1. Baldrige Principles Bring Organizational Change, Learning to National Guard

    August 31, 2017 by ahmed


    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Marie Bailey

    What are the benefits and challenges of starting a Baldrige-based program from scratch in your organization?Lt. Col. Rory Thompson started such a program at the Idaho Army National Guard. In this blog, he shares his experiences on how he has been working from within to encourage a defense organization to implement Baldrige’s learning principles to achieve organizational performance excellence.

    “If defense organizations in the United States are to navigate the complexity of today’s unpredictable security environment and attain competence in organizational adaptability, innovation, integration, and process improvement, what new ways of thinking and acting are available to achieve these objectives?” asked Thompson, PMP, G3, Idaho Army National Guard Strategic Planning Manager, in his paper (submitted at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom) “How Can Defense Organizations Sustain a Competitive Advantage in the Security Marketplace? An Analysis of the Idaho Army National Guard’s Implementation of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.”

    He found these news ways of thinking and acting through applying principles of the Baldrige Framework and the Army Communities of Excellence (ACOE) Program, which is based on Baldrige.

    According to Thompson, he volunteered to attend training and develop the organization’s Baldrige program because in his previous positions, he kept experiencing the same general problems. “We lacked defined systematic processes to manage operational work effectively to meet our customers’ or stakeholders’ requirements, or we had a defined process but no means to evaluate it to determine ways to improve,” he said.

    “In these instances,” Thompson added, “the organization was inadvertently accepting higher amounts of unnecessary risk or contributing to rework and waste. I found myself questioning processes and wondering how or why we seemed to jump from crisis to crisis. Based on the Baldrige-based training from the Army National Guard ACOE program, I began to frame problems from a systems perspective. In other words, I relied less on individual process management and began working on organizational process management. The point is that organizational behavior and reinforcing systems play a critical part, and until we can address system issues, the processes people manage will continue to return the same result.”

    The Idaho Army National Guard began its journey to become a learning organization in 2014 with its first application to the Army ACOE program. It used the Baldrige Framework as an organizational management and maturity model to achieve the following:

    • Provide high-quality services to customers, partners, and stakeholders
    • Guide and facilitate organizational learning as a method to increase efficiency and organizational effectiveness
    • Empower the workforce to contribute to quality
    • Manage complexity and risk

    In his paper, Rory writes that the Idaho Army National Guard’s initial priority was “to influence organizational culture and human behavior through an organizational design modification that adjusted the common military functional management model to a matrix management model. The objective for the design modification was to break down barriers of communication and enable departmental cross-talk and sharing of information.”

    The next priority was to set the conditions for a learning organization. According to his paper, “The primary objective of the organizational learning model was to provide a reference point for the workforce to view learning from feedback as it occurs at tactical, operational and strategic levels of work. The secondary objective was to reinforce how the Idaho Army National Guard supports a climate for learning and information sharing. The tertiary objective was to ensure that paths of learning were available at the operational, tactical, and strategic levels of operation.”

    “As we became more familiar with the concepts of the Baldrige Framework and overcame some initial hurdles, we have had great successes, and we will continue, as is the beauty of the Baldrige Criteria [with the Baldrige Framework],” said Thompson.

    One of his favorite recent examples of successes in using Baldrige and other continuous improvement training programs are employees calling him or contacting him directly wanting to get involved, get trained, and start effecting positive change, he said. In addition, new methods to communicate externally and internally to the workforce, customers, partners, and stakeholders have emerged; these include an external website, internal podcasts, external and internal social media platforms, a new brand and logo, and new organizational strategy layered with Baldrige concepts. There’s even been more “workforce engagement and willingness to explore better ways of doing things,” Thompson added.

    “The overall experience is and has been critical to my organizational management/leadership skills,” said Thompson. “This [Baldrige] framework has opened doors I had no idea existed. The moment I became involved in Baldrige, my eyes and mind opened to at first what was confusing and different, but as I learned the framework, I began to view organizational management from a much different perspective. As I learned more about the Baldrige framework, I began to see gaps in my own ability to manage organizations.”

    Inspired by his learning, Thompson became an examiner with Performance Excellence Northwest, a Baldrige-based program and member of the Alliance for Performance Excellence that covers the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. He also earned a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and went to PROSCI Change Management training, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt training, and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt training.

