EFQM mediocrity model

April 28, 2014 by ahmed


There are a lot of articles and books about success stories of excellent organisation. A good idea for an average organisation is to watch the high performers and try to learn from them, it is a very effective method if done right.

To pursue business excellence, organisations need to apply a number of principles in order to be successful and achieve an outstanding level of performance. Unfortunately, for several reasons not all organisations can do that.

Matt Fisher the COO at EFQM, came up with a brilliant idea, instead of showing organisations what they have to do to achieve excellence, he demonstrated some common characteristics of an average organisation, the things organisations need to avoid if they truly want to achieve excellent performance.

After 25 years of promoting excellence in Europe, we’ve found that this aspiration is beyond the means of most organisations. Excellence is simply too hard to achieve. That is why we have developed the EFQM Mediocrity Model. There are many definitions, even words, for “mediocrity” but our definition is:

Mediocre organisations strive to keep their stakeholders quiet by doing the minimum that is expected of them, with as little additional effort as possible. Anything for an easy life.

Regardless of size, sector or maturity, organisations need to establish an appropriate management framework. If the organisation is seeking to achieve mediocrity, this needs to be simple to understand, look robust but actually does not require a lot of effort. The Fundamental Concepts of Mediocrity have been designed to help ensure this goal is achieved.

Mediocre organisations recognise that customers are a “necessary evil” and do their best to minimise complaints. Complaints mean more work and no one likes that.

Mediocre organisations recognise that most change is driven from outside the organisation, so the less contact you have with others, the better.

Leaders in mediocre organisations have little idea of where they are going or what they are trying to achieve but ensure they know who to blame when things go wrong.

Mediocre organisations achieve the minimum results that they can get away with, without getting shouted at by their stakeholders.

Mediocre organisations have developed highly complex processes to minimise the chance of anything changing, ever.

People in mediocre organisations should consider themselves lucky that they have a job and not expect too much in the way of training, development or opportunities to progress.

Mediocre Organisations recognise that new ideas mean extra work. Why challenge the status quo? The adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” has proven true time and time again.

Mediocre organisations recognise that sustainability is a “hot topic” and they really should say something about it, although they’re not always sure what. Never mind, some nice pictures of wind turbines and people planting trees will make it look like they’re helping to save the planet.

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