1. Baldrige Framework Serves as Foundation of Inaugural Presidential Workforce Award

    November 12, 2020 by BPIR.com Limited

    Leaders representing Pledge to America’s Workers Presidential Award organizational winners pose at the White House.

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Bailey

    In July 2018, President Donald Trump launched the Pledge to America’s Workers initiative aimed at increasing the private sector’s role in training American workers for American jobs. By signing the pledge, organizations committed to creating new or enhanced education and training opportunities for American students and workers, and became eligible for an associated award (only organizations that signed the pledge were eligible). Since the pledge launch, more than 430 companies, trade associations, and unions have signed on, committing to over 16 million job training opportunities over the next five years.

    Baldrige Framework Foundation
    The Baldrige Program was asked to lead the effort to design and implement the new Pledge to America’s Workers Presidential Award, intended to recognize excellence in workforce education and training thereby encouraging other organizations to do the same. Collaboration and support came from the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Labor, and the White House.

    The criteria for the new award were based on the Organizational Profile and Workforce category of the 2019-2020 Baldrige Excellence Framework: Proven Leadership and Management Practices for High Performance. As part of a 10-page application, organizational award applicants answered questions that focused on the importance of results.

    Applicants were asked to demonstrate their excellence in skill-based training programs through measurable outcomes, how the training benefits workers in a strategic sector or across the organization, and how it connects to broader strategic priorities and performance goals. The training was expected to be free for participants, replicable, and scalable across the organization.

    In addition to a non-rated Organizational Context section, the application was divided into three sections:

    • Workforce Development Strategy: Examines the organizational strategy and planning process that underlies the organization’s workforce planning and more specifically its skill-based training programs.
    • Workforce Development Implementation: Describes how the organization implements its skill-based training programs.
    • Workforce Development Results: Details the measurable outcomes and impact from the organization’s skill-based training programs and the use of evidence to continue developing those programs.

    Federal employees, primarily pulled from the Departments of Commerce, Education, and Labor, comprised the evaluators for the award. A four-hour virtual training for evaluators used the 2018 Baldrige Case Study: Green Gateway

    Pledge to America’s Workers Award Ceremony

    The Baldrige Foundation contributed the trophies for the inaugural Pledge to America’s Workers Presidential Award.

    The presidential award presented today is rooted in NIST’s Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which was established under President Reagan to acknowledge American businesses that adopt a wide range of industry best practices, including workforce education and training.

    The Baldrige Program looks at organizations holistically, and it emphasizes the need to show actual results. Consistent with these principles, the nine Pledge to America’s Workers Presidential Award Winners are delivering results to their workers. . . . Many have curricula that reach high school children to introduce them to new careers, as well as programs that help mature workers continue advancing in their careers.

    Nine organizations won the inaugural Pledge to America’s Workers Presidential Award for their excellence in workforce education and training:

    • American Hotel & Lodging Association
    • Associated Builders and Contractors
    • Lockheed Martin Corporation
    • National Retail Federation
    • Northrop Grumman Corporation
    • Oberg Industries, LLC
    • Textron Inc.
    • Volkswagen Group of America
    • Zurich North America

    According to Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump, “Nine incredible organizations and of course private-sector companies who are receiving the inaugural Pledge to America’s Workers prov[e] that investing in the workforce is the country’s greatest asset by far and is not just an activity that feels good, it’s also smart business…. [This is] accelerating the trend to make sure that the American worker has the skills for the jobs that exist today and the jobs of the future.”

  2. Listing and analysis of Business Excellence journal papers from 1990 to today – Update

    October 12, 2020 by BPIR.com Limited

    Saad Ghafoorab, Nigel Grigga, Sanjay Mathrania and Robin Mannab
    aDepartment of Operations and Engineering Innovation, Massey University, New Zealand
    bCentre for Organisational Excellence Research, Massey University, New Zealand

    12 October 2020

    The Excellence Without Borders (EWB) project is the largest study on Business Excellence (BE) to date. The project aims to investigate BE practices and strategies of the BE custodians. The latest research findings from this project can be found here.

