER and BPIR members to participate in the assessment and extend the invitation to their contacts so that we have some good interim results to share at the International Benchmarking Conference (IBCON) in Nanjing, Jiangsu, China on December 8, 2016.


    To participate in the global assessment, you have two choices:

    Is Your Organization The Best It Can Be?

    You are invited to participate in the 1st Global Assessment on the Current State of Organizational Excellence that is being conducted by the Organizational Excellence Technical Committee, Quality Management Division, ASQ (OETC) and has been endorsed by the Global Benchmarking Network (GBN).

    This research is intended to provide benefit for all stakeholders:

    • Contribute to the OETC mandate “to support and promote the use of international excellence models and to help all organizations attain higher levels of performance
    • Contribute to the GBN mandate “to promote and facilitate the use of benchmarking and sharing of best practices by helping each other and working together
    • Create awareness with leaders and managers about the principles and best management practices that are common to high performing organizations
    • Enable organizations to build on strengths and address opportunities for improvement
    • Provide a snapshot about the extent to which best management practices are deployed by organization size, industry sector and country

    The assessment tool is based on the Organizational Excellence Framework (OEF) that integrates leading excellence models and provides implementation guidelines for the practitioner. Authored by the representative for Canada on the OETC and GBN, the publication is intended to provide additional support for excellence models and encourage organizations to use validated best management practices to improve their performance and productivity. For those interested and as a thank you for participating, the publication may be downloaded at no charge on the home page at http://organizationalexcellencespecialists.ca

    Note: Individual responses for both assessments will be strictly confidential. Only the aggregate data will be reported.

  4. Celebrating 25 years of excellence in Scotland

    by ahmed


    Originally posted on Quality Scotland by Ann Pike


    To celebrate Quality Scotland’s 25th Anniversary, our ‘Celebrating 25 Years of Excellence‘ case study booklet was launched. It shows how our members achieved “Committed to Excellence and Recognised for Excellence” awards and the routes they used. Download a PDF version here.

    Quality Scotland is a National Partner of EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) and the official home of the EFQM Excellence Model in Scotland. We are dedicated to helping all organisations in Scotland, whether in the public, private or third sectors in their pursuit of excellence. We work with members to achieve, recognise and sustain business excellence. We offer a range of performance improvement tools, recognition schemes and accredited training and development programmes as well as other online resources, all supported by dedicated Account Management.

  5. They know how to do it in Singapore

    by ahmed
    Singapore Business Excellence Awards 2016 Winners

    Singapore Business Excellence Awards 2016 Winners

    This article has been provided by Michael Voss, Owner of PYXIS & Associate Consultant of COER

    Every other time I have visited Singapore I have been impressed with what this small island nation manages to achieve. And this time was no exception. During my first visit I taught TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking to Singapore government agencies as part of a pilot programme. Not only did the 7 different agencies successfully complete all their benchmarking projects but they have since rolled out the methodology across the whole of government. And their efforts in continuous improvement and commitment to excellence shows. The customs and immigration processes I experienced at the border were impressive. Usually when travelling I find many things that could be improved, but there were very few this time.

    Last time in Singapore, I asked the taxi driver, while going to my favourite spot on Sentosa Island, “what is the big hole in the ground for? I recall that this was a natural area of mangroves less than 6 months ago. He replied “oh that is going to be a casino, six hotels, four attractions and a convention centre’. ‘What, in that tiny space’ I expressed with some surprise. ‘Yes we need it to avoid everyone going to China to have fun.’ he replied.

    And it was to the convention centre that I was heading to. This was the venue for the 22nd Business Excellence Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner where I attended as one of the 430 guests. It was a nice way to finish off four days of training economic development representatives across 14 countries in how to engage small to medium enterprises (SMEs) in business excellence, run by the Asian Productivity Organisation and hosted by SPRING Singapore.

