1. How the Baldrige Framework Helps a Small Business Excel

    May 15, 2020 by BPIR.com Limited

    Orginially posted on Bolgrige by Christine Schaefer

    It’s easy to love a well-run small business! Who doesn’t admire seeing even the smallest mom-and-pop-run enterprise in your community demonstrating and fostering entrepreneurialism, innovation, and other essential aspects of the American ethos? Who doesn’t feel moved by the unique and important role small businesses often play in supporting the local economy and community life?

    One example of such a small business is Integrated Project Management Company (IPM)—an Illinois-based small business that earned the Baldrige Award in 2018 for its outstanding practices in all seven areas of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence (leadership, strategy, customers, performance measurement/analysis/improvement and information/knowledge management, workforce, operations, and results).

    Founded in 1988 as the first project management consulting firm in the nation, IPM has expanded its focus over the years beyond manufacturing-related projects to offer specialized services in ten areas of organizational management for clients in the fields of life sciences and health care as well as consumer and industrial products. Demonstrating a commitment to the vitality of local communities, IPM has a philanthropic arm called Project Mercy that provides financial and volunteer assistance to support children, veterans, education, disease research, and homeless people in the areas where the company’s employees work and live.

    I recently asked Larry Meyer, managing director of knowledge and process management at IPM, to share how the company has benefited—in good times and bad—from its use of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence as a leadership and management framework.

    “For more than 30 years, we’ve been helping companies accomplish their most complex and critical initiatives,” said Meyer. “We applied the same best practices and principles on our Baldrige journey—and we continue to apply them now.”

    The Q&A below capture the rest of the conversation with Meyer.

    What are some challenges IPM is facing today and how do Baldrige-based practices help you address them?

    At this time, our first challenge is making sure that our IPM family is healthy and safe, including that they are well-informed and can continue to work effectively. Like many businesses, we’ve had clients shift their priorities. Some are delaying engagements, but others are counting on us to help them execute their most important initiatives, especially if those initiatives have changed, whether that be temporarily or permanently.

    Our continuous-improvement efforts over the past few years, framed by our Baldrige journey, have helped position IPM for the recent disruption. For example, IT security enhancements enable our consultants to protect client information and communications from their homes. Our internal feedback loops— thanks to an OFI [opportunity for improvement] uncovered in the [Baldrige Award] application process—have helped the executive team make decisions with the most current information from the staff.

    We know that if we focus on our core competencies, applying best practices and continuous improvement, we’ll come out of this current situation even stronger.

    What are some examples of IPM’s best practices and how they’ve benefited your management consulting business?

    IPM benefited from applying our Strategy Realization Model—our process for developing strategic imperatives, ensuring that they’re aligned to our mission and vision, and then executing on the programs and projects that support those imperatives—to our Baldrige journey. Along the way, [Baldrige Award] application feedback then helped us improve our model.

    It is important to run the Baldrige journey as a program, or a group of related projects. We established a Program Management Office and a detailed phased approach, including a dedicated manager and focused core team, project charters and schedules, and a change management and communication plan. For example, OFIs were addressed as projects, and they were prioritized against each other and against daily responsibilities.

    One of our lessons learned was that we needed to better define our KPIs [key performance indicators]. We measure a lot of things, and it’s important to do so. But we had to evaluate which metrics truly drive performance.

    As we’ve embraced the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence in the way we work and think about the business, we continue to look for gaps and OFIs and then apply strong project management processes to address them.

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

    1. Make it a big deal. We rang a bell each time we identified an improvement. Then we brought those bells to the Baldrige Award ceremony as our noise makers. To keep the core team and the whole organization engaged, we created branding for communications that showed a school bus and stated, “Get on the bus!”
    2. Continue to challenge the organization. The application process itself was not easy, but some of the things we learned have helped our business. For instance, we had to find sources of competitive data; not only do we continue to rate ourselves using those benchmarks, but we also continue to seek new competitive data. Our discipline around maintaining records has improved, and online dashboards have improved data access.
    3. Most important, embrace ADLI [the Baldrige evaluation factors of Approach-Deployment-Learning-Integration] as a framework for assessing processes across the organization. Use of the ADLI framework has improved our ability to be self-critical of our processes and continues to be a great mindset for us to apply as we go forward on our Baldrige journey.

    What do you view as key reasons or ways that organizations of your size or sector can benefit from using the Baldrige framework?

