1. Dubai We Learn – Enabling Happiness

    September 3, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited
    By Dr. Almas Tazein, BPIR.com Limited, COER

    The Community Health Authority answering questions on their project at the recent Knowledge Sharing Summit

    We cannot cherry pick pleasant times – certainly not when we are operating the gigantic machinery called public service and governance. It can sometimes open a Pandora’s box of unpredictable internal complexities. Hence, there are programs like Dubai We Learn – Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP) that can safely anchor the government authorities to their organisational mission. And, the Community Development Authority (CDA) is one inspiring story to tell.

    An external evaluation conducted by the Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP) at the Community Development Authority showed a downward spiral in the employee experiential domains – employee happiness, employee satisfaction, sense of harmony, and commitment & loyalty. The results steadily moved south in 2016-2017-2018. The areas of concern were HR Department & procedures, leadership style, work environment, and issues related to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), motivation, appreciation and incentives.

    But the CDA is determined to swim against the tide and take the horse by its reins!

    CDA’s Enabling Happiness initiative is one of 11 aspiring Dubai Government’s transformation management projects. The Enabling Happiness project wishes to identify and implement best practices that engage, empower, and enlighten employees leading to elevated levels of employee happiness, loyalty, motivation, communication, innovation and productivity.

    On Tuesday 30 July 2019, The Center for Organisational Excellence Research (COER) Team which is facilitating the 11 Dubai We Learn project initiatives alongside DGEP, visited CDA to evaluate the progress of the project. The project had started in February 2019.

    Mr. Ahmad Mofleh Al Gharaibeh, Director General Advisor, Institutional Processes & Services Excellence, CDA shared the early measures taken to combat the situation and this was impressive!

    The CDA decided to positively strengthen the demotivated personnel by engaging in QUICK WINS over the past two months (for Q1 & Q2). The happiness restoration method includes a number of initiatives – three exciting initiatives to motivate the employees, four types of communication channels were designed to promote team solidarity & amiability, and measures taken to fortify training, development & rewards.

    Quick wins already implemented since the start of the project

    During the meeting, Dr. Robin Mann, Director, COER emphasized that, in order to trace the impact of the initiatives it is important to compare the past and the present evaluations, taking into account measures such as employee turnover rate, absenteeism, sickness days and employee grievances. To have factual figures on whether they have produced the desired or near-desired outcomes is only practical. This will prove to be of substantial significance in the further decision-making of the improvement process at CDA; and ensure that the Human Resource Department’s role will be far-reaching.

    Currently, CDA is in the AQUIRE Stage of the TRADE Benchmarking Methodology, which is the operational framework for Dubai We Learn initiatives. The COER team members further recommended some best practices that the CDA can explore to enrich their employee camaraderie & communication. Further, Mr. Ahmad, CDA, presented the outcomes of their successful benchmarking meetings with Dubai Courts, Dubai KHDA and Dubai Statistics Center to learn their approaches in employee engagement and motivation. He also expressed CDA’s plans of carrying out regular meetings with the Director General, Sponsors, Section Managers and other team members to ensure maximum stakeholder participation and involvement.

    A benchmarking visit to Dubai Statistics

    In the next DEPLOY Stage – TRADE methodology, CDA is expecting greater involvement from the HR Department to enhance the success quotient of the entire project. In this phase, their objective is to target leading initiatives in governance, empowerment, policy & procedures, and leadership programs.

    Dr. Robin Mann reinforced that, after the REVIEW Stage of TRADE, common challenges/issues should be categorized and prioritized and then CDA should decide how many of them to tackle as part of the benchmarking project. Following on from this, if CDA identified 5 major issues to address then best practices for each of them should be sought in the AQUIRE stage of TRADE, therefore the REVIEW and ACQUIRE stage should be connected. He also emphasized that a Roadmap for the next one to two years should be developed once the ACQUIRE stage was completed. Based on CDA’s time-plan this could be developed by the end of October 2019 and signed off by the Project Sponsor.