    As part of this research a comprehensive literature of BE was undertaken. The findings including a full listing of peer reviewed BE journal papers are presented in this article.

    415 Business Excellence papers have been published from 1990 onwards

    BE journal papers were identified using the Scopus Elsevier database. Twenty-nine (29) keywords were searched for in paper titles and then the papers were thoroughly scrutinized to ensure that only genuinely peer reviewed BE focused journal papers were shortlisted. For the purpose of this research, the definition of BE used was as follows: “Business excellence is “excellence” in strategies, processes, and stakeholder related performance results that have been validated by assessments using proven business excellence models”. This definition was used to ensure there is alignment between this study’s definition and the understanding of business excellence as portrayed by the Global Excellence Model (GEM) Council.

    With respect to this understanding and the tens of thousands of organisations that use these models, the major components of business excellence are: –

    1. The core values and concepts of excellence (Baldrige) (NIST, 2019) or fundamental concepts of excellence (EFQM) (EFQM, 2019) which are considered as the building blocks of BE.
    2. The BE criteria (displayed as a 9-criteria BE model by EFQM and 7-criteria model in Baldrige). Both models show the interrelationship between the criteria and its relationship to business enablers and business results (thus providing a holistic model of excellence). The core values and concepts of excellence are embedded in these criteria.
    3. Assessment methodology whereby a scoring mechanism of 1000 points is provided and guides organisations on assessment against the model, from simple self-assessments to rigorous externally validated assessments for national business excellence awards. Both models also provide tools to assist in assessing business enablers and results using the RADAR (Results, Approach, Deployment and Assess and Refine) approach provided by EFQM and ADLI (Approach, Deployment, Learning, and Integration) in the Baldrige framework. In both types of models, assessment scores of 600+ are considered as highly mature in terms of business excellence and organisations scoring at this level have the opportunity to become recognised at a national award level.

    A paper was classified as a BE paper only if it satisfied all the following conditions:

    • The paper was predominantly (at least 50%) focused on BE;
    • The research was related to BEFs as advocated by the GEM Council. Therefore, researching their theory or use or proposing a development or variant of these established frameworks supported by research validating any proposed change

    Papers have been identified and listed in sequence of their average citations per year to help researchers in BE in carrying out their literature review and to improve their understanding of BE. It is realized that the number of raw citations might not be the best measure for ranking the papers in terms of their impact because there may be a bias favouring the older published papers over the newer ones. In order to remove this bias these papers have been listed on the basis of their average citations per year.

    Key Findings

    52.7% of BE papers are published in or after 2010 and 25% in the last 5 years (2016 or after)

    The most popular journals for publishing BE papers in were Total Quality Management and Business Excellence (89 papers), The TQM Journal (38 papers) and International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management (37 papers).

    The journals that had published more than 5 BE journal papers and had the highest citations rates were Journal of Operations Management (12 citations per paper), International Journal of Production Research (5.4 citations per paper), and International Journal of Operations and Production Management (3.2 citations per paper).

    Research on the design and composition of models was the most popular research topic.

    The paper with the most citations, 326 citations, was titled “An empirical assessment of the EFQM Excellence Model: Evaluation as a TQM framework relative to the MBNQA Model” and second with 296 citations was “The Project Excellence Model®: Linking success criteria and critical success factors”

    The most average citations per year for a paper was 29.6 for two papers “An empirical assessment of the EFQM Excellence Model: Evaluation as a TQM framework relative to the MBNQA Model” and 21 for The application of performance measurement system model using Malcolm Baldrige Model (MBM) to support Civil State Apparatus Law (ASN) number 5 of 2014 in Indonesia”

    Most papers had an average of 2 citation per year.

    The authors that had published the most BE papers were Robin Mann, New Zealand (15 papers), Nigel Grigg, New Zealand (8 papers), Ana Belén Escrig-Tena, Spain (7 papers) and James Evans, United States (7 papers).

    The worksheet in the attached excel Excel File list all the BE Papers: This worksheet contains the list of all 415 papers, their number of citations, and average citations per year by paper.

    Ongoing research

    The listing and analysis of BE journal papers will be updated yearly thus providing a continuously up-to-date source of information on BE for researchers.

    Please let us know if we are missing any information or if you find any errors


    Saad Ghafoor
    PhD Researcher Excellence Without Borders
    Massey University, New Zealand

    Email: s.g.ghafoor@massey.ac.nz

    Dr. Robin S. Mann
    Founder and Head of the Centre for Organisational Excellence (COER) Ltd.
    Chief Supervisor
    Massey University, New Zealand

    Email: r.s.mann@massey.ac.nz

  3. Should Your Organization Have a Work from Home Pledge?

    September 16, 2020 by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Harry Hertz

    In a recent blog, entitled The New Normal Will Require RE2ST3, I asserted one of the components of the new normal will be long-term work from home (telework). I believe this shift will require all organizations to examine key factors associated with employee engagement. That is the topic of this blog post.

    Let me share some data and information relevant to our collective experiences over the last few months, as massive rapid shifts to telework occurred.

    Bloomberg Business reported on a study of 3.1 million people at more than 21,000 companies in 16 cities around the globe, comparing workforce behaviors over two eight-week periods one before and one after pandemic shifts to telework:

    • With telework the average workday lasted 48.5 minutes longer
    • The number of meetings increased by 13%
    • The number of meeting attendees increased by 14% (The average length of meeting decreased by 20%.)
    • Internal e-mails increased by 5%
    • The number of e-mails sent “after hours” increased by 8%

    A Bloomberg report on U.S. workers concluded:

    • People were working three additional hours in the U.S. and logging in at odd hours according to VPN data; there was a spike in usage from midnight to 3 a.m.
    • Boundaries between work and life have virtually disappeared
    • Burnt-out employees feel they have less free time than they had when they “wasted” hours commuting and they feel pressure from bosses to prove they are working
    • A survey of 1,001 U.S. employees conducted by Eagle Hill Consulting showed that almost half attributed their mental toll to an increased workload, the challenges of juggling personal and professional lives, and a lack of communication and support from their employer

    Recognizing the shift to remote work as a permanent change, the sports outfitter REI, has recently put its almost completed eight-acre new corporate headquarters on the market. Designed for the outdoor lifestyle the campus included such amenities as a fire pit, a blueberry bog, courtyards with native plants, and al fresco conference rooms. According to REI’s chief customer officer, Ben Steele, “We’re a national organization, and life outdoors looks different in, say, Atlanta than it does in Seattle than it does in Minneapolis or L.A.” REI’s stores are dispersed why shouldn’t the same be true for HQ personnel.

    Recognizing the stress and burn-out of employees, a large tax auditing firm, Withum, decided to give every employee Friday, August 28th off with instructions to disconnect and use the day to reset and recharge.

    Work from Home Pledge
    In late May 2020, cognizant of the strain on employees, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna, working with a group of IBMer’s issued an eight-point work from home pledge to and for employees:

    1. I pledge to be family first.
    2. I pledge to support flexibility for personal needs.
    3. I pledge to support “not camera ready” (on video calls) times.
    4. I pledge to be kind.
    5. I pledge to set boundaries and prevent video fatigue.
    6. I pledge to take care of myself.
    7. I pledge to frequently check in on people.
    8. I pledge to be socially connected with my coworkers.