    IPM’s primary reason for embarking on the journey was to improve our performance, competitiveness, and sustainability. To us, the benefits of the Baldrige framework are clear: It will enable sustained growth, competitiveness, and differentiation by validating our high performance, giving visibility into areas that we need to improve, and providing an enhanced measurement framework.

    Any organizations that want to continuously improve their processes would benefit from a framework that evaluates every critical element of a business. For small or immature companies, it is an excellent process for establishing a model and practices that will support strategy development. It will help organizations remove the obstacles to growth, profitability, differentiation, quality, and more. For more mature companies, it provides a means to accelerate growth and competitiveness.

    To us, the benefits of the Baldrige framework are clear: It will enable sustained growth, competitiveness, and differentiation by validating our high performance, giving visibility into areas that we need to improve, and providing an enhanced measurement framework.

    What is your “elevator pitch” about the Baldrige framework and/or assessment approach? In other words, what would you say to a group of senior leaders of a business who are not familiar with the Baldrige framework if you had 1-2 minutes to tell them something about it?

    IPM’s most important competitive advantages are culture and quality. The Baldrige framework provides next-level continuous improvement to help sustain our values-based culture and enhance quality by providing an objective analysis, finding hidden gaps, and demanding better measures.

    When did you first hear about the Baldrige framework? What were your initial thoughts or “aha” moments as you began learning about it?

    We understood it would be a huge undertaking. IPM has always been process-oriented, but pursuing the journey was not an easy decision. Because it would be a lot of work on top of managing our client engagements and growing the business, we considered it and deferred it several times. But, ultimately, we wanted to take our continuous improvement to the next level.

    How did you/your colleagues feel after winning the Baldrige Award?

    We felt proud and excited—and relieved! It took a while to fully understand and absorb the special recognition and broad impact it would have on the organization. Once it sunk in, we celebrated. At our all-staff meeting, we showed a fun slide show about IPM’s Baldrige journey, including some of those statistics. And when the award arrived, we all gathered in the reception area to watch as it was opened and placed on display.

    How has your perception of the Baldrige community changed since your organization became a Baldrige Award recipient? Have you received any particularly interesting calls from others asking you to share or benchmark with their organizations?

    We’ve had many speaking engagements and calls to share benchmarking. Some have asked us to help them, and we’ve worked on a few projects related to other organizations’ Baldrige initiatives. Some have asked what the “secret sauce” to winning is. We tell them there is no easy route; you have to put the effort in, have discipline, and manage expectations. It’s a journey, not a destination. We recently got a request from a Chinese college professor authoring a new management book to use our Baldrige application details in his book.

    What else would you like to share about your experience with Baldrige and/or winning the Baldrige Award?

    I mentioned above that we measure everything. Here are some of our Baldrige journey metrics:

    • 4.5 years on our Baldrige journey
    • ~8,000 hours of work invested
    • 133 figures included in our Baldrige Award application
    • 300+ documents provided to Baldrige examiners
    • 58% of IPM employees interviewed by Baldrige examiners

  2. Learning from Role Models: Category 5: Workforce

    May 14, 2020 by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Bailey

    Baldrige Criteria Blog Series
    In this blog series, we are highlighting some of the learning (successful strategies and programs) shared by Baldrige Award recipients to highlight the categories of the Baldrige Criteria and how your organization might consider using them as inspiration.

    Part of the purpose of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Improvement Act of 1987 (Public Law 100-107) is to disseminate information about the successful strategies and programs of Baldrige Award-winning organizations that “practice effective quality management and as a result make significant improvements in the quality of their goods and services.” Such sharing by Baldrige Award recipients is done at the Quest for Excellence® Conference, as well as at the Baldrige Fall Conference. Baldrige Award recipients also often host sharing days after their wins to share best practices.

    What is Category 5?
    Category 5 of the Baldrige Criteria covers your organization’s workforce.

    Category 5: Workforce
    This category addresses key workforce practices—those directed toward creating and maintaining a high?performance environment and toward engaging your workforce to enable it and your organization to adapt to change and succeed.

    Category 5 asks about your workforce capability and capacity needs, how you meet those needs to accomplish your organization’s work, and how you ensure a supportive work climate. You are also asked about your systems for managing workforce performance and developing your workforce members to enable and encourage all of them to contribute effectively and to the best of their ability.

    Baldrige Award Recipient Best Practices
    Following are some practices shared by Baldrige Award recipients (Adventist Health White Memorial, Howard Community College, and Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund) in the realms of workforce capability and capacity, support, engagement, performance development, and learning. What could your organization learn/adapt?