    The COER team met Mr. Ahmad Julfar, Director General, CDA. He shared his vision of successfully developing a robust people-centric CDA to fulfil its mission of developing social services in alignment with the Dubai Government’s goals of attaining sustainable development and a cohesive happy society that enhances their National identity and strengthens empowerment and community engagement.

    The CDA-Enabling Happiness project is on track to rise and shine to outsmart all the challenges witnessed. CDA’s commitment and progress is indication enough that the final portrait of this team’s picture will be celebratory!

    For more information on Dubai We Learn contact:

    Dr. Zeyad Mohammad El Kahlout, Senior Quality and Excellence Advisor, Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP). Email: Zeyad.ElKahlout@tec.gov.ae

     


  2. Building Highly Effective Teams

    August 31, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited
    This article has been provided by Dr. Omer Tigani, Organizational Excellence Specialists

    Introduction
    There is a commonly used saying that ‘people are the backbone of any organization’. However, it is suggested that human resources provide even more extensive support as they are at the heart of the entire management system, producing products and delivering services and enabling the organization to remain relevant and to survive in the marketplace. So how does an organization capitalize on this most important asset, build on the talent of their people and develop highly effective teams?

    Highly Effective Teams
    A team is a group of people working together to achieve a shared purpose and goal(s). Human resources of today’s organization tend to perform their day-to-day operations in teams. Those teams can be structured according to the organizational chart or can be unstructured and teams can be permanent or temporal. Table 1 describes different types of teams. The individuals in highly effective teams are committed to results, accountable and consistently deliver superior results and exceed expectations. The success of the team is paramount and supersedes the personal agenda of any one of the team members

    Tuckman Team Model
    In 1965, Bruce Wayne Tuckman (researcher, consultant and Professor Emeritus of Educational Psychology at Ohio University) proposed the four stages of group development (Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing) as necessary and inevitable stages or phases that should take place in sequence for any group of people or team to grow and achieve a desired outcome. In 1977, Tuckman added the fifth stage Adjourning (Figure 1).

    In light of the Tuckman Model stages, there is merit in discussing the dos, don’ts and the role of team leaders at each stage that contribute to highly effective teams in organizations.

    Stage 1: Forming
    Highly effective teams are formed from individuals who possess the suitable knowledge and experience necessary to achieve the desired outcomes of the team.

    In the Forming stage, the team’s purpose, mission, long-term goals and short-term objectives must be identified, well communicated and agreed upon by all team members. The team leader role in this instance is to communicate the team’s purpose, mission, long-term goals and short-term objectives to the team numerous times (7 times or more) to ensure that every individual on the team understands, has buy-in and will work with the rest of the team to achieve such. It follows that any related changes or updates that need to take place will be well communicated too.

    Having the work processes set and the roles and responsibilities of team members identified and agreed upon in the Forming stage are extremely important to help the team cooperate and work together to achieve a successful outcome. For highly effective teams, roles and responsibilities should be established fairly among the team individuals and in careful consideration to their background and experiences.

    In the Forming stage, the highly effective team drafts a Communication Agreement in which vertical and horizontal channels are identified. This Agreement sets the expectation for each team member such as: how feedback should be given, what to do when expectations are not met and how to respond to feedback, and so forth.

    The team leader plays an important role in setting the team rules and core values. Some commonly used core values may include:

    • Teamwork
    • Respect
    • Transparency
    • Honesty
    • Integrity
    • Professionalism
    • Continuous Learning
    • Continual Improvement
    • Excellence
    • Quality

    Stage 2: Storming
    In the Storming stage, it’s a newly formed team with individuals that have been recently brought together. These individuals have different backgrounds, experiences and personalities and each team member may join with his/her own understanding, priorities and agenda. Although the team’s direction may have been set in the Forming stage, there may be differences in perception when the team puts the plan into action. As a result, disputes and differences may arise and affect team performance.

