1. Leadership practices of the City of Fort Collins

    April 16, 2018 by ahmed

    fort-collins-quest18-leadership

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Christine Schaefer

    Five-Part Leadership Blog Series
    In this five-part blog series on the 2017 Baldrige Award recipients’ leadership presentations at the 30th Anniversary Quest for Excellence® Conference (April 8–11, 2018), senior leaders of the five new national role models share best practices and stories of how they achieved excellence.

    A City Rich in Relationships
    According to Fort Collins City Manager Darin Atteberry, his city is the fourth largest in the state of Colorado, with a current population of about 170,000 and expected growth to 250,000 in the years ahead. About an hour north of Denver, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Fort Collins is “definitely a college town,” Atteberry added. “Colorado State houses about 30,000 students … 6,000 faculty and staff on campus, … , and we take very seriously our relationship with … Colorado State.”The city itself employs 2,400, with approximately $3 billion in assets (e.g., roads, buses, parks, government facilities). Considered a “full-service city,” Fort Collins provides typical municipal services such as parks and recreation, roads, transit, and police services, while also providing all four major utilities (water, wastewater, storm water, and electric power) to its community. It will soon add a fifth utility for the community: household and business Internet access through broadband service.Atteberry stressed that Fort Collins is not only in a “great location” but, also, that it has a legacy of great relationships. “We’ve inherited greatness. In the 130-plus years of this city, there’s really not a history of bad ethics or lack of integrity … we’ve inherited amazing leadership … we’ve inherited amazing relationships between our residents and our local government,” he said, mentioning the community’s repeated support for the city when enhancing facilities or enduring economic downturns.

    “Local Government Can Be Great”
    In sharing the story of his city’s journey to excellence, Atteberry again stressed the belief he said he and his colleagues in the Fort Collins government share that “local government can be great”—an energizing conviction he also highlighted in his remarks at the ceremony where he accepted the city’s 2017 Baldrige Award. Atteberry realized the importance of this belief to his leadership of Fort Collins years ago while reading a Fast Company article that prompted him to ask himself, “What’s the one thing you believe that no one else believes?” A determination to demonstrate great government has evidently helped propel Fort Collins’ quest for excellence.

    Moving from “Trust Us” to Data-Driven
    During its pursuit of excellence, the city leadership moved from practices that reflected what Atteberry referred to as a “’trust us’ kind of government” to one that is “data-driven.” Therefore, today the city systematically measures its performance and publicly shares results. For this transition to fact-based management and fuller transparency, Atteberry credits the city’s use of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, which he said helped city leaders “be more intentional in our alignment of planning [for] budgeting and putting systems in place.”

    Focus on Culture + Strategy = Results
    Atteberry’s leadership presentation also emphasized the importance of his organization’s culture and its focus on strategy in achieving desired results. Atteberry recited the city’s mission (“to provide world-class municipal services through operational excellence and a culture of innovation”) and vision (“exceptional service for an exceptional community”) as he affirmed that the city’s culture is built around its mission, mission, and values.

    Part of the city’s strategy, said Atteberry, “is to be crystal clear about what we plan to accomplish and how we plan to budget accordingly.” The city’s strategic planning (short- and long-term), budgeting, measurement and reviews, and work system planning are all organized around the following seven major outcome areas (which were developed collaboratively by citizens, business representatives, and city staff members):

    • Neighborhood Livability and Social Health;
    • Culture and Recreation;
    • Economic Health;
    • Environmental Health;
    • Safe Community;
    • Transportation; and
    • High-Performing Government.

    Leadership System Model
    As shown in the graphic above, the city’s leadership system incorporates its strategy, culture, and results. (This model was created in 2012 as an improvement based on feedback the city received when participating in Colorado’s state-wide Baldrige-based award program, Rocky Mountain Performance Excellence [RMPEx]).

    “This structure allows us to really focus our business and see some amazing results,” said Atteberry.

    Results
    At the outset of his presentation, Atteberry pointed out that Fort Collins was named “America’s Most Satisfied City” by Time magazine in 2014 based on Gallup survey results. At the end, he highlighted the favorable trend over the past decade in residents’ ratings of city government services. As he reported, the percentage of residents who ranked the overall quality of city services as being good or very good increased from 77 percent in 2008 to 90 percent during the most recent survey.

    “To me, the Baldrige framework really demonstrates the value of culture and strategy, and we’re really here [as a Baldrige Award recipient] … because of the amazing, amazing framework,” said Atteberry.


  2. 2nd successful year of Dubai We Learn initiative

    April 14, 2018 by ahmed

    DWL2018Teams

    It is one year since the Dubai Government Excellence Programme (DGEP) launched the 2nd wave of “Dubai We Learn” for government entities in Dubai. This ambitious programme consists of a range of knowledge sharing and organisational learning activities designed to fast-track organisational improvement and stimulate innovation. A key part of this initiative has been the mentoring of benchmarking projects by DGEP’s partner the Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, New Zealand.

    The second wave of benchmarking projects came to an end on the 4 April 2018 when 11 project teams gave a presentation and submitted a benchmarking report to share their results. To learn more about the 1st wave and its result, refer to the recently published Dubai We Learn book.

    Project teams used the TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking Methodology – a rigorous step by step approach that involves searching for and implementing leading-edge practices. Each project team gave a 15-minute presentation and submitted a benchmarking report which was assessed by an expert panel. The projects were evaluated based on the TRADE Benchmarking Certification Scheme. Three of the teams achieved 7 Stars, four teams 5-6 Stars, and four teams 3-4 Stars. These were exceptional results as even to achieve 3-4 Stars and reach TRADE Benchmarking Proficiency is challenging within a one-year timeframe. The projects and grades were as follows:

    DWL2018_projects_rating

    Judging panel

    The project deliverables and presentations were assessed by an expert panel consisting of

    • Dr Robin Mann, Founder of TRADE, Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, New Zealand
    • Garvin Chow, First Vice President/ Director Corporate Learning & Development, United Overseas Bank Limited
    • Professor Dotun Adebanjo, University of Greenwich, London

    The achievements of all teams has been impressive. A description of the 7-Star projects is provided below.

    Dubai Police’s project has saved at least $3.8 million (Aug-2017 to Mar-2018) and is projected to save $5.4 million by August 2018 through increasing productivity in the mechanical workshop from 40% to 72% and increasing vehicle availability from 88% to 95%. The team conducted an intensive study of its current workshop practices and visited 8 organisations to learn from best practices. The improvements have largely been as a result of improved data accuracy and analysis of workshop operations which has enabled more informed management decisions such as closure of an inefficient workshop, changes to the shift pattern leading to a shorter turnaround of vehicles, and improved management of spare parts. These improvements have been achieved without investing in new equipment or machinery.

    The Dubai Government Human Resource (DGHR) Department’s project was to produce a blueprint for establishing an HR Think Tank. It was identified there was a need for a Think Tank to shape the future of HR within Dubai’s government and transform DGHR into a more ‘agile’ government entity – well prepared to respond to future challenges due to changes in technology, geopolitical situations and financial realities. To produce the blueprint the project team researched the needs of the Dubai Government and evaluated 102 Think Tanks with 6 international and 3 local benchmarking visits undertaken. The final blueprint was a 73 page document describing in detail the proposed purpose, structure, services and operating model of the Think Tank. The Vision of the Think Tank has been initially set as “Pioneering HR for the world!” and implementation of the blueprint will proceed through four phases and enable the Think Tank to provide three main services; research, smart library and consulting services. The major achievement of this project was having the blueprint signed off by the DGHR’s Director General with a planned launch of the Think Tank for later this year.

    The Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) project aimed to reduce the number of people that are pre-diabetic (people at risk of becoming diabetic due to their high blood sugar levels). According to a 2017 survey, 15.2% of Dubai’s population is diabetic and 15.8% are pre-diabetic with the UAE as a whole having the 10th highest rates in the world. The DHA’s benchmarking project involved extensive desktop research reviewing the approaches of other countries in tackling diabetes and benchmarking visits to 9 organisations. Of key importance was that DHA recognised that it would not be able to have a significant impact on Diabetes on its own and therefore needed to work closely with other stakeholders that could influence or play a role in reducing diabetes. The major contribution of this project was the development of a Dubai Diabetes Prevention Framework consisting of five elements:

    • promoting healthy life style,
    • creative and innovative sustainable interventions,
    • early screening on diabetes mellitus and risk factors,
    • enforcement of non-communicable diseases policy, and
    • supportive health system and partnerships.

    For each element there is a strategy and a range of programs and initiatives of which a number have already been implemented and others are to follow. The project is on track to reduce the pre-diabetic population by at least 10% by 2021, an ambitious target considering the adverse trends in some of the risk factors such as obesity, unhealthy diet, smoking and lack of exercise.

    To promote learning and sharing of experience the recording of the presentations from all teams will be uploaded to BPIR.com. As part of this initiative, Centre of Organisational Excellence Research (COER) will publish a series of articles about the initiative. To receive the latest news sign-up to COER’s newsletter here.


  3. A war room of strategic breakthroughs and other tools

    April 7, 2018 by ahmed

    hill-country-blog-photo

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Bailey

    When an organization ponders a journey to performance excellence, it may wonder where to begin, what to measure, and what to expect, including what short-term successes are achievable. Such pondering could be made much simpler with a field guide.
    Jayne Pope, chief executive officer, and Emily Padula, chief strategy officer, for 2014 Baldrige Award recipient Hill Country Memorial (HCM), will share their strategy at a session titled “A Field Guide to HCM’s Remarkable Strategic Breakthroughs” at the Baldrige Program’s annual Quest for Excellence® Conference in April.