    Adventist Health White Memorial
    2019 Baldrige Award Recipient, Health Care

    In alignment with its community-based vision, Adventist Health White Memorial (AHWM) ensures health, wholeness, and hope by focusing on people.

    For example, in addition to programs to support community members (e.g., employing a former gang member to serve as a 24/7 gang liaison, raising more than $1 million through annual employee giving, and offering literal “showers of hope” for homeless community members), AHWM ensures that its clinical staff are supported and retained.

    Nurses
    Over nearly two decades, AHWM has worked closely with its partners in the Hispanic-majority community to train local residents in nursing. AHWM’s Health Careers Pathway Partnerships with local high schools and colleges provide mentorship opportunities through hands-on activities, leadership development programs, and community service projects. Almost half the nursing scholarships awarded since 2018 went to residents in AHWM’s impoverished service area, resulting in a nursing staff that reflects the demographics (including culture and preferred language) of the community. Of more than 224 local trainees since the year AHWM won the Baldrige Award, 100% received registered nurse licensing, 70% pursued advanced degrees, and 90% stayed at AHWM for more than three years.

    Physicians
    Associate retention is part of a five-year core strategy called Business Transformation. To support ongoing retention, an Engagement Council monitors associate retention data (in measures of capability and capacity) and shares best practices among departments. In addition, a culture of empowerment promotes shared governance, an evidence-based practice that promotes joint accountability and responsibility for making decisions that affect work, including patient outcomes.

    As a result of a focus on retention and culture, performance is at or very near the top quartile nationally for physician engagement factors, including for highly satisfied patients, according to a third-party physician engagement survey. In addition, AHWM’s medical resident retention rate has increased consistently at levels better than competing, regional hospitals since 2014, from 6% in 2014 to more than 40% in 2019.

    Howard Community College
    2019 Baldrige Award Recipient, Education

    For 11 years in a row, Howard Community College (HCC) has been named a “Great College To Work For” (GCTWF) by the Chronicle of Higher Education based on employee ratings of collaborative governance, compensation and benefits, confidence in senior leadership, diversity, facilities, security, professional development, respect/appreciation, and work/life balance. This is not an easy feat, as HCC is one of only two community colleges in the nation to be recognized as a GCTWF in every year possible.

    HCC says this honor was accomplished by crafting and nurturing its workforce through

    • Capability and capacity planning (e.g., through multi-year staffing plans, cross-functional teams, and robust surveys),
    • Recruitment (e.g., through local, regional, and national searches),
    • ?Onboarding (e.g., through new employee info sessions, a buddy system, and a three-year development program for new faculty),
    • Focusing on the drivers of engagement (e.g., through a merit system, 360-degree feedback, and faculty MAPs), and
    • Refining and improving the drivers of engagement (e.g., through professional development, faculty mentoring, and professional learning communities).

    In alignment with nurturing the workforce, processes are reviewed for continuous improvements and have resulted in the college adding behavioral interviewing training for supervisors, a new initiative to measure the engagement of minority employees, and a new employee web page. As a result, HCC’s overall turnover rate—defined as the number of full-time workforce employees who leave the college because of resignation, retirement, dismissal, or reorganization—was 6% better in the year it received the Baldrige Award than the Bureau of National Affairs annualized national rate.

    In addition, the college’s effort to increase diversity in the employee applicant pool by targeting advertisements and announcements to minority-specific groups has resulted in a minority draw rate 3% higher than the minority population of the area it serves. In fall 2018, the percentage of minorities among full-time faculty was 28.4% and among administrative/professional staff was 31.9%–both the highest figures since records have been kept.

    Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund
    2019 Baldrige Award Recipient, Nonprofit

    Performance management is just one of the 10 drivers of employee engagement for which the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) equals or outperforms the top 25% on a national survey; other drivers for which IMRF excels are empowerment, culture, customer focus, rewards and recognition, co-worker relationships, department relationships, company potential, manager relationships, and senior manager relationships.

    One of the ways that IMRF supports high performance is through its six-step Performance Management System, which also leverages compensation, reward, recognition, and incentive practices.