    Effective communication is the key to overcoming these differences. The team leader must be a good role model for effective communication. This role is characterized by communicating clearly, being straightforward, providing constructive feedback and listening actively. As Tom Peter’s says “team leaders should not be 18-second managers”! Effective communication will play an important role in building trust among the team members and will pave the way for them to feel confident about peer intentions and alignment with the agreed upon direction.

    Managing conflicts will also be important at this stage. Conflict can be defined as ‘any tension, real or perceived, visible or hidden, clearly understood or not, between the important interests held by one or more people’. Team leaders must consider the breadth and depth of conflict when trying to manage it.
    For example:

    • Conflicts are inevitable and may occur at any time among the members regardless of their organizational levels and/or positions
    • Conflicts are not only about real, visible, clearly understood tensions. Team leaders should also be attentive to perceived, hidden, not clearly understood tensions and manage these conflicts as well. Much time and effort can be saved in managing conflict in the early stage when it is more simple and straightforward and has not had a chance to escalate
    • Conflicts may be caused by not satisfying human interests that are held by one or more individual(s) or group(s). Thus it is beneficial for team leaders to understand the origin of the conflict or the motivation of their team members. Remaining knowledgeable and curious about these motivations and having open discussions will provide a valuable learning experience for all parties. Such undertakings will pave the way for effective resolution of the conflict and for stronger and healthier relationships going forward
    • Team leaders must understand their role is not to resolve conflicts but to manage it so the team can perform well. This undertaking will help the team leader and members to focus on overcoming challenges and moving towards achieving the team’s agreed upon aim
    • Conflicts provide an opportunity (if effectively managed) to learn more about the team members and to strengthen relationships

    Stage 3: Norming
    Once conflicts are effectively managed in the Storming stage, the Norming stage has team members focus on setting norms and ensuring all work processes are in place and functioning well for the benefit of the team. The level of team cohesiveness at this stage is largely determined by the level of conformance to the acceptable behaviors and agreed upon norms.

    Most often, the Storming stage overlaps with the Norming stage. This overlap is due to the following:

    • It may be easier to agree on some matters (e.g. work processes, roles and responsibilities, team rules, communication agreement, goals, objectives, core values) than to implement such. To be successful with implementation, conflicts must be managed well
    • When new tasks are assigned to the team, some conflicts may appear again. If the conflict has been managed well in the past, these conflicts will be less intense and managed smoothly given the team building efforts that have strengthened relationships along with the growing understanding that team members have about one another

    Norms of behaviors for highly effective teams include:

    • Respect the points of view for each member (even if it differs from their own)
    • Challenge the idea rather than the person
    • Think positive and work towards the desired outcome
    • Speak openly and share information
    • Admit mistakes and consider these experiences a learning opportunity
    • Be constructive in giving and receiving feedback
    • Remain committed to your agreed upon roles and responsibilities and to the team’s purpose, mission, core values, goals and objectives

    Particularly important at the Norming stage is a principle common to the culture of high performing organizations – alignment. Alignment reflects the understanding that the “organization is a system of interrelated and interconnected work processes and that all activities need to aligned with the established direction” (Source: Organizational Excellence Framework, 2010). The leadership team establishes the strategic direction for the organization and reflects the direction in corporate statements (e.g. vision, mission, core values) and plans that have goals and objectives. Every effort should be made to cascade these statements and plans throughout the organizations so that all undertakings serve a common aim and resources are used wisely.

    Stage 4: Performing
    Teams that reach the Performing stage are mature – work processes, roles and responsibilities, team rules and the communication agreement have been well established and tested. The focus of the team at this stage is on managing performance, evaluating performance and achieving the team goals. Although conflicts may still arise, these conflicts continue to be managed well given the relationships that have been developed and strengthened over time and the norms of behaviors that have been established.

    At this stage, the Effort Grid (Figure 2) illustrates how the effort and talent of each team member will contribute to the strength of the overall team. To realize and maintain high team performance, it is recommended that team leaders:

    • Focus on members that demonstrate good talent and good effort (Golden Eagles). Related behavior includes listening, providing constructive feedback, assigning new tasks and challenges, inspiring, encouraging and so on. In other words, recognizing these members for the value they bring to the organization
    • Invest in training team members that demonstrate poor talent and good effort (Effort Eagles). Improve the talent of this group by training and coaching. Emphasize coaching as a better way to realize desired outcomes over coaxing (persuasion or intimidation) as coaching positively reinforces the team member’s effort to improve performance
    • Spend minimal time on team members with good talent and poor effort (Talent Traps) as motivation is difficult to train. Hopefully by witnessing the positive reinforcement available to those making a good effort, these team members will be encouraged to follow suit
    • Do not spend time on team members with poor talent and poor effort (Miracle Traps). Instead encourage these people to find employment elsewhere. Otherwise such team members will provide a drag on the organization and negatively influence other team members

    For the team leader, using the foregoing approach will clearly reinforce the talent and effort that are desired and required from team member and that will be rewarded.

    A practice common to high performing organizations is to share leadership with employees (Source: Practice 2.12, Organizational Excellence Framework, 2010). This practice helps team members learn about the leadership role (e.g. chair a meeting), enables them to have a new experience (e.g. lead an improvement initiative) and builds their commitment as they accept responsibility and accountability and feel a sense of ownership over the task at hand. This practice is beneficial for the organization too as it helps to develop the leadership skills of and showcases different leadership styles to team members.

    Stage 5: Adjourning
    In the Adjourning stage most of the team goals have been achieved and the focus at this stage is a gentle wrap-up. For the benefit of a learning organization, the Adjourning stage focuses on knowledge transfer for the current and future teams that will perform a similar function. Knowledge transfer should include documenting and sharing the:

    • Team’s purpose, mission, core values, long-term goals and short-term objectives
    • Work processes
    • Roles and responsibilities for the team members
    • Team rules
    • Communication agreement
    • Lessons Learnt
    • Surveys or studies reporting results or outcomes, including benchmarking of best practices

    Conclusion
    Tuckman presented a powerful model that every team leader should be familiar with prior to leading a team. Leaders of highly effective teams should plan ahead and prepare for each stage of the Tuckman Team Model. In doing so, team leaders who understand the typical stages of team development will be agile and able to respond efficiently and effectively to most scenarios that arise during the life cycle of a team project. This preparation will help the team to perform well and to achieve its mission, goals and objectives at the desired level of quality, at a lower cost and within the set timeframe.


    About the Author:
    Dr. Omer Tigani is a quality management and organizational excellence consultant and expert with more than 18 years of experience blended with academic and professional qualifications in the field from Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Belgium and Switzerland.
    Utilizing various quality approaches (ISO standards, excellence models) and quality tools (six sigma), he has led organizations to design and establish robust management systems and to build organizational capabilities that enable the achievement of continually improving and sustainable performance.
    Dr. Omer has presented at conferences in the United States, Qatar and Sudan and has published peer-reviewed articles in international magazines with ASQ (Quality Progress, Journal for Quality and Participation). He is a licensed professional with Organizational Excellence Specialists and located in Canada.
    LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-omer-tigani-86125b1b/


  3. Best Practices Identified Along the Way

    May 28, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    Article contributed orginally posted by Dawn Bailey on Blogrige

    Imagine that your organization is identified as a role-model for the United States. After the well-earned celebration, would you sit on your laurels or look for new ways to continuously improve to find new best practices to adapt, implement, and share.

    Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES), a 2017 Baldrige Award recipient, never stopped on its journey of continuous improvement, and at the upcoming Quest for Excellence® Conference in April, Leslie Blevins, public relations and communications manager, will share some best practices in a session titled “Our Journey and Best Practices Identified Along the Way.”

    In a recent exchange (captured below), Blevins described her upcoming presentation and her perspective on the Baldrige Framework.

    What will participants learn at your conference session?

    BTES has been on a journey of continuous improvement for over thirty years—and we’ve learned a lot! I’ll be sharing our journey during my session and talking about our biggest lessons learned. Participants will learn ideas on how to implement their values, create a focus for their entire organization, and manage customer inquiries, among other topics. We will also discuss BTES’s high workforce retention rates and performance appraisal process.

    What are your top tips for using Baldrige resources?

    One of the first things that we suggest to organizations is to become involved with your state or regional Baldrige-based program. (See Alliance for Performance Excellence.) We have seen the great value in sending employees each year to be on the Board of Examiners with our state program—the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence. If a company is interested in Baldrige, having someone on its staff trained as an examiner is the first step. Second, for BTES,

    Baldrige isn’t just a tool we use. It is how we run our business.

    The good thing about Baldrige is that it can work for any business at any stage. If you are just starting out with Baldrige, start with the Organizational Profile and work your way in. Don’t feel like you have to answer every single question the first time.

    Third—and this is one of the things that we will discuss during my session—create a focus for your organization. We do a lot of things at BTES, and prior to us creating what we call our “Key Success Factors,” we didn’t have a way to tie everything together. (Think of that arrow graphic in the Baldrige Framework [Steps toward Mature Processes] that discusses integration—our arrows were pointing in every direction.) Once we created a focus around safety, reliability, and financial outcomes, we were able to quickly align our processes and integrate everything we do back to what is most important to us.

    What’s happened at your organization since receiving the Baldrige Award?

    We’ve continued to improve. We’ve continued striving towards excellence. The moment we think that we’ve hit the pinnacle is the moment we start rolling down the hill, so we keep pushing, keep improving. As we move along in our journey, we will continue to fill out a Baldrige application every year to use internally so that we never back up, never lose our momentum in moving forward, in getting better. Being the best and exceeding our customers’ expectations means that every day we’ve got to be better today than we were yesterday and better tomorrow than we are today.

    Can you share an example of your success?

    BTES continues to look at how we can improve our products and services. We currently offer Internet speeds of 10 Gigabits per second to our customers, which is available to every business and home in our service area. Our focus on improvement shows in our safety results, our continued decrease of electric outage minutes, and our superior financial and marketplace results, which have left over $70 million in our customers’ pockets over the last 40 years.

    What do you think are a few key reasons that organizations in your sector can benefit from using the Baldrige Excellence Framework?

    The Baldrige Framework asks really good questions. Answering those questions makes an organization take a hard look at what it is doing and why. Other utilities could benefit from using the Framework because it helps to standardize processes, put a focus on the organization’s customers, and ask for data to back up decision making. The Framework takes an organization from reacting to problems as they arise to being proactive in improvements.


  4. Jollibee Foods Corporation (Philippines) Win the 6th International Best Practice Competition

    December 15, 2018 by BPIR.com Limited

    image

    IBPC 2018 winner logos

    The 6th International Best Practice Competition was held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, 10-12 December 2018 as part of the Global Organisational Excellence Congress. The Congress, attended by 1,300 delegates, was hosted by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry and supported by key partners, the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, Asia Pacific Quality Organisation and the Global Benchmarking Network.

    From 72 entries from 17 countries, 36 best practices from 31 organisations were presented to the audience and a judging panel through 8-minute presentations followed by 4 minutes of questions and answers. From these the top 10 were selected, and then the top 5 qualified to the final and gave presentations to another set of judges.

    The winner and runners-up with the Judging panel and Abu Dhabi Chamber’s Director General Mohamed Helal Al Mheiri & Congress Chairman, Professor Hadi Eltigani

    The winner and runners-up with the Judging panel and Abu Dhabi Chamber’s Director General Mohamed Helal Al Mheiri & Congress Chairman, Professor Hadi Eltigani

     

    Winner:

    • Jollibee Foods Corporation, Philippines, We Listen and Learn from the VOICES of our CUSTOMERS to SPREAD Joy to the World

     

    Runners-up of equal standing:

    • Dubai Police, UAE, Productivity and Vehicle Availability within Vehicle Fleet Maintenance
    • Arya Sasol Polymer Company, Iran, Sustainable Continuous Development of Safety Improvement Plan
    • Dubai Electricity Water Authority, UAE, AFKARI Ideation Management System
    • Abu Dhabi City Municipality, UAE, Building Data Management System for streamlining Building Data Delivery process and extracting Indoor details

     

    Top 6 to 10 of equal standing:

    • Municipal Government of Carmona, Philippines, From Seclusion to Inclusion: Carmona, Cavite’s Journey Towards Empowering the Persons with Disability in the Community through the Community-Based Inclusive Development Matrix
    • Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, Singapore, Accelerating Innovation in the Maritime Industry through the MPA Living Lab
    • City of Fort Collins, USA, City of Fort Collins Climate Action Plan
    • Department of Science and Technology Regional Office No. IX, Philippines, Laboratory On-line Referral System: An Innovation in Government Service Delivery
    • Ambulatory Healthcare Services, UAE, Integrated Student e-health in the Public Schools of Abu Dhabi

    Judges of qualifying rounds:

    • Dr Martin Andrew, Director, Australian Organisation for Quality, Australia
    • Shouqi Al Yousuf, Senior Business Excellence Consultant, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, UAE
    • Dr. Zeyad El Kahlout, Senior Quality and Excellence Advisor, Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP), UAE
    • Dale Weeks, President and Chief Executive Officer, Global Leadership and Benchmarking Associates, USA

    The final was judged by:

    • Dr Charles Aubrey, Chairman APQO International Advisory Panel, United States
    • Russell Longmuir, CEO, EFQM, Belgium
    • Patrick Lim, Director, Business & Service Excellence, Singapore Enterprise, Singapore
    • Richard Cross Specialist in Talent Management, Leadership Development and Organisational Change, United Kingdom

    The Best Practice Competition encourages organizations to share their best operational and managerial practices, processes, systems, and initiatives and learn from the experience of others. It provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams that have been responsible for creating and/or managing the introduction and deployment of best practices. The Best Practice Competition was founded by the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, the developers of the Business Performance Improvement Resource. Videos of all 36 best practice presentations will be on the BPIR.com soon, sign up to the BPIR newsletter to receive updates.


  5. Last chance to participate in Int. Best Practice/Excellence Awards – Closes 9 Nov.

    October 28, 2018 by BPIR.com Limited

    The Global Organisational Excellence Congress brings together a number of prestigious international conferences/awards into one major event. The Congress is being hosted by the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry and will be held in Jumeirah at Etihad Towers Hotel, Abu Dhabi, 10-12 December 2018.

    The Final Call for applications to three international awards closes on 9th of November 2018. These award events provide you with an opportunity to give a presentation at the Congress on your organisation’s practices, network with other like-minded improvement-driven professionals, and achieve recognition for your excellent work!

    • 6th International Best Practice Competition: The Competition encourages organizations to share their best operational and managerial practices, processes, systems, and initiatives and learn from the experience of others. It provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams that have been responsible for creating and/or managing the introduction and deployment of best practices. To submit your entry please download an entry form.
    • 2nd Organisation-wide Innovation Award: This award recognises organisations that have embraced best practice learning and combined this learning with their own ideas and creativity to become highly innovative. The award recognises organisations that excel in inculcating an innovation culture throughout all facets of their operation from the leadership to employees and covering all stakeholders leading to innovative processes, products and services. To submit your entry please download an entry form.
    • 6th Global Benchmarking Awards: To recognise those organisations that have integrated benchmarking into their organisation’s strategy and processes in order to continuously learn and innovate. To submit your entry please download an entry form.

    Have a think about what your organisation does well and submit an entry by the 9th of November 2018.

    Other awards being hosted at the Congress include the APQO’s ACE Teams Award Competition and the Global Performance Excellence Award – refer to these links for their application schedule.

    Join the Global Organisational Excellence Congress Linked-In group