    Thompson offers advice for others who may be trying to start an internal Baldrige program, but he warns that there is no cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach because there are simply too many external and internal organizational variables.

    “There is no set timetable, and the organization will cue you in when it is ready to press harder. You should manage expectations early; however, you are not out to win an award. The award is a byproduct of a relatively mature system,” he said.

    Some general advice follows:

    • Start the program small, and be careful not to “upset” the traditional ways of doing things.
    • Try to select those for your implementation team who have some leverage and longevity in the organization, and who show a natural inclination towards continuous improvement and quality.
    • Get small wins with your team to help build momentum.
    • Find a balance between controlling implementation and stifling innovation.
    • Eventually work Baldrige concepts into the strategy without upending the overall structure.
    • Speak the language your organization understands. Do integrate Baldrige concepts but avoid using specific Baldrige terminology.

  2. New study shows we work harder when we are happy

    August 25, 2017 by ahmed

    HappyPhoto by slalit / CC BY-ND 2.0

    Originally posted on University of Warwick

    Happiness makes people more productive at work, according to the latest research from the University of Warwick.

    Economists carried out a number of experiments to test the idea that happy employees work harder. In the laboratory, they found happiness made people around 12% more productive.

    Professor Andrew Oswald, Dr Eugenio Proto and Dr Daniel Sgroi from the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick led the research.

    This is the first causal evidence using randomized trials and piece-rate working. The study, to be published in the Journal of Labor Economics, included four different experiments with more than 700 participants.

    During the experiments a number of the participants were either shown a comedy movie clip or treated to free chocolate, drinks and fruit. Others were questioned about recent family tragedies, such as bereavements, to assess whether lower levels of happiness were later associated with lower levels of productivity.

    Professor Oswald said: “Companies like Google have invested more in employee support and employee satisfaction has risen as a result. For Google, it rose by 37%, they know what they are talking about. Under scientifically controlled conditions, making workers happier really pays off.”

    Dr Sgroi added: “The driving force seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.”

    Dr Proto said the research had implications for employers and promotion policies.

    He said: “We have shown that happier subjects are more productive, the same pattern appears in four different experiments. This research will provide some guidance for management in all kinds of organizations, they should strive to make their workplaces emotionally healthy for their workforce.”

  3. Best Practice Report – Knowledge Management

    August 17, 2017 by ahmed

    Why should an organisation be interested in developing a culture of knowledge management within the workplace? The main objective of knowledge management is to capture information or knowledge and make it available so others within an organisation might use it. This knowledge may never have been set down explicitly before, and may exist only within people’s heads. Sharing knowledge leads to competitive advantage and adds real customer value. Knowledge management saves an organisation’s staff from having to constantly reinvent the wheel. According to Deloitte, it also provides a baseline for measuring progress, reduces the burden on expert attrition, makes visual thinking tangible, and helps employees serve their clients better and faster.

    This report outlines the best practices research undertaken by BPIR.com in the area of knowledge management. The best practices have been compiled under seven main headings. This new layout is designed to enable you to scan subjects that are of interest to you and your organisation, quickly assess their importance, and download relevant information for further study or to share with your colleagues.


    • What is “knowledge management”?
    • Which organisations have received recognition for excellence in knowledge management?
    • How have organisations reached high levels of success in knowledge management?
    • What research has been undertaken into knowledge management?
    • What tools and methods are used to achieve high levels of success in knowledge management?
    • How can knowledge management be measured?

    Access the report from here, if you are a member login first so you can download the entire report as a printable pdf file and have immediate access to all the content.

    Over 80 best practice reports are available to BPIR.com members so why not join? New best practice reports are added every one to two months.

  4. The 6th International ISO 31000 Risk Management Conference

    August 14, 2017 by ahmed

    The 6th International Conference on the ISO 31000 Risk Management Standard will be held in Dubai on 24-25 September 2017. One of the presenters will be BPIR.com’s long-time friend, Michael McLean from Australia.

    Michael’s paper abstract is shown in full below.


    Abstract: Update on the 2017 ISO “Integrated USE of Management System Standards” revised Handbook by
    Speaker: Michael W McLean, FAICD, FIMC CMC, FAOQ, Juran Medallist, Shilkin Prize, Australia.