    1. Clarify expectations: Expectations for high-performance are communicated through job descriptions and performance standards. Standards are aligned with customer and business requirements such as accuracy and timeliness.
    2. Evaluate performance: Part of mid-year and annual reviews is goal accomplishment, which is aligned with action plans and set to achieve top-decile performance.
    3. Provide feedback: Feedback is aligned with the Leadership Scorecard and action plan performance measures. Voice-of-the-customer surveys provide another source of feedback to coach/train staff. As part of feedback and to reinforce intelligent risk taking, staff suggest improvements and participate in strength-weakness-opportunity-threat analyses.
    4. Recognize performance: Recognition is provided through “Kudos” awards, as well as town hall meetings, service anniversary celebrations, staff emails, and newsletters.
    5. Appraise performance: All staff receive a written performance appraisal that includes an evaluation of performance for the past year and goals for the next year. New hires receive a written appraisal at three months, mid-year, and annually. Appraisal forms are aligned with the key results areas of the Strategic Plan and Leadership Scorecard.
    6. Compensation: Since 2015, IMRF has been using a methodology to assess the compensation level of non-exempt staff based on years in role relative to the mid-point. This evaluation is completed annually to ensure appropriate placement within the salary range and helps to maintain internal equity.

  3. Benchmarking for Best Practice Online Knowledge Hour with Dr Robin Mann

    May 12, 2020 by BPIR.com Limited

    Join us for our upcoming Knowledge Hour on 28th May when Dr Robin Mann will talk about Benchmarking for Best Practice.

    SESSION PLAN

    • NZBEF Welcome (5 mins)
    • Group sharing on recent BE or improvement activity (approx. 15 mins, dependent on the number of people attending)
    • Spotlight Presentation – Benchmarking for Best Practice, Dr Robin Mann (20 mins)
    • Q&A – (10 mins)
    • NZBEF Update & Discussion Points (10 mins)

    Presented by Dr Robin Mann, Founder of TRADE, Chairman Global Benchmarking Network, NZBEF Board Member

    Click here to register


  4. Insights from Baldrige Award-Winning University’s New Chancellor

    May 2, 2020 by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Christine Schaefer

    Nearly two decades ago, the University of Wisconsin-Stout (UW-Stout) became the nation’s first four-year university to earn the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. A few years ago, we interviewed leaders of the state polytechnic university so we could share how they’ve continued to leverage the Baldrige framework for continuous improvement and innovation.

    As a new chancellor assumed leadership of UW-Stout this year, we asked her about her views and aims for the Baldrige Award-winning university in regard to continuous improvement and excellence. The interview with UW-Stout Chancellor Dr. Katherine Frank follows.

    Could you please tell us about your past organizational leadership experiences and how you aim to benefit UW-Stout?

    I have spent my career in higher education at public, comprehensive universities. I began as an assistant professor of English and director of composition, and I took a traditional leadership route through academic affairs: department chair, dean, provost, chancellor. One of my profound leadership experiences was serving as faculty senate president at Colorado State University-Pueblo during a time when complex issues were discussed and long-lasting decisions were made. That experience strengthened my commitment to visionary, transparent leadership and to inclusive decision making and an organizational culture that builds trust and confidence.

    I am most proud of my involvement in decisions that continue to positively impact institutions and communities. For example, I hired several personnel who have become exceptional leaders, and I initiated the formation of the School of the Arts at Northern Kentucky University and the creation of an associate provost of extended learning and outreach [position] at Central Washington University. The former has strengthened fundraising, programs, and visibility, and the latter has improved online programming and outreach efforts.

    The effectiveness and uniqueness of the institution is truly the sum of its parts. As a result, I believe effective leadership depends on reciprocal relationships across the institution’s internal and external network, as well as on valuing people to leverage everyone’s passions, strengths, and expertise. In addition, my training as a humanist and my experience at other public institutions enable me to view UW-Stout’s polytechnic mission from a different vantage point and to provide a fresh perspective to the institution and our stakeholders. I bring a new way of seeing to the institution, and this helps to inform the conversation and work moving forward and creates an environment for success.

    Tell us about how your first weeks of serving as chancellor may have impacted your perspective on your goals for UW-Stout?

    Within a few days of taking office as chancellor at UW-Stout, I found myself leading an institution during an international crisis. Entering the current crisis a week after arriving at UW-Stout was difficult, but it allowed me to see the talent and dedication at the institution. I am surrounded by an incredible leadership team and privileged to work with such remarkable and generous students and faculty and staff members. This experience reminded me of the importance of valuing people and of providing support not only through this crisis, but well beyond it. Recovery will depend on our ability to take what we have learned and apply it going forward. One thing we have learned is that we must take time to communicate, learn from, motivate, and support one another through various channels. This moment has forced us to find the space and time for such connection and to think about how to foster it going forward.

