1. 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.


  2. Spotlight on 2018 Baldrige Award Recipient Leaders: IPM’s C. Richard Panico

    May 27, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    Article contributed orginally posted by Christine Schaefer on Blogrige

    In 1988, when C. Richard Panico founded Integrated Project Management Company, Inc., it was the first project management consulting firm in the United States. As IPM president and CEO, Panico has helped evolve the discipline of project management while creating proprietary methodologies to supplement the practice.

    IPM’s relationship-driven approach is evident in Panico’s own actions: he personally logged 321 contacts with customers in one recent year. This customer focus has led to results such as overall satisfaction scores of 9 out of 10 in post-service survey responses from customers, as well as an average customer satisfaction rate of 99 percent for the most recent three calendar years. The company’s annual revenue increased more than 60 percent over the four years preceding its Baldrige Award in 2018.

    In April, Panico will officially accept this Presidential award—the nation’s highest honor for organizational excellence. Consequently, at the Baldrige Program’s 31st Annual Quest for Excellence® Conference, Panico and other IPM leaders will present processes and practices that have helped the small business become a high-performing role model for U.S. organizations.

    In the following interview, Panico describes the focus of his upcoming Quest presentation on leadership, highlights how the Baldrige Excellence Framework has supported IPM’s journey to excellence, and gives four reasons why other organizations can also benefit from using the framework to improve their performance.

    In 1988, when C. Richard Panico founded Integrated Project Management Company, Inc., it was the first project management consulting firm in the United States. As IPM president and CEO, Panico has helped evolve the discipline of project management while creating proprietary methodologies to supplement the practice.

    IPM’s relationship-driven approach is evident in Panico’s own actions: he personally logged 321 contacts with customers in one recent year. This customer focus has led to results such as overall satisfaction scores of 9 out of 10 in post-service survey responses from customers, as well as an average customer satisfaction rate of 99 percent for the most recent three calendar years. The company’s annual revenue increased more than 60 percent over the four years preceding its Baldrige Award in 2018.

    In April, Panico will officially accept this Presidential award—the nation’s highest honor for organizational excellence. Consequently, at the Baldrige Program’s 31st Annual Quest for Excellence® Conference, Panico and other IPM leaders will present processes and practices that have helped the small business become a high-performing role model for U.S. organizations.

    In the following interview, Panico describes the focus of his upcoming Quest presentation on leadership, highlights how the Baldrige Excellence Framework has supported IPM’s journey to excellence, and gives four reasons why other organizations can also benefit from using the framework to improve their performance.

    Congratulations as your organization will be officially receiving its Baldrige Award at the ceremony this spring! Do you wish to share how you feel about this great achievement or how you or other employees reacted when you heard the news of winning the award?

    Achieving the Baldrige Award was our Superbowl!

    Our people were ecstatic when they heard the news. It is the highlight of an obsessive journey to improve every aspect of our business. More important, it validates the high-performance caliber of our people and the effectiveness of IPM’s business model and processes. Together these have enabled our evolution, sustained growth, and competitiveness. It places us in a distinguished group of other high-performing enterprises and further differentiates IPM.

    Would you please describe the topic of your leadership presentation at the upcoming Quest conference?

    The title of my presentation is “Essential Leadership: Inspiring Culture, Strategy, Execution, and Evolution.” The presentation is focused to emphasizing the leadership’s deep and critical role in establishing and sustaining a culture that drives both professional behavior and sustainable organizational high performance.

    An organization is part of a complex ecosystem of people and processes that—when properly focused through clearly stated values, a vision, a strategy, and a construct of well-defined and executed initiatives—continually evolves and even transforms to remain relevant and competitive. This ecosystem is enabled or hindered by leadership.

    How has the Baldrige Excellence Framework contributed to your organization’s success? Would you please share an example or two of Baldrige-based best practices at your organization and/or tips for using the Baldrige framework?

    As our organization has been focused on continuous improvement since its inception, the Baldrige Excellence Framework has motivated us to be more deliberate in assessing every aspect of the business. It helped us apply a higher level of scrutiny to our performance across every function and accelerated the development of more insightful key performance indicators (KPIs).