    ISO TC 176/WG 26 Taskforce 5 Convener for Integrated Use of Management System Standards HB Revision
    ISO TC 176/SC2 Working Group 26 Member for ISO 10005 Quality Plans Guidelines Revision
    Ai Group Members’ Delegate to Standards Australia for:
    QR-008 Quality Committee ISO 9000/9001:2015, AS/NZS 9000/1:2016
    QR-008 Quality Committee WG Lead HB-139 ‘A process approach for integrating management systems’
    SAI Global Whitepaper Author for Embedding Risk-Based Thinking: ISO 9001 Set (Includes GB 200, GB 201, GB 202, and GB 203-17).

    The ISO The Integrated Use of Management System Standards (IUMSS) Handbook (HB) published in 2008, has undergone and extensive revision 2016 by an ISO Task Force with Michael McLean, Australia as the Convenor. The Draft HB is before international ISO JCTG and National Committee Members for Comment for the last meeting in London 11/2017.

    The revision was a Project proposed by Standards Australia to ISO Geneva, Switzerland.  It recognised that many things had changed for organizations and for ISO too, as all ISO Management System Standards have been revised and standardized. They all have discipline-specific introduction, general directions for use, terminologies, texts for clauses and requirements. These provide organizations the opportunity to build single and integrated management system documented information, that supports the Context of the Organization and more specifically, its Business Processes.

    The overarching problem faced by those seeking guidance from management system standards produced by ISO, was how to integrate such as ISO 9001, 14001, 22001, 27001, 50001, 55001, 45001.2:2017 MSS. It was also recognized ISO 10000 series guidelines, ISO 9004 and business excellence models, such as Dubai Quality Award, Baldrige USA, EFQM and Operational Excellence are in use along with non-ISO MSS.

    The 2017 IUMSS HB has taken the ISO Annex SL 9.1 as a construct and common requirement for all such based MSS Writers to enable organizations seeking certification to single or multiple standards to “integrate requirements within the organizations business processes”.

    The IUMSS 2017 HB has been developed with a Task Force meeting in six National Standard offices and Company Host cities in Argentina, Australia, Ireland, Switzerland, UK, USA. It included a baking and food ingredients factory tour, an ISO Communique of the revision progress and an international IUMSS Survey which has received over 100 responses and Conference Participants can still participate https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2YPJHMD

    Over 15 international Case Studies from SMEs to larger multi-site businesses and uses a case study of “Jim the Baker” as the bakery grows and sustains the business with the benefits ISO and non-ISO MSS, provide guidance and if needed, requirements for conformance and certification.

    Organization management will see and hear of complementary approaches and ISO Handbook IUMSSS case studies that demonstrate how they can:

    • Plan, lead, and resource their Integrated Management System plan and transition for ISO and non-ISO MSS by the use of a multiple horizon implementation plan,
    • Support and evaluate their organization’s IMS performance across industry contexts,
    • Continually Improve their IMS and reduce MSS conformance costs by over 30%,
    • Build an integrated management system by the its business processes to suit the organizations context, their Lean/CI/Six Sigma process improvement programs and
    • Utilise ISO 31000 and ISO 31010 RM Guidelines and Techniques to build Risk Based Thinking in the organization as it meets it risks and opportunities.

  5. COER News – Articles on Business Excellence, Benchmarking, Best Practices and Innovation

    August 13, 2017 by ahmed
    The Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER), BPIR.com’s sister organisation, recently published its latest newsletter for August 2017.
    Download a copy of COER’s August 2017 Newsletter here.
    The contents of the newsletter are described below:

    • Learn from the Winners of the 5th International Best Practice Competition
    • Learn from the Winners of the 1st Organisation-Wide Innovation Award
    • Launch of the 2nd Cycle of “Dubai We Learn” Government Projects, April 2017
    • 1st Progress Sharing Day of “Dubai We Learn”, June 2017
    • Benchmarking Certification (7-Star Recognition System)
    • TRADE Benchmarking Training for Best Practices and Innovation
    • COER assists the APO with its Business Excellence Initiatives
    • Selection of Recent Academic Publications on Business Excellence
    • PhD Research to start on the use of Business Excellence Worldwide
    • PhD Research Opportunities
    • BPIR.com – Sharing Best Practices
    • ASQ’s Quality Management Forum Publication on Organisational Excellence
    • Book Review: Deep in Crisis, The Uncertain Future of the Quality Profession
    • COER’s Partner Activities/Articles of Interest