    Leading through a crisis has also helped us to identify opportunities for improvement in our approaches and deployment. Through multiple avenues for two-way communication, we are tracking gaps and barriers in processes, policies, and procedures. We are developing action plans to address them as part of our recovery plan and integrating them into our strategic planning process. In addition, we are working on a case study so we can share our key learning with others.

    What do you see as the value for a university today of using the Baldrige Excellence Framework (including the Education Criteria for Performance Excellence)?

    Baldrige provides a nonprescriptive framework based on key factors important to the organization. We appreciate that it is not a one-size-fits-all or checklist approach to performance excellence.

    This approach helps us during good times—as well as challenging times like we face today. It keeps us focused on what is most important when making decisions about how to invest our time and limited resources.

    Baldrige also informs our approach to visioning and strategy development. At our spring Visioning Session to kick off our next strategic plan, we plan to share our organizational profile, examine core competencies, and refine our performance-improvement and process-improvement processes.

    Plus, the Baldrige framework is beneficial in that we can learn from sectors outside of higher education. Communication and direct contact with stakeholders are key, and we have adopted an approach that draws from the health care sector’s use of “rounding.” Although my plans for face-to-face visits with all academic departments, student organizations, and others have been prevented by the current quarantine, I continue to focus on communication. I hold open office hours twice a week via Microsoft Teams, meet with academic departments and other units remotely, and record messages for student organizations conducting virtual celebrations. The current crisis has reminded us of the importance of communication, collaboration, and community building, and I have spent much of my time connecting in various ways with different constituent groups.

    How do you view UW-Stout’s status as the first and (to-date) only four-year university in the nation to have earned a Baldrige Award?

    We are extremely proud of our status. It is important to share our story so others can learn from us, and it is important to participate in Baldrige events so we can learn from others and continue to improve.

    Against the backdrop of current challenges, our strengths in planning and our commitment to shared governance have become even more evident and essential. We are well equipped to systematically track and fill gaps, which will maximize our effectiveness during this period of operational adjustment and during the recovery process. Collecting formative assessment from all institutional stakeholders has been a priority; it has increased our agility in addressing concerns quickly and will remain a priority.

    Looking ahead, what’s next for UW-Stout in terms of continuous improvement and innovation?

    In summer 2020, we will fully launch the University Benchmark Project, a national initiative for data sharing and benchmarking at the unit level. In addition, in alignment with our ambitious vision statement to be an international leader, we will explore opportunities to enhance our international presence, including through the expansion of programs and initiatives. We are also enhancing our strategy development process, including changing our longer-term planning horizon to ten years. This change will help us stimulate and incorporate more innovation and promote more intelligent risk taking.

    To help boost morale during this challenging time, ignite innovation, and plan for recovery, we established a modest innovation fund. Faculty and staff members have been invited to submit proposals for projects that will address issues associated with the pandemic and have a lasting, positive impact on the university community. Proposals will be vetted by a committee, which will make recommendations to the chancellor for possible funding.

    What would you say to leaders of other education organizations that are using or considering the Baldrige framework to improve their operational effectiveness and promote academic excellence?

    Use it! You don’t have to start by submitting a [Baldrige Award] application or by becoming a Baldrige examiner. You can implement the Baldrige framework in small steps. Start by completing an Organizational Profile, by attending conferences and workshops hosted by your state Baldrige program, or by talking with Baldrige Award recipients. In fact, we plan to bring together people within higher education to talk about how the Baldrige framework can help educational organizations learn and grow at the fall 2020 Baldrige conference.


  5. Best Practice Report: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

    April 15, 2020 by BPIR.com Limited

    Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is when an organisation takes responsibility for the impact of its decisions and operations on society and the environment. It is when an organisation achieves a balance between economic, environmental and social imperatives, and the expectations of stakeholders for the long term.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    In This Report:

    1. What is corporate social responsibility?
    2. Which organisations have received recognition for corporate social responsibility?
    3. How have organisations reached high levels of corporate social responsibility?
    4. What research has been undertaken in corporate social responsibility?
    5. What tools and methods are used to achieve high levels of success in corporate social responsibility?
    6. How can corporate social responsibility be measured?
    7. What do business leaders say about corporate social responsibility?
    8. Conclusion

    Access the report from here. At the bottom of the page is a PDF version of the report for easy reading. If you are a non-member, you will find some of the links in this report do not work. To join BPIR.com and support our research simply click here or to find out more about membership, email membership@bpir.com. BPIR.com publishes a new best practice every month with over 80 available to members.