1. Keep on learning

    November 14, 2018 by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted by Harry Hertz on Blogrige

    I recently read a blog post by Mary Jo Asmus entitled “8 Unexpected Ways to Continue to Develop Yourself as a Leader.” Some ways were more obvious (to me) than others and I will quickly summarize all of them below. However, my main takeaway was to reflect on how I continue to learn. And I would assert that my approach is not limited to leaders, but can help all of us continue to learn.

    Let me start with a summary from the referenced blog; the items are in the order presented:

    1. Build relationships with your peers; they can help you be more successful
    2. Develop your direct reports; they also can help you be more successful
    3. Demonstrate you are ready to take on the next level of leadership
    4. Leverage your strengths and address your gaps
    5. Get above the weeds and become more visionary
    6. Use a new hobby to stimulate your brain
    7. Focus on your health so you function at your best
    8. Show concern for your colleagues

    The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence consider workforce learning and development to be key aspects of Workforce Engagement (Item 5.2). The organization has a responsibility to consider the learning and development desires of workforce members [5.2b(1)] and to manage career development and progression of workforce members [5.2b(3)]. As individuals, we also are responsible for our learning and development; we need to recognize the benefits we gain from life-long learning. With that personal responsibility in mind, here are my eight approaches to ongoing learning. They are listed roughly in order, from the obvious to the less obvious:

    1. Take stock. Do a self-assessment of your current strengths and opportunities for improvement (to use Baldrige terminology). Seek 360° feedback as input to your self-assessment.
    2. Seek appropriate training opportunities and read relevant journals, social media posts, and books. This requires that you consider where you want to further develop your skills and capabilities, an important prerequisite for all of us.
    3. Be an active listener. You can learn a lot by listening to other points of view and learning from others knowledge. Sometimes a single word I hear will trigger a whole range of different thoughts for me, thoughts about good alternatives to my approach or thoughts about something I would like to explore further for my own education.
    4. Use humor. It makes you more human and helps everyone relax. When people are relaxed, I have found that ideas flow.
    5. Complement you strengths. Don’t surround yourself with people just like you. Choose people who complement your strengths. It will yield better organizational output and you can learn from those colleagues on an on-going basis.
    6. Learn from role models and anti-role models. I have had great bosses who really knew how to lead and also a few bosses who didn’t lead well (in my opinion). I have made a practice of studying the key characteristics of both type of bosses and have used the characteristics to build my capabilities.
    7. Create think time. I deliberately set aside time to reflect and think with no other distractions. Sometimes I have a problem or goal for that think time; other times, I just wander around my brain till a topic interests me. For years my think time was the time I spent on my garden tractor mowing my lawn. More recently, I have the luxury of allowing myself more set-aside time.
    8. Pick up the trash. I have always felt that nobody is too good or too important to pick up the trash. As Director of the Baldrige Program, I made a practice of being part of the trash collection crew at the end of each day of Baldrige examiner training. It leads to great informal conversation with colleagues. And as a leader, it shows that you are just another valued staff member.

    How do you continue to learn? Please let me know!

  2. The Baldrige criteria are insufficient

    November 9, 2018 by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted by Harry Herts on Blogrige

    For people who have known me for years, you probably never thought you would hear me say, “The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence are an insufficient guide for achieving improvement and, hopefully, excellence.” But the statement is true and it is not a new epiphany for me. The Criteria ask how your organization accomplishes everything it needs to do and define what that “everything” is. How has a simple meaning in most contexts: a description of your approach or method. But that is not the full meaning of how, when you are characterizing an organizational process. The full meaning is revealed when the Criteria are combined with the Baldrige Scoring Guidelines which add dimensionality to how. Then the picture is both sufficient and all-encompassing.

    Before continuing the explanation, let me provide context by explaining why I am writing this blog…

    My Email Exchange
    I recently had a very thoughtful email exchange with Bob Scanlon, a long-time Baldrige examiner, senior examiner, and alumni examiner. The basic topic was new and improved process adoption in an organization, process standardization throughout the organization, and adoption of benchmarked processes in large, geographically dispersed organizations (and smaller ones, as well). The basic problem is that well-defined processes are not uniformly and effectively deployed throughout the organization, and improvements are frequently localized or reinvented at multiple places in an organization. Knowledge transfer is poor and a lot of rework or inefficiencies occur. Bob’s thought-provoking question was, are new how questions needed in the criteria to address these issues?

    The Meaning of How
    After giving Bob’s question some thought, my answer was “no.” We do not need new Criteria questions to address these issues. The answer lies in responding to the existing process questions and understanding the meaning of how, which the Baldrige Glossary of Key Terms defines as:

    The systems and processes that your organization uses to achieve its mission requirements. You should include information on approach (methods and measures), deployment, learning, and integration.

    Approach (A), Deployment(D), Learning (L), and Integration (I) or ADLI are the four dimensions of the Baldrige process item scoring guidelines. The proper answer to a how question requires information on the approach, including

    • measures of effectiveness and efficiency
    • deployment of the approach to relevant work units throughout the organization
    • learning through cycles of evaluation and improvement, innovation, and sharing with all relevant work units
    • integration by aligning the approach with organizational needs and harmonizing plans, processes, information, resource decisions, actions, and analyses to support organization-wide goals

    The ADLI dimensions are described in detail in the Baldrige Scoring Guidelines. Organizational maturity, by way of a score, is measured by progress in achieving these four ADLI dimensions. However, the ADLI dimensions are not merely a scoring companion to the Baldrige Criteria; they provide the defining characteristics of the word how. The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence are insufficient if one does not understand the meaning of how and its role in defining process excellence. This meaning and role in performance excellence is described in the Scoring Guidelines. Therefore, they should be used as an integral part of Criteria implementation, even if your organization is not trying to score your level of performance.

    The questions posed in Bob Scanlon’s email are addressed by the deployment and learning dimensions of responding to how.

    The next logical question might be, “Are the Scoring Guidelines also important in answering the results questions in the Criteria?”

    What about Results?
    The same concept of Criteria and Scoring Guidelines complementarity applies to the meaning of what, when asking what are your results. What are your results has a simple meaning in most contexts: tell me your level of performance. To understand the full meaning of what when describing results, organizations should look at the scoring dimensions for results: Levels (Le), Trends (T), Comparisons (C), and Integration (I), or LeTCI (Let’s see our progress). The proper answer to a results question requires information about the

    • level of current performance
    • trend in your performance over time (Are you getting better, worse, or staying the same?)
    • comparison of your organization’s performance to that of competitors, or other similar organizations, or, possibly, best-in-class performance
    • integration, the extent to which your results measures address important performance requirements relating to products, customers, markets, processes, action plans, and organization-wide goals

    Systems Perspective
    When your organization defines and standardizes a process, do you truly define how it will be accomplished? When your organization assesses its results, do you truly measure what has been accomplished? ADLI and LeTCI complement the Baldrige Criteria and permit the systems perspective.

  3. Learning from Role Models: Category 6: Operations

    October 29, 2018 by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted by Dawn Bailey on Blogrige

    Part of the purpose of Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Improvement Act of 1987 (Public Law 100-107) is to disseminate information about the successful strategies and programs of Baldrige Award-winning organizations that “practice effective quality management and as a result make significant improvements in the quality of their goods and services.” Such sharing by Baldrige Award recipients is done face-to-face and with the option of asking questions of and networking with these recipients at the Annual Quest for Excellence® Conference, as well as at the Baldrige Fall Conference. Baldrige Award recipients also often host sharing days after their wins to share best practices.

    What is Category 6?
    Category 6 of the Baldrige Criteria covers your organizations operations.

    Category 6: Operations
    The Operations category asks how your organization designs, manages, improves, and innovates its products and work processes and improves operational effectiveness to deliver customer value and achieve ongoing organizational success.

    The management of your key products, your key work processes, and innovation can create value for your customers and help you achieve current and future organizational success. In addition, how you ensure effective operations can lead to a safe workplace and patient and student environment. Effective operations frequently depend on controlling the overall costs of your operations and maintaining the reliability, security, and cybersecurity of your information systems.

    Baldrige Award Recipient Best Practices
    Following are some practices shared by Baldrige Award recipients (Momentum Group, MidwayUSA, and Adventist Health Castle) in the realms of quality improvement, process management/performance, supply chain management, and patient-focused delivery of health care. What could your organization learn/adapt?

    Momentum Group
    2016 Baldrige Award Recipient, Small Business

    Momentum Group is a recognized leader in the commercial interiors industry, creating exclusive, design-focused fabrics for customers that include architectural and design firms, and commercial furniture manufacturers. One of its successful programs is its Quality Process Improvement System, which is used as a consistent operating path for initiatives, such as forming a quality leadership team, developing problem solving groups, providing all employees with quality training, and benchmarking and implementing a best-in-class recognition program.

    The system has led to investments in process upgrades that have reduced sample production time by 50 percent and improved sample yield per yard by 20 percent.

    Additionally, Momentum Group identifies six core processes and five support processes and has adapted the Baldrige Criteria to what would work internally for the organization. An annual Baldrige-based self-assessment process is used by all 11 core and support workgroups. Following a prescribed format used for the past 16 years, Momentum Group has each assessment externally reviewed.

    2015 Baldrige Award Recipient, Small Business

    MidwayUSA, an Internet retailer offering “Just About Everything”® for shooting, hunting, and the outdoors, uses the questions of Baldrige Criteria category 6 to guide its goals of delivering stakeholder key requirements, improving proactively, understanding process interactions, becoming sustainable, and managing for innovation.

    A key area in category 6 is supply-chain management. For MidwayUSA, highly effective supply chain management (see image 6.1 Work Processes for the steps and feedback look that the organization follows) has resulted in a nearly 83 percent in-stock product rate, which is difficult to achieve in MidwayUSA’s industry. It has also resulted in an increase in inventory turns (the number of times inventory is “turned over” as measured by the cost of goods sold divided by the average inventory) from 5.2 in 2004 to 7.8 in 2015.

    Process management has helped MidwayUSA maintain a satisfaction rate for its suppliers and partners at or near 94 percent each year from 2008 to 2015, a rate better than the 84 percent achieved by the company’s number one industry competitor.

    Adventist Health Castle
    2017 Baldrige Award Recipient, Health Care

    Adventist Health Castle is a community hospital system that provides inpatient and outpatient care to people who primarily live on the windward side of the Hawaiian island of O’ahu. It is one of 20 hospitals within the nonprofit, faith-based, Adventist Health system headquartered in Roseville, CA.

    Adventist Health Castle sets service and process requirements at top decile whenever benchmarks are available. This has led to a pursuit of quality improvement for the benefit of its customers, “chasing zero” harm to its patients. As a result, it boasts rates from below 1 percent to zero for common hospital-acquired infections (i.e., catheter-associated urinary tract infection [CAUTI], central line-associated bloodstream infection [CLABSI], surgical site infections [SSI], and Clostridium difficile bacterial infections), as well as patient falls. Adventist Health Castle has been a top performer nationally for having had zero CAUTI infections in its inpatient units for the last 3 years and 5 months. Adventist Health Castle’s ICU is performing in the top 10 percent of ICUs nationwide, with a CLABSI rate of zero for four of the last five years.

    The hospital addresses safety through its Environment of Care Committee, Patient Safety Council, daily Safety Huddle, associate education, and inte­grated patient care. For a safe environment, it prioritizes patient safety, regulatory requirements, cost, relationship to its mission/vision/values, and the importance to customers. The Chasing Zero images show some of the steps it takes to ensure safety.

  4. EFQM Excellence Award Winners 2018

    October 25, 2018 by BPIR.com Limited

    In the pursuit for excellence 2018 was a very challenging year for many organisations around the world. Business excellence awards are the most prestigious awards any organisation can achieve, it recognises organisations which have demonstrated excellence in all areas of operation. Below are the EFQM business excellence award winners of 2018.

    The EFQM Global Excellence Award to Infineon Technologies Austria AG.

    In addition, seven organisations were recognised as Prize Winners and Highly Commended for their outstanding performance.

    • Dubai Police – United Arab Emirates – Prize Winner in Succeeding through the Talent of People & Sustaining Outstanding Results
    • Sakarya University – Turkey – Prize Winner in Adding Value for Customers & Developing through the Talent of People
    • VAMED-KMB – Austria – Prize Winner in Harnessing Creativity and Innovation & Succeeding through the Talent of People
    • Tarsus Municipality – Turkey – Prize Winner in Leading with Vision, Inspiration & Integrity
    • HLA Hospital Universitario Moncloa – Highly Commended in Adding Value for Customers
    • Mini Assembly, Plant Oxford – United Kingdom – Highly Commended in Achieving Sustainable Results
    • Yangtze optical fibre and cable joint stock limited company (YOFC) – China – Highly Commended in Adding Value for Customers

  5. What you can learn from a Baldrige award-winning credit union

    October 10, 2018 by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted by Christine Schaefer on Blogrige

    Four years ago, Elevations Credit Union (ECU) became the first nonprofit financial services organization to win a Baldrige Award. According to ECU Senior Vice President of Analytics & Innovation Pete Reicks, the Boulder, CO-based, organization began its “journey to align and integrate the organization to the Baldrige Excellence Framework” in 2009.

    “The journey has not been easy—nothing of excellence ever is,” said Reicks recently. Such a quest “rarely follows straight lines and requires everyone to participate. But it is nothing short of culture-changing, in an amazing and rewarding way.”

    At the Baldrige Program’s annual Quest for Excellence® Conference in April, Reicks will present in detail how ECU has used the Baldrige Excellence Framework (which includes the Criteria for Performance Excellence) to surmount challenges and achieve strong performance results year over year. In our latest exchange (shared below), Reicks discussed the upcoming presentation and his thoughts and tips for other organizations on using the Baldrige framework.

    Please briefly describe what attendees will learn at your upcoming conference session.
    The presentation shares the story of our Baldrige journey and the learning acquired along the way, which I hope will be useful to others who are on their own journey. Our learning is shared through three key themes: Head, Gut, and Heart. The Baldrige journey was definitely intellectually (Head) challenging as we evaluated our answers to the Criteria questions through the power of the framework using ADLI [approach, deployment, learning, and integration—the Baldrige process evaluation factors] and LeTCI [levels, trends, comparisons, and integration—the Baldrige results evaluation factors].

    Our sense of what’s truly possible and how we could realistically pursue it (Gut) was consistently challenged as the organization progressed through the annual [Baldrige Award] application, examination, and review of our strengths and OFI [opportunities for improvement] feedback. Most important, our purpose, commitment, and energy (Heart) were reaffirmed as our workforce, members, and stakeholders realized the value brought from the journey.

    What are some examples of how your organization has benefitted from your ongoing journey?

    • Sustained top decile results in our workforce engagement survey results for key areas, such as responses to the survey item “I understand how my job contributes to this organization’s success.”
    • Sustained beneficial trends in results for key growth outcome measures, with performance at benchmark leadership levels within our peer group of comparison organizations in our industry
    • Enterprise-wide adoption of business process management (BPM) drives a systems-thinking, process-centric culture promoting fact-based decision making, learning, continuous improvement, and innovation

    What are your top tips for introducing or sustaining use of the Baldrige framework to promote an organization’s success?

    1. Start with the Organizational Profile. Doing this was highly revealing for our organization! We found when putting what we thought we knew into writing that we either didn’t have agreement or that we really hadn’t thought deeply about who our true competitors were, what our core competencies were, strategic advantages, challenges, etc. We actually spent the bulk of a year as a senior leadership team hashing this out, which proved invaluable to answering the Criteria questions in the process categories (1–6).
    2. Get a Baldrige coach. Being wrapped up in daily operations and being an insider within your own team makes it hugely difficult to (1) maintain perspective around both your strengths and OFIs, which causes you to think you are moving too slow or too fast when you might be doing the opposite; and (2) find that some of the topics you need to openly debate with your team are just too difficult/sensitive to have an insider facilitate, perhaps because you are already biased (it’s hard not to be). A lot of the conversations a Baldrige self-assessment may prompt among the leadership team do not involve emotion-free, mechanical decisions but, rather, sometimes emotionally charged, philosophical or ideological decisions that determine or otherwise affect your culture (e.g., affecting mission, vision, values, and core competencies).
    3. Leverage your state-level or regional Baldrige program (if your state doesn’t have one, pick one of the others in the Alliance for Performance Excellence). Send your key folks to be an examiner. Submit a [Baldrige Criteria-based] award application, and have a team come to your site, interview your folks, look at your results, and give you a feedback report, which will likely reinforce what you already know and maybe expose a few blind spots for you to consider. Then, repeat.
    4. “Steal” (best practices) “shamelessly” from others who have been on the journey. The Baldrige Award recipient application summaries on the BPEP website are great. I found my favorites and went to them repeatedly when I became stuck in working on our own Baldrige Award application; a bunch of our organization’s materials can be found on our website, too.
    5. Frame your organization’s Baldrige journey as being about “how” to make what you’re already doing better, rather than conveying it as additional or different work. Your team may already be asking and answering all the questions in the Criteria but just not doing so as explicitly and systematically as the Baldrige framework and Criteria allow (that is, with ADLI and LeTCI answers to the Criteria questions organized within a framework that requires systems thinking versus functional/department-centric thinking).

    What do you view as key reasons or ways that organizations in your sector can benefit from using the Baldrige framework?
    The key reason is to achieve sustained performance excellence. This results from focused, mission-driven individuals operating as a team, using aligned and integrated work processes to create ever-increasing value for customers (as measured through the balance of several lenses) to achieve a meaningful organizational vision.

    What is your “elevator pitch” about the Baldrige framework and organizational assessment approach? In other words, what would you say to a group of senior leaders in your sector who are unfamiliar with the Baldrige framework if you had 1-2 minutes to tell them something about it?
    I would say, “The Baldrige Criteria are the questions the best organizations are not only asking themselves, but also are purposefully answering with rigor, consistency, outside scrutiny, and an eye for innovation.”

    Similarly, what would you say to a group of college business students about the Baldrige framework?
    College exposes you to a wealth of understanding and demonstrates your competency in a domain of knowledge via your chosen degree. The Baldrige framework and examination process provides the vehicle by which all the hard skills (domain knowledge) and soft skills (human and organizational behavior) come together. While many have been exposed to a capstone simulation in a master’s degree of business administration (MBA) program of studies, the realities of working within an organization assigned to a department or function often don’t translate well. But Baldrige helps bring the capstone simulation to reality for everyone within an organization, bringing both the zoom-out macro-level understanding of decisions’ causes and effects as well as the daily zoom-in optimization of the individual pieces of the whole.

    When did you first hear about the Baldrige framework? What were your initial thoughts or “aha” moments as you began learning about it?
    In 2008, our CEO asked us to start evaluating whether to use the Baldrige framework. Initially, I thought it was another tool to be compared to others such as Lean Six Sigma. Gradually, I realized it was the toolbox by which all other tools are aligned and integrated in their use and evaluation.

    How did you and your colleagues first react or feel after learning your organization would receive the Baldrige Award?
    We were honored, yet felt very humble. Winning the Baldrige Award brings a clear understanding about how much opportunity for improvement still exists and is actually possible. We are proud of what we accomplished, yet keenly aware of how much more we need, want, and are eager to do to improve our organization.

    How has your perception of the Baldrige community changed since your organization became a Baldrige Award recipient?
    We have gained a greater appreciation for how earnest those in the Baldrige community are. Those who find their way to and stick with this kind of journey do it because they are purpose-driven and seek to create value that is both meaningful and lasting for the good of the people they serve.