    IPM’s best practices include developing and sustaining a values-based, high-performing culture and strategic planning and execution.

    For organizations planning to use the Baldrige framework, it is important to recognize that this journey will require dedicated, focused resources. Like any other major initiative, it requires a strong leader, a well-orchestrated plan, and dedication to maintain momentum. It is best to understand the framework well before launching the journey. This is best accomplished by having the lead person and core team participate in examiner training; this will provide invaluable insight. Executive sponsorship/encouragement throughout the journey is also a critical requirement.

    What are a few key reasons that organizations in your sector can benefit from using the Baldrige framework?

    They can

    • Develop a better understanding of constraints to performance
    • Gain insight to competitors and competitive influences
    • Improve the quality and application of KPIs to aid a real-time understanding of business performance and, therefore, decision making
    • Improve strategy to drive greater and sustainable growth and profitability

    IPM is a privately held business consulting company with 182 employees. Headquartered in Burr Ridge, Illinois, the small business has seven locations throughout the United States. It offers specialized services in ten areas essential to its targeted industries, which are life sciences, consumer products, industrial products, and health care. Beyond manufacturing-related projects, IPM has greatly expanded its range of project services over the past three decades to encompass areas such as organizational strategy and operational improvement initiatives.


  3. Spotlight on 2018 Baldrige Award Recipient Leaders: Donor Alliance’s Sue Dunn

    May 26, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    Article contributed orginally posted by Christine Schaefer on Blogrige

    Donor Alliance, a nonprofit based in Denver, Colorado, has consistently been ranked among the top ten organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in the nation for maintaining an organ donor conversion rate (number of actual organ donors divided by number of patients considered potential donors) of more than 80 percent.

    Donor Alliance also maintains high rates of satisfaction among key customers. For example, it has achieved a 100 percent satisfaction rate with its tissue processors, the organizations that are responsible for preparing, preserving, storing, and distributing final tissue grafts for transplantation. In addition, all four of the local transplant centers that are key customers of Donor Alliance reported 100 percent satisfaction with the organization in 2018, the year it earned its Baldrige Award.

    In April, Donor Alliance President and CEO Sue Dunn will officially accept this prestigious award—the nation’s highest honor for organizational excellence. Consequently, at the Baldrige Program’s 31st Annual Quest for Excellence® Conference, Dunn and other leaders of her organization will present processes and practices that have helped the nonprofit become a high-performing role model for U.S. organizations.

    In the following interview, Dunn describes the focus of her upcoming Quest Conference presentation on leadership, highlights how the Baldrige Excellence Framework has supported Donor Alliance’s journey to excellence, and tells why other organizations can also benefit from using the framework to improve their performance.

    Congratulations as your organization will be officially receiving its Baldrige Award at the ceremony this spring! Do you wish to share how you and your employees feel about this great achievement and reacted when you heard the news of winning the award?

    Donor Alliance has been on the performance excellence journey since 2010, so we were thrilled to be an awardee this year!

    Our mission of saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation is too important for us not to be fully committed to having systematic processes that enable a meaningful legacy to be created for organ donor families, while also enabling recipients of organ and tissue donations to have a second chance at life.

    Not knowing what the outcome of the much-awaited call [from the Secretary of Commerce or the Baldrige Award program] would be, we had gathered our staff for a thank-you breakfast—and the room erupted into cheers when I made the announcement.

    Would you please describe the topic of your leadership presentation at the upcoming Quest Conference?

    I’ll be sharing how Donor Alliance has leveraged its mission and relationships to save lives. Our leadership system, grounded by our core competencies, is designed to inspire and raise the bar for performance. Much of our success is attributed to the energy and resources we’ve put into a variety of communication mechanisms, creating a sense of involvement and confidence with our workforce, customers, and other stakeholders.

    I’ll talk about how we’ve created an environment of success to best meet our mission. Our work is so very human, and I promise your heart strings will be tugged.

    How has the Baldrige Excellence Framework contributed to your organization’s success? Would you please share a tip for using the Baldrige framework?

    The framework gave us a roadmap for six areas essential for any organization, and that was attractive from a systems perspective.

    At first blush, the framework seemed simple; however, we soon we realized it was deceptively simple! It was an “ah-ha” moment when we were stumped in trying to fit our strategic planning process (SPP) into the [Baldrige Criteria]. Our work and diligence paid off as nine years later, our SPP was identified [in our Baldrige feedback report] as a key theme and a bolded strength in item 1.1.

    Somewhere early in our journey, it was suggested that we use the Baldrige Criteria without calling it “Baldrige” with our staff. But since the framework is so evidence-based, we made the decision to start using the Baldrige label with the full staff. I think that the concepts of [process] deployment and integration were easier for people to understand using Baldrige language from the start.

    What are a few key reasons that organizations in your sector can benefit from using the Baldrige framework (which includes the Criteria for Performance Excellence)?

    The [Baldrige Criteria] categories identify key areas of organizational focus and call for an assessment of your own identified processes. We’ve found it has been useful to have a proven methodology for improvement.

    Focusing on results is two-pronged: using the Criteria, not only can you see your results improve, but you also are focused on the gap areas that are holding back your results.

    The process requires that your entire organization is on the “journey,” not just those in leadership positions who are making decisions about processes. While the early years are tough in getting Baldrige integrated throughout the organization, there is a point when it becomes how you do your work, and that is a wonderful thing!

    Donor Alliance is 1 of 58 independent organ procurement organizations with service areas throughout the United States designated by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The nonprofit organization has headquarters in Denver, CO, as well as regional offices in Grand Junction, CO, Colorado Springs, CO, and Casper, WY. Its geographic service area stretches across 184,151 square miles, including Colorado and most of Wyoming.

    Donor Alliance has organ and tissue recovery programs in more than 100 hospitals to carry out its mission of saving lives through organ and tissue donation. Complementing this work, the organization creates and supports community partnerships, public outreach, and education campaigns throughout its donation service area to encourage people to register as organ and tissue donors.


  4. Spotlight on 2018 Baldrige Award Recipient Leaders: Alamo Colleges District’s Mike Flores

    May 25, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    Article contributed orginally posted by Christine Schaefer on Blogrige

    Alamo Colleges District, a community college district in San Antonio, Texas, achieved the best four-year student graduation rate in the state after improving results by 150 percent in recent years. The organization also doubled the number of degrees and certificates conferred to students over four years since 2013 to reach a 2017 total of 12,750, a number three times higher than the state norm. In addition, scholarships awarded to Alamo Colleges District students increased from 580 to 2,175, with the amount awarded growing from $500,000 to over $2 million, from 2010 to 2018, the year the organization earned its Baldrige Award.

    In April, as chancellor of Alamo Colleges District, Dr. Mike Flores will officially accept this prestigious award—the nation’s highest honor for organizational excellence. Consequently, at the Baldrige Program’s 31st Annual Quest for Excellence® Conference, Flores and other Alamo Colleges District leaders will present processes and practices that have helped the higher education institution become a high-performing role model for U.S. organizations.

    In the following interview, Flores describes the focus of his upcoming Quest presentation on leadership, highlights how the Baldrige Excellence Framework has supported his institution’s journey to excellence, and tells why other education organizations can also benefit from using the framework to improve their performance.

    Congratulations! Your organization will be officially receiving its Baldrige Award at the ceremony this spring! Do you wish to share how you feel about this great achievement or how you or other employees reacted when you heard the news of winning the award?

    Becoming a recipient of the Baldrige Award is a testament to the hard work and commitment of a diverse, collaborative, and engaged workforce of 5,000 colleagues and our students and community partners.

    Having the Baldrige examiners on site (during the final phase of the 2018 award process last fall) to hear and learn of our journey provided many employees (over 500 were interviewed) the opportunity to share how they have contributed to this effort, from those who have been here throughout the journey to those who are new to the organization.

    We are excited about the journey ahead as we continue to develop and implement strategies to achieve our mission of student success and performance excellence.

    Would you please outline or otherwise give us a preview of highlights of your leadership plenary presentation at the upcoming Quest conference?

    I will communicate to the conference attendees that Alamo Colleges District has developed an organizational alignment that allows for a clear focus on student success and performance excellence, through a student-first culture, data-informed strategic planning and implementation, and increased internal and external community engagement.

    Through these efforts, we have identified our moonshot—community partnerships designed to end poverty in the greater San Antonio region. Alamo Colleges District has implemented strategic initiatives that position the organization to continue to be a key contributor to the personal and economic growth of the citizens of San Antonio and surrounding areas. These initiatives include AlamoADVISE, which connects individual students with a dedicated, certified advisor to identify resources to support their learning and prevent them from needing to drop out, as well as our network of student resource centers at each college.

    How has the Baldrige Excellence Framework (including the Education Criteria for Performance Excellence) contributed to your organization’s success? Would you please share a few examples of Baldrige-based best practices at your organization based on your use of the Baldrige framework?

    The use of the Baldrige Excellence Framework helped our organization define and codify our student-first culture. Board Policy F.6.1 Student Success was established in 2010 to communicate that Alamo Colleges District (ACD) will rely on evidence about student progress to make strategic decisions and allocate resources. This is accomplished through collaborative efforts across the organization and among various groups.

    We developed streamlined processes across our family of colleges and support operations, aligning strategic development and implementation, from our Alamo Way board philosophy to our strategic priorities and strategies and our individual performance reviews.

    Our adoption of the Four Disciplines of Execution (4DX) provided a cadence of accountability by which we can be intentional and focused on meeting our Wildly Important Goal (WIG), which is to increase the number of degrees and certificates awarded to students.

    We engaged our external partners and stakeholders in our student success efforts to bring initiatives such as AlamoADVISE; AlamoINSTITUTES, which provides personalized pathways; and, most recently, AlamoPROMISE, our tuition-free college program concept, to a greater scale.

    What are a few key reasons that you believe organizations in your sector benefit from using the Baldrige framework?

    The Baldrige framework is about social justice. It is designed for organizations to implement effective and efficient processes that help reduce gaps that are often based on institutional, social, personal, and cultural factors that separate successful and non-successful students.

    We have seen the evidence of the successes of this framework in our student community. Since the beginning of our Baldrige journey in 2009, the number of degrees we’ve awarded has increased by 129 percent. Our minority student population has benefited the most from our Baldrige strategies and innovations: degrees conferred to Hispanic students have increased by 198 percent, and degrees conferred to African-American students have increased by 139 percent.

    The Baldrige framework allows leaders of an organization to move from thinking they know what processes are impacting their outcomes to knowing which processes actually do impact organizational success and how they do so.

    Alamo Colleges District is a community college district in San Antonio, Texas. Pursuing its mission of “empowering our diverse communities for success,” the organization has established education and training centers in some of the city’s most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods and offers programs that also support surrounding areas. The organization’s vision is for the district and its colleges to be “the best in the nation in achieving student success and performance excellence.”


  5. Leadership Practices of Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center

    May 15, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited

    Article originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Bailey

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    Five-Part Leadership Blog Series
    In this five-part blog series on the 2018 Baldrige Award recipients’ leadership presentations at the 31st Annual Quest for Excellence® Conference (April 7–10, 2019), senior leaders of the five newest national role models share best practices and stories of how they achieved excellence.

    Addressing the Critical Care Shortage

    To relieve the critical shortage of beds in its rural Indiana area, Memorial Hospital opened its doors in 1951 for patients across eight counties. The Little Company of Mary Sisters set the direction in how the hospital cares for patients and each other, following the mission: “Christ’s healing mission of compassion empowers us to be for others through quality and excellence.”
     