    In a recent virtual exchange (captured below), Pope and Padula collaborated on answering questions, ranging from their upcoming presentation to their funniest Baldrige moment.

    What will Quest for Excellence attendees learn at your conference session?
    Participants will learn how HCM develops its strategic goals and fully deploys them throughout the organization, with specific tools and measurable outcomes. The presentation is a field guide to achieving your next strategic breakthrough.

    How has your organization benefited from its journey to excellence?
    The Strategic Breakthrough Initiative (SBI) is one of the processes that HCM has embraced along its Baldrige journey. It has given us the focus we needed to accomplish hundreds of strategic action items. We started SBIs in 2011 and saw huge improvements within two years. We are now reaching twice as many of our strategic goals.

    As a Baldrige Award recipient, HCM started a Sharing Days program for organizations on performance excellence journeys. Over time, we have shared some of our helpful practices with hundreds of people. Our SBI process and war room format became a popular takeaway. We have since had many attendees send us back pictures of their “war rooms” and tell us how helpful the SBI process has been for them. The process has worked for all kinds of organizations, including a luxury car company, schools, banks, universities, and other hospitals.

    What are your top tips for introducing or sustaining use of the Baldrige framework to promote an organization’s success?
    At HCM, we regularly measure internally and assess our performance on all the typical items you would find in Baldrige Criteria category 7 (results). We measure externally through annual Baldrige coaching assessments, which help us identify our strengths and our performance excellence gaps.

    We learned so much from completing the Baldrige application for so many years. It was the best education process for us. We continue to complete some version of the application every year, even though we are not eligible to apply again for a few years.

    What do you view as key reasons or ways that health care organizations benefit from using the Baldrige framework?
    In health care, we owe it to our patients and community to be the best that we can be. The Baldrige framework sets the highest bar. It helps us to figure out how to be best in every aspect of our business, from workforce engagement to patient safety. We compare ourselves to the very best, and we learn from them while being challenged to become better.

    What is your “elevator pitch” about the Baldrige framework and/or assessment approach? In other words, what would you say to a group of senior leaders who are unfamiliar with the Baldrige framework if you had 1-2 minutes to tell them something about it?
    We would say that Baldrige is a proven means of making your organization great for the people it serves and those who work for you. The framework supports long-term sustainability and leads to innovation—which is especially needed right now in the health care world, as well as in many other industries.

    Do you have any funny stories or anecdotes that you’re willing to share about your experience with Baldrige?
    The funniest story happened at our Sharing Days. Two reluctant employees were sent by their boss to learn about the hospital’s Baldrige experience. By the end of the program, the women were really engaged and excited to share their Baldrige knowledge with their boss. A few days later, we received a photo of them wearing red t-shirts that said—We drank the Baldrige Kool-Aid!


  4. The 4 mistakes that leave you wondering about your business performance

    April 6, 2018 by ahmed

    measure_success

    Originally posted on SavvySME

    • Measuring your business performance is a difficult task, but if not done with care and the right tools.
    • Some mistakes businesses commonly make is using KPIs not specific to your business and ones that focus on actions, not results.
    • Other mistakes include staff not engaging with the business’ desired results and searching for the nonexistent “perfect measure”.

    A long common issue we come across when we talk to business owners and executives is the difficulty they have determining whether their current performance is on track to achieve their operational and longer term strategic goals and objectives.

    Often our conversations with clients start something like “I have to convince my board members, managers or business owners that we will achieve our goals. How do I do this, and how do I give them evidence to show that we are on track to do so?”

    Most businesses have some sort of performance measures or KPIs. However, choosing the right measures is fraught with difficulty. Managers often struggle with finding meaningful KPIs, and then struggle again to obtain buy-in from management and staff. The result is KPIs that measure activities and not outcomes, that are vague and meaningless, and that lack ownership from key stakeholders.

    Firstly, it is important to understand the true purpose of KPIs. Meaningful KPIs provide objective evidence that shows the extent to which actions and decisions lead to the achievement of organisational goals. At Clear Path, we believe KPIs are about driving continuous improvement, and providing a reference point to gauge the extent to which you are on the right track to meet your objectives. While they are key in driving a high-performing workplace culture, we believe KPIs should not be seen as a tool for judging and punishing staff.

    Below, we will go through some of the most common mistakes we see people make when setting KPIs for their business.

    Mistake 1 – KPIs not specific to your business
    The first mistake relates to how businesses identify the KPIs that they intend to use. Often this is done by compiling a list in a haphazard manner, through brainstorming sessions, searching the net, or by adopting ‘off the shelf’ KPIs that other organisations use. The problem is that these KPIs are generic and not specific to their business and their individual objectives. It does not allow the business to focus on what matters to them, and they are certainly not aligned to their strategy. Additionally, they tend to be meaningless or very difficult to measure and usually include fluffy words such as ‘effective’, ‘improved’, ‘reliable’, ‘efficient’ etc.

    Mistake 2 – Focus on activities not results
    Another critical mistake is to use KPIs that focus on business activities. For example, ‘number of customer interactions’, ‘number of widgets produced’, or ‘hours worked’ are all activity based measures. Why is this a mistake? Because it focuses on tasks rather than results. For KPIs to be truly effective, they must focus on the desired results. This includes short-term objectives as well as long-term strategic goals. Some examples of results a business may want to monitor include ‘customer’s value our products and services’, ‘our people are engaged’, and ‘our customers have great experiences with us’. See how these are focussed on the desired result rather than on activities?

    When we look to develop measures around the results we wish to achieve, it forces us to seriously consider the end-state that we want to reach. This, in turn, makes it easier to determine meaningful measures for those results. Using the above examples, for the result of:

    • “customers value our products and services”, we may consider measuring Net Promoter Score or an organisational reputation measure.
    • “our people are engaged”, we might consider measuring staff satisfaction, or employee turnover rates.
    • “our customers have great experiences with us”, we might consider measuring customer effort or customer journey cycle time.

    Can you see how the measures are focused on the results that we want to achieve? If you want your customers to have a great experience with your organisation, measuring customer effort (the degree of difficulty in dealing with you) and customer journey cycle time (time from placing an order to receiving the product), provides two pieces of objective evidence on this. Obviously, we can then set specific targets for each of these measures.

    Mistake 3 – No buy-in and ownership of KPIs
    We mentioned earlier the difficulty of getting buy-in from management and staff in implementing measures. Staff and stakeholder buy-in is fundamental because without it these people will not use the KPIs to help guide their business decisions and ultimately not be active in helping your business meet its objectives. At Clear Path, we have found the most successful approach is to get key staff involved in determining not just the measures, but also the desired results of the organisation, at all levels. Ultimately this should paint a picture of the organisational day-to-day and strategic objectives across all levels, and allow everyone to see alignment from their day-to-day activities through to the organisation’s high-level strategic purpose. Our experience shows that by getting stakeholders to identify and agree on the desired results, they will accept the KPIs that are identified to measure these same result areas. This is additionally true when staff and management appreciate that the KPIs will not be used as a tool to ‘punish’ them.

    Mistake 4 – Searching for the ‘perfect measure’
    When identifying measures of your key results, the single most important thing to consider is not whether a measure is the ‘perfect measure’ or whether a measure has ‘perfect integrity’. What’s important is whether the measure has enough accuracy and reliability to be trusted as a source of information that will lead to making better decisions than making no decision, or making an uninformed decision. There is simply no such thing as the ‘perfect measure’.

    As we stated earlier, performance measuring is about continuous improvement and focusing on the things that matter. When that becomes embedded in the organisation, it becomes an organisation with a high-performance culture that achieves its goals and objective.


  5. Rapid Benchmarking at New Zealand’s largest company

    March 18, 2018 by ahmed

    Fonterra plant

    Posted by Dr Robin Mann, CEO, COER and BPIR.com

    Have you undertaken an improvement project and not got the breakthrough you were looking for? Or do you recognise the value of benchmarking but are finding it difficult to get your organisation to commit the time and resource to projects? If you have answered yes to either of these questions you should be considering rapid benchmarking.

    This free report, download here, describes how the TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking Methodology has been used for rapid benchmarking by Fonterra, a multinational dairy co-operative and New Zealand’s largest company. TRADE is a benchmarking methodology consisting of 5 stages; Terms of Reference, Research current state, Acquire best practices, Deploy best practices and Evaluate. The methodology is prescriptive in its approach with 5 to 9 steps for each stage of TRADE. The methodology includes a project management system to guide users through a project.

    TRADE best practice benchmarking methodology

    TRADE best practice benchmarking methodology

    Normally the TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking Methodology is used for projects that require a team approach with projects typically taking 2 to 5 months to identify best practices and develop an implementation plan. The term “rapid benchmarking” is used for Fonterra’s approach as Fonterra uses TRADE to identify best practices and develop an implementation plan within 5 days. The report describes how Fonterra organises the 5 days, provides three case studies showing how rapid benchmarking has been used and describes the success factors for rapid benchmarking.

    Fonterra’s rapid benchmarking approach and its relationship with the stages of TRADE

    Fonterra’s rapid benchmarking approach and its relationship with the stages of TRADE

    For case studies on the standard approach to TRADE refer to how it has been applied within the Dubai government. Our free book can be accessed here – Achieving performance excellence through benchmarking and organisational learning – 13 case studies from the 1st cycle of Dubai We Learn’s Excellence Makers Program.