    In his address at the 2016 Business Excellence Awards Ceremony, the Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr. S Iswaran, said “Our economic environment is being reshaped by industry and technological trends, which are disrupting business models and fundamentally changing jobs. Future growth and competitiveness will be anchored in productivity, innovation and the skills of our workforce.”
    Over the past 22 years, Singapore has celebrated 106 past Business Excellence Awards winners that have distinguished themselves in the various aspects of business excellence.

    There were two winners of the Singapore Quality Award. DBS Bank have embraced the digital revolution to enhance its customers’ experience, while the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has used technology to increase the productivity and have demonstrated clean and green practices that exceed International Maritime Organization conventions winning awards for its sustainability practices both locally and internationally.

    Independent school for students aged 13 – 18 years, Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) won a Singapore Quality Award with Special Commendation. This award recognises ‘past Singapore Quality Award winners that have sustained their business excellence journey and attained greater heights of excellence’. The school has moved its students beyond laboratory experiments to collaborate globally in conducting advanced scientific research to solve practical and complex real-world problems.
    In addition to the premier Singapore Quality Award, awards are also recognised in three niches using the same awards framework. These niche awards are in line with the government’s future growth strategy and recognise innovation excellence, people excellence and service excellence.

    There were two recipients of the Innovation Excellence Award. The first of these was the National Library Board for its innovative approaches in its operations, and engagement with the community. The Singapore Civil Defence Force also won an Innovation Excellence Award for demonstrating a strong innovation culture amongst its people, and leveraging technology and state-of-the-art equipment to strengthen its emergency response capabilities.

    The Defence Science and Technology Agency won a People Excellence Award for putting people at the heart of its organisation to maximise employee potential and permeate a culture of innovation across their whole organisation.

    One of the challenges facing excellence awards programmes globally is ensuring that these programmes add value and remain just as relevant to SMEs as to large organisations including multinationals and government agencies. A significant effort has been expended in engaging SMEs in the Singapore Quality Award programme and this seems to be paying off. SPRING has introduced Business Excellence Standards for organisations that score around 400 points (Singapore Quality Award winners achieve 700 points or more), or approximately twice what a company just complying with ISO 9001 certification would score. These organisations scoring 400 points are recognised as Singapore Quality Class at the holistic level, and also at niche levels for People Developer, Innovation Class, and Service Class. As Minister Iswaran reports, “In the past three years, the number of SMEs benefitting from the business excellence initiative has increased by more than 60%, with the number of private organisations certified for Business Excellence increasing from 85 organisations in 2013 to 140 in 2015.”

    Chairman of the Singapore Quality Award Governing Council, Professor Cham Tao Soon said “As Singapore progresses into the next phase of economic development, business excellence plays a greater role in helping organisations strengthen business fundamentals so that they can remain agile and seize growth opportunities. This can be achieved through organisational innovation and learning, people development strategies, and sound management practices. We are encouraged to see over 1,700 organisations achieving this through the Business Excellence journey”.

    It seemed to me that Singapore’s 22-year history working with business excellence had made a significant contribution to its growth over the period and this looks like continuing well into the future. The Minister summed it up beautifully when he said “The pursuit of, and commitment to, business excellence takes on added importance as Singapore gears up for the next phase of economic development.”

    Many thanks go to SPRING Singapore for inviting me to join them in their awards ceremony. It was a great celebration for the many representatives from the award winners, sharing in their success over a beautiful meal. My congratulations go to all those involved.

    Here in New Zealand we celebrate the achievements of both private and public sector organisations that have attained outstanding levels of excellence in the New Zealand Business Excellence Awards. This awards programme, similar to the Singapore Excellence framework, is calibrated to the US Baldrige awards and administered by the NZ Business Excellence Foundation and New Zealand Organisation for Quality.

    Michael Voss is a business excellence veteran and the recognised ‘go to guy’ for unlocking the barriers to growth in companies of all sizes and across all industries. He is a frequent commentator on organisational excellence and blogs at MICHAELVOSSNZ.COM and an Associate Consultant for the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER).