1. Resilience – What is it and how can it help you?

    December 29, 2014 by ahmed

    What is Resilience, what are the benefits of being resilient, and how can one build their resilience? This Resilience Overview Documentary follows the story of U.S. Army Master Sgt. Jennifer Loredo as she dealt with the tragic loss of her husband, how she powered through and bounced back. Experts provide insight on what it means to be resilient and why it’s an important attribute for everyone to have.



  2. Weber is the Baldrige Award of the Dairy Industry

    December 28, 2014 by ahmed

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Mary Eastman

    After reading a press release announcing the latest Weber Award winners, and noting that the Weber is modeled after the Baldrige Award, I reached out to Peter Horvath (president and CEO) and Chuck Yarris (director of quality and food safety) of Quality Chekd to find out more.

    What is the Weber Award?

    It is named after Irving B. Weber, a founding member of the Quality Chekd Board of Directors, who had the vision of producing the best dairy products in the country.
    The award originated in the late ‘80s and was originally a marketing opportunity for securing the trademark. But it has since become an all-encompassing award, based not just on the level of product compliance (through third-party testing) but also including leadership, customer, and employee components.

    A difference from the Baldrige Award that Horvath sees is that Weber applicants themselves are very similar, without a lot of variables in organizational products and services. However, the Baldrige Criteria has provided an example in not solely using product quality as the basis for the award.

    According to Horvath, no other award besides the Weber Award is recognized in the dairy industry; even companies outside of the dairy industry know of it. It has “become a quality driver within organizations,” he says, because it does translate into how well they are run. In dairy plants, “Think Weber” signs can be seen on the walls. Being modeled on the Baldrige Award helps Quality Chekd introduce the Weber Award, Horvath says: “Because you are such a high-profile award, we tell them it is like the Baldrige Award, and they understand.”

    What are the steps of the Weber Award process?

    To qualify for the Weber Award, a plant has to be in the top monthly ranking for product testing; take third-party audits/certification, and add those results; add employee safety results data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); and then take the top three applicants, and administer a leadership survey.

    Next, Yarris and Horvath spend a day with top managers of award applicants to have them explain what the senior leaders are doing in terms of their organization’s mission, vision, and values and how they communicate those to employees. They are also asked to explain

    • what their strategic planning is and how they know it is effective;
    • quality improvements they are undertaking;
    • employee orientation/absenteeism;
    • communication to the night shift, the reward process, seniority, special recognition, and succession planning
    • the safety program
    • benchmarks being used

    After the leadership interviews, Horvath and Yarris go to employees and find out if they are “walking it”; they sit down and talk with a certain percentage of employees and ask questions such as, How do you get engaged in your work? What are your company’s mission, vision, and values? The employee interview has approximately 30 questions across a broad range of topics.

    Next, a customer satisfaction survey is administered through a third party for consumers who have purchased the applicant company’s products. Such consumers are surveyed on the following:

    1. overall impression of the company
    2. impression of the personnel
    3. overall impression of product/service

    If selected, Weber Award recipients receive a trophy and a highly prized grandfather’s clock (often placed in a prominent location). Winning companies often give employees a memento and a day off or equivalent benefit.

    Similar to Baldrige, another of the Quality Chekd membership advantages (besides the Weber Award) is ongoing training offered through regional workshops and some onsite training for specific companies based on their need.

    Chuck Yarris (director of quality and safety) says a challenge for his organization is keeping interest in the Weber Award high. For example, he asks, even though these companies are doing a great job, what other criteria can raise the bar even higher? He wants Quality Chekd members to be the best (well above competitors), to be profitable, and to have a positive impact on the industry.

    Looking Toward the Future

    According to Horvath, the dairy industry is under severe pressure because the market has seen a 2–4 % decline in consumption, and input costs are high. In the squeeze, another challenge is how to avoid taking shortcuts—and not just in terms of disregarding quality. Horvath hopes to expand the Weber Award beyond the Quality Chekd community because other industry awards are just not as rigorously defined and are based more on public relations efforts.

    So what is the best thing about working in the dairy industry, and Quality Chekd / the Weber Award in particular? While you might guess ice cream tastings, Yarris has unique expertise in tasting buttermilk, so he always gets to try it in a production plant. In particular, he enjoys the variety of getting into the plants to do some analysis, troubleshooting, training, and meeting the night shift crew, he says.

    For Horvath, the best part of his 14 years with Quality Chekd is that he works with wonderful people, he says.

  3. Awards Recognising Excellence in the Public Sector

    by ahmed

    A recent workshop, 27-30 October 2014, organized by the Asian Productivity Organisation investigated the importance of awards for recognizing and sharing best practices. The purpose of the workshop was to assist National Productivity Organisations in designing relevant and effective awards that supported public sector organisations on the journey to business excellence in their respective countries. Representatives from 11 countries attended. The chief experts leading the workshop were Dr. Robin Mann, Director, Centre for Organizational Excellence Research, Massey University, New Zealand, www.coer.org.nz, and Dr. Stefania Senese, Officer, Governance and Public Administration, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, New York, USA.


    Many awards were studied from APO member countries and internationally (see the spreadsheet for examples). These included awards for all aspects of business excellence including awards recognizing excellent performance in Leadership, Strategy, Human Resources, Processes, Customer Focus, Information Analysis, Innovation, Service Excellence, E-technology, and Partnerships and/or awards for specific sectors such as the health or education sector.

    Some of the issues investigated were:

    • What are the similarities and differences between the various awards for the public sector?
    • Which awards have been the most successful?
    • Why are some awards successful – what are the key ingredients for success?
    • Why are some awards not successful – what are the barriers or challenges that may hinder the impact of an award?

    Some of the benefits of awards were identified as:

    • Awards raise awareness of the importance of a subject
    • The award criteria can help to guide users on what is good practice
    • The award criteria can be used by organisations for self-assessment purposes
    • Awards motivate organisations to implement improvement initiatives
    • Winners of awards become role models
    • Award winner best practices can be shared
    • Communities of practice of award winners can be created

    Some of the concerns of awards were identified as:

    • Awards may become the destination and once achieved the organisation may revert back to their previous state
    • Organisations may focus too much attention on the award rather than on their business.
    • Awards can be expensive to administer
    • Awards if not administered effectively with an independent and fair judging process run the risk of losing their credibility.
    • Are awards the best approach to encourage organisational improvement or are there better approaches?

    The workshop enabled member countries to have a better understanding of the role of awards and how they can provide an integrated approach to assisting organisations on the journey to business excellence. For example, awards for each category of business excellence, as indicated in the Figure below, can provide the building blocks and support for an overall national award for business excellence.


    For more information on business excellence and awards, contact Dr Robin Mann, r.s.mann@massey.ac.nz or view over 500 award types and over 15,000 award winners and learn from their best practices by joining bpir.com.

  4. Best practice report: Quality Education

    December 23, 2014 by ahmed



    Quality education empowers students to develop their unique attributes and skills. It opens up a path for them, and enables them to reach their true potential, both as people and members of society.

    The Stage

    Education prepares students for their adult lives and their chosen vocation. The quality and application of a student’s education have a significant bearing on his or her future all round success. Furthermore, quality education systems are powerful drivers of national economies and innovation, societal well-being, and a nation’s global ranking.

    You are reading a Best Practice Report in html-format. Become a member of the BPIR to receive a new report in PDF-format every month (see examples: Benchmarking & Business Excellence). PDF-format can be saved on your hard drive, emailed to work colleagues, and are much easier to read and print out!.. For BPIR updates and best practices sign up to our FREE newsletter.

  5. Service leaders follow the money

    by ahmed

    Originally posted on Service quality institute by John Tschohl

    Service Leaders consistently have more revenue, make more money, plus have a stronger brand and market share. They dominate the market and crush their competition.  In this issue I will share my ideas on Apple, Metro Bank London and my investment of $1000 each in 9 service leaders in May 2003.

    Financially How do Service Leaders Do?

    (Turning $9,000 into $29,000)

    Everyone says we should focus on customer service but what is the financial impact on a firm that drives its business around customer service?

    In May of 2003 I wanted to track monthly an investment in 9 service leaders. I invested $1,000 in each of them. During the last 11 years I have shared results from this investment with our readers and clients.

    The values below are as of November 8, 2014.


    Leaders Lead

    As I have said before, a firm that can build a brand around the customer experience will increase its value by over 25%. The leaders at the top continue to prove the point. It is very difficult for most firms to keep their focus on a service strategy but not these guys.  They are unrelenting in their focus on customer service.  It continues to baffle me why other companies do not get it.

    Results over 11 years

    TD Bank – Vernon Hill sold Commerce Bank in 2007 to TD Bank. Had he still been running Commerce Bank it would have out performed Amazon.  Commerce Bank for 4 years always out performed the other firms. Then it was sold and customer service is no longer king.

    Dell– was one of the nine I selected. They lost their focus on customer service when Michael Dell retired in 2004 and put a financial guy, Kevin Rollins in charge. Dell returned in 2007 to rescue the company. Last year Dell went private and I got $460 for my $1000. It took 10 years for me to lose 54% of my money. Once Dell lost its focus and brand on service the value never recovered.

    Southwest Airlines -For many years the airline stock did poorly. Most of this growth is in the last 12 months. They have never lost their focus on customer service.

    Walmart – Sam Walton built a business around customer service and price. Starting with CEO Lee Scott in 2000 they focused on price and lost interest in customer service. They have record increases in sales since 2003. The market place places a much higher value on service leaders. Based on sales and profits Walmart stock should be triple what it is, I will repeat — The market place places a much higher value on service leaders. Walmart is no longer a service leader. Better than K-Mart but not much.

    General Electric – Jeff Immlet, the CEO, has done a remarkable job of increasing his pay. He gets paid over $19 million a year ($7,380,000 as a bonus) In the US with executive pay there is often no relationship to results. GE results are average. GE, under Jack Welch was the best managed company in the world. GE has lost its customer service focus. One of its credit card divisions, Care Credit, has lousy customer service.

    JetBlue -The company was built around great service. With the February 17, 2007 winter Valentine’s Day snowstorm where the passengers were kept on the plane for 13 hours they have STILL NOT recovered. The problem was NO service recovery. It was too little and too late.

    Financial impact

    The facts continue to prove the point…ONCE you lose your customer service brand it is difficult to keep the value of the company.