    Your Call to Action
    Your organization and its leaders probably have to address the new reality of some permanent work from home. A workforce pledge may be an option to consider. It may also be appropriate to acknowledge the added stress by having a periodic day to reset and recharge. Whatever you do, the Baldrige Excellence Framework offers some criteria questions that take on new meaning in the “new normal.” Even if you have addressed all the criteria questions in the last year, it may be time to reconsider your answers. Here are some examples of topics to readdress (also proving the benefit of using the Baldrige framework in all situations):

    • From the Organizational Profile, defining your organization’s key characteristics, P.1a(3) on workforce profile
      • Do you have to reconsider employee segmentation?
      • What are new key drivers of employee engagement?
      • What are new health and safety requirements?
    • From the Leadership category
      • How do your senior leaders create an environment for success, including setting culture, two-way communication, and development of future leaders?
      • How do senior leaders create a focus on action, including setting expectations and demonstrating personal accountability?
    • From the Workforce category
      • How do you prepare your workforce for the changing capability and capacity needs?
      • How do you organize and manage at home and on site employees (and volunteers)?
      • How do you support your at home and on site employees with services and appropriate policies?
      • How do you assess workforce engagement?
      • How do you support the personal development of workforce members, manage their career development, and carry out succession planning?

    Some Concluding Reflections
    If a work from home pledge is right for your organization, how will you involve the workforce in its development? If it is not a good fit for your culture, why not? And, the big question, how will you maintain the all-important engagement of your workforce (without burnout)?

    Please let me know how your organization is addressing these questions.

  4. Why “Why” Is the Fundamental Question

    September 9, 2020 by BPIR.com Limited

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Dawn Bailey

    I recently listened to a Ted talk by Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, and it caused me to reflect on some key questions in and related to the Baldrige Excellence Framework, as well as leadership in general.

    Questions to Inspire
    The Criteria within the Baldrige Excellence Framework are all about questions—questions to bring about insight, to promote new ways of thinking, to identify gaps in an organization’s performance, and to inspire excellence. Other series of questions can be used to encourage organizations to consider the Baldrige framework. For example, if you are asked by an organization’s senior leaders why they should consider the framework as a means of self-assessment or continuous improvement, you might ask the senior leaders a series of questions (heard from examiners and other Baldrige community leaders):

    • Are you good?
    • Are you getting better?
    • How do you know?


    • What problem are you trying to solve?
    • What opportunity are you trying to achieve?
    • How are you going to measure that?

    These sets of questions—and the Criteria questions themselves—can lead an organization to paint a fuller picture of their entire business model, from leadership to results, thereby helping them to identify strengths on which to capitalize and opportunities for improvement in which to invest resources.

    But, when it comes to leadership, it’s the question “why” that is the most fundamental of all of the questions. According to the Baldrige framework,

    Although the Criteria focus on key organizational performance results, these results by themselves offer little diagnostic value. For example, if some results are poor or are improving at rates slower than your competitors’ or com­parable organizations’ results, you need to understand why this is so and what you might do to accelerate improvement.

    The World’s Simplest Idea
    In his book and Ted talk, Sinek puts forward what he calls “the world’s simplest idea,” and it all starts with “why.”

    We follow those who lead not because we have to, but because we want to . . . and it’s those who start with “why” that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them. . . . If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money, but if they believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood, sweat, and tears.

    Sinek describes a golden circle with the word “why” in the very center and outer rings of “how” and “what.” In effective marketing materials, the most successful companies don’t start with what they provide or how they provide it, he said; they sell why you need their products.

    “When we communicate from the inside out [looking at the circle with why in the center], we’re talking directly to the part of the brain that controls behavior, and then we allow people to rationalize it with the tangible things we say and do,” he said. “As it turns out, all the great and inspiring leaders and . . . inspired organizations—regardless of their size, regardless of their industry—all think, act, and communicate from the inside out.”

    Sinek explains that people are inspired to buy something, work harder, take initiative, etc., because they believe not what the leader/organization is doing but why it is being done.

    “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. . . . If you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe,” he said, citing Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. attracting hundreds of thousands to his famous Lincoln Memorial speech not because he had a plan but because he had a dream. He also tells the story of the Wright brothers, credited with inventing the world’s first successful motor-operated airplane, with no money, formal education, press, or market opportunity; what they had were supporters who believed what they believed.

    Leading by helping others understand your “