1. How to get $820 for each $1 spent using a Business Excellence Programme

    February 8, 2012 by admin
    One of the repeated questions in quality management is, what is the cost of quality? is quality free?
    Well, my personal opinion is, it is and it is not. According to quality guru Philip Crosby “Quality is free. But it is not a gift”

    In other words, the organisation needs to “pay” for establishing a quality system in order to get the rewards, it’s like paying for someone to fix the leaks in a system.

    Therefore, with any  improvement initiative there will be some cost associated with the programme but at the end the organisation should gain much more than what they have paid.

    In Dec 2011, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) published the results of a research study aimed to evaluate the net social benefits of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Programme.

    The researchers compared the benefits received by the 273 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award applicants from 2007 to 2010 with the cost of operating the Baldrige Program.

    According to the research, the benefit-to-cost ratio of Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is 820-to-1, which means for every $1 spent to implement the programme the economy will get $820 in form of social value, which is categorized into 3 categories:

    • The applicants’ cost savings from using the freely available Baldrige Criteria instead of a higher-priced alternative
    • Gains to U.S. consumers, who had greater satisfaction with higher-quality products
    • Gains to U.S. economy resources saved by using the Baldrige Criteria
    The researchers noted  that the benefit-to-cost ratio would be much higher  for the US economy but the research only focussed on the benefits stemming from the award applicants (in respect to the social costs of running the whole Baldrige programme). In reality, 1000’s more organisations will have benefited from the programme.

    You can read the full research from here.



  2. Excellence Makes People Happier at Work

    February 6, 2012 by
    Happier at Work


    Is there any correlation between business excellence programmes and employee engagement, morale and satisfaction?  Adam’s Stoehr (Excellence Canada Vice President) is conducting  research about this topic and aims to  answer this question.

    Initial findings suggest that there is a strong relationship between implementation of excellence programmes and employee engagement, morale and satisfaction.

    If you would like to participate in the research you can contact Adam at adam@excellence.ca. For further details about the research and the findings read the post below.


    Why do we bother with Excellence strategies?  This stuff doesn’t really make a difference does it?  What is the return on Excellence?  I have way more important things to do. I’ll put it off until next month/quarter/year.  If this sounds like you or anyone you know please read on.

    Here is some fresh research that may give you the reminder you need to stay the course. I’ve been thinking about the connection between Excellence and People a little too much lately. I’m about halfway through my PhD thesis on the subject and besides the fact that my eyes may pop out of my head, I’ve seen some interesting connections.

    Early results are showing three connections emerging from the data.

    • A strategic approach to quality improves employee engagement
    • A strategic approach to quality improves employee morale
    • A strategic approach to quality improves employee satisfaction

    So far I’ve collected data from a number of organizations and the correlations can be seen in the following scatter diagrams (if you want to learn about scatter diagrams check out last month’s article on how to create them: http://www.excellence.ca/en/knowledge-centre/articles/graphing-marathon-measures-3-scatter-diagram )

    Quality and Engagement

    Happier at Work 

    So far the quality and employee engagement connection is the strongest relationship out of the factors I’m considering with a correlation of 0.753.  What this chart is saying is that as an organization is more committed to quality (higher quality scores) the level of engagement of staff also increases (higher engagement scores)

    Quality and Morale

     Happier at Work

    Quality and employee morale has the second strongest relationship out of the factors I’m considering with a correlation of 0.743. Similar to the previous chart as an organizations quality score increases so does the employee morale score.

    Quality and Satisfaction

    Happier at Work 

    The connection between quality and employee satisfaction is significantly related with a correlation of 0.679. It happens to be the weakest out of the factors I’m exploring but similar to the other two charts as the organizations quality score increases so does the employee satisfaction score.

    As I build this story further I’ll keep you posted.  To make the connections even stronger I need more organizations to participate in this research. To participate all you need to do is commit to sending the survey to a statistically valid sample of employees at your organization (we can figure out this number together).

    Let me know if you want to participate.  Email me at adam@excellence.ca

    Benefit of participating.  Each participating organization will receive:

    • A report with full results of the survey which measures both the organizations strategic commitment to quality and the impact on employees (satisfaction, engagement, morale)
    • Comparison with database of other organizations for benchmarking purposes

    Details of the Research

    • Using a 65 question survey, targeted to various Canadian organizations, this research explores the specific relationship between a strategic approach to quality and three elements of employee measures including employee satisfaction, employee morale and employee engagement.
    • The survey is structured into 3 sections.
      • Section 1 includes a 37 question multidimensional construct that measures an organizations strategic commitment to quality. This construct is based on the criteria and principles of the Canadian, American, Australian, and European national excellence models.
      • Section 2 includes a 24 question multidimensional construct that measures employee satisfaction, engagement, and morale. This construct is based on nine different models from leading edge research on these topics.
      • Section 3 includes 4 personal attribute questions that are used as statistical variables in the analysis.
      • Understanding the relationships between a strategic approach to quality and employee measures will help organizations, leadership teams, unions, and employees make decisions about the benefits and risks associated with adopting a strategic approach to quality management as it relates to employees.

    Email me and I’ll get you set up to participate in this important research! adam@excellence.ca

  3. Call for Papers – World Business Capability Congress

    January 23, 2012 by
    Call for Papers

    I hope you have had a great start to the New Year and your plans and wishes for 2012 come true.
    Here at COER we are gearing up for an outstanding year (we are always positive!) – the highlight is expected to be the World Business Capability Congress, December 5-7, 2012, Auckland, New Zealand.  If you have not been to New Zealand before then this is an excellent opportunity to combine a world-class conference with a visit to one of the most beautiful and stunning countries on earth!!!
    The theme for the Congress is:  “Driving Excellence> Innovation> Productivity> Export Growth
    We are now “Calling for Papers” – this is your chance to speak at a major international conference and share your experience, best practices or your leading edge management research. Submit your Abstract/Bio right now
    This is an opportunity for
    a) Academics to present peer-reviewed conference papers and get them fast-tracked into leading journals (such as • Q-NewZ Magazine • TQM Journal • Measuring Business Excellence Journal • International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management • International Benchmarking Journal • International Journal of TQM and Business Excellence)
    b) Business employees, managers, CEOs, consultants to present and share best practices (perhaps for the first time at a major conference)
    This Congress is combining the International Benchmarking Conference, New Zealand Organisation for Quality Conference, and the New Zealand Business Excellence Awards.
    The Congress organisers are the Centre for Organsiational Excellence Research and  New Zealand Organisation for Quality with key partners the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation (New Zealand Business Excellence Awards), Asia Network for Quality, Asia Pacific Quality Organization, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, BPIR.com Limited, Economic Development Agencies New Zealand,  Global Benchmarking Network,  Institute of Management Consultants New Zealand, Ministry of Economic Development and New Zealand Institute of Management.
    To help to make the Congress even bigger and better we are now calling for Sponsors. If you think your organization may benefit from exposure to 1,000’s of decision makers please let me know.

    Dr. Robin Mann

  4. World Business Capability Congress – Call for Papers

    December 14, 2011 by
    Conference Auckland


    This is your invitation to come and see one of the most beautiful countries in the world and learn, share and network with your peers from all around the globe at the same time!

    Next year in December New Zealand will host a premier business improvement-orientated congress. New Zealand Organisation for Quality (NZOQ) and Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER) are organising the World Business Capability Congress Incorporating the 27th NZOQ Conference, 7th International Benchmarking Conference and New Zealand Business Excellence Awards in Auckland.

    The main theme of the congress is “Driving Excellence> Innovation> Productivity> Export Growth” and in line with that theme the conference organising committee is seeking contributions from organisations and individuals about Developing Business Capability, Leadership, Strategy, Customer and Market Focus, Measurement, Analysis and Knowledge Management, Human Resource Focus, and Process Management. The best papers will be considered for the Best Paper Award, and fast-tracked for publication in one of the local or international journals.

    Abstracts for papers will be due by 1st of April 2012 and the early registration deadline will be 1 July 2012. The congress website is available at WorldBusinessCapabilityCongress.com and more details on abstract submission and registration is posted there, please visit the website periodically as it evolves and more details become available, also you can also download the congress flyer from here .

    The World Business Capability Congress 2012 is a not to be missed event, make sure you include this conference in your diary and travel plans for 2012.

    Ahmed Abbas

  5. Four Organizations Win 2011 Baldrige National Quality Award

    November 24, 2011 by

    Baldrige Award 2011 Winners

    U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson today named four organizations -three health care operations and one nonprofit business- as recipients of the 2011 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence through innovation, improvement and visionary leadership. This marks the first year that three health care organizations have been selected at one time.
    The winning recipients -listed with their category- are:
    • Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, Mo. (nonprofit)
    • Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Mich. (health care)
    • Schneck Medical Center, Seymour, Ind. (health care)
    • Southcentral Foundation, Anchorage, Alaska (health care)
    The 2011 Baldrige Award recipients were selected from a field of 69 applicants. All of the applicants were evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas defined by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results.

    The award is managed as part of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP) by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in cooperation with the private sector Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

    A forthcoming economic study prepared for BPEP documents the practical benefits of the Baldrige program. Of the 273 Baldrige Award applicants since 2006, the study finds, the benefits to these organizations on three levels -cost savings, customer satisfaction and financial gain- outweighed the overall cost of the BPEP by a ratio of 1,252-to-1.

    Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987 to enhance the competitiveness and performance of U.S. businesses. Originally, three types of organizations were eligible: manufacturers, service companies and small businesses. Congress expanded the program in 1999 to include education and health care organizations, and again in 2007 to include nonprofit organizations such as charities, trade and professional associations, and government agencies. The award promotes excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies.

    For more details, see the Nov. 22, 2011 news announcement, “Four U.S. Organizations Honored with the 2011 Baldrige National Quality Award” at www.nist.gov/baldrige/baldrige_recipients2011.cfm. For more information on the BPEP, go to www.nist.gov/baldrige.