    Now recognized nationally as a top regional hospital, Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center offers 137 patient beds and employs more than 1,700 staff members, with 100 physicians as active medical staff. Memorial also has 32 medical offices strategically located in its service area, annually providing care to 6,500 inpatients; 260,000 outpatients; 3,000 emergency patients; and 1,000 newborns.

    Developing Relationships
    According to Kyle Bennett, president and CEO, two constants have helped the hospital reach role-model status: the commitment and support of the Little Company of Mary Sisters and community support.

    “In order to bring care closer to where we are, we develop relationships,” said Bennett, speaking proudly of Memorial’s many collaborations, including opening a clinic in an Amish community, developing a tele-stroke inpatient program in collaboration with the University of Louisville, and partnering with the Indiana University School of Medicine to develop a family medicine residency program to open in summer 2019.

    Because of this program, “the access to primary care [will change] for many years into the future for our service area,” he said.

    Adopting Baldrige to “Be the Provider that We Needed to Be”
    “Employers and the business community look to us to be a strong health care provider, and we knew seven years ago that we needed to make some improvements in order to sustain and be the care provider that we needed to be for the communities we serve,” said Bennett.

    In looking for ways to sustain and inspire improvements, he said the hospital realized that the Baldrige framework aligned with its mission.

    “The benefits that we’ve realized have helped us define what excellence is to us for the communities we serve,” he said. “[The framework has] helped us create discipline around our processes, improved our financial performance, and improved our focus on key quality metrics.”

    Bennett said adopting the framework came with some struggles. “When we began, trying to apply the Baldrige framework was for me nothing short of awkward. It felt like something else that we had to do. I could answer the ‘what’ questions [in the Baldrige Criteria], but I really couldn’t answer ‘how’ questions. We hadn’t really defined our processes.”

    “Thankfully, today the framework is how we do our work,” Bennett added.

    Modeling “Attributes of a Servant’s Heart”
    “We knew that to make any sustainable, meaningful change, there had to be deliberate change among senior leaders,” said Bennett, so the hospital developed a Servant Leadership System, with an emphasis on building its culture.

    Bennett said senior leaders knew that they needed to model the attributes of a servant’s heart (words around the circle in the graphic): selflessness, forgiveness, honesty, commitment, patience, kindness, humility, and respect.

    According to Bennett, the blue circles on the graphic are leadership goals (e.g., set organization direction/determine priorities, engage the workforce, monitor performance), and the triangle at the heart of the model, which lists the mission, vision, core values, covenants, and core competencies, represents the building blocks of culture.

    Identifying the Keys to Success
    According to Bennett, Memorial Hospital knows that the keys to its success are related to its focus on the mission, a committed workforce, and disciple around the strategic planning process.

    “Those things have been integral to us over our journey,” said Bennett. “We work to live our mission every day. It’s the foundation of all we do. And we consistently return to it as we seek discernment and perspective.”

    Similarly, workforce members are “empowered to be and to act,” said Bennett, adding that a no-pass zone at the hospital requires that all patients and their families, as well as all workforce members, are greeted at the front door.

    “Our workforce is key to building and sustaining our culture,” he said.

    Achieving Results
    Memorial Hospital’s results have helped propel it to national role-model status. Results include the following: 

    • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 5-star rating for overall quality of inpatient care since the ratings were released
    • National top-10%, net-positive, value-based-payment performance since 2017
    • Performance excellence outcomes: zero early elective deliveries before 39 weeks (since 2015), zero pressure ulcers in the Skilled Caring Center (since 2016), zero central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI; since 2016), and zero hospital methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections (since 2015)
    • “A” Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade since 2016
    • CMS top-10% performance in patient safety composite results since 2017
    • Registered nurse turnover rate below 2% since the first quarter of 2016

    “Thirty-seven,” added Bennett, “That’s how many [opportunities for improvement] we had in our feedback report [received with its Baldrige Award application]. . . . We realize that we’re the recipient of this wonderful award. Our patients are the recipients of the care we provide. . . . The quality that we provide can get better, and those 37 things will help us get there.”

    View more processes and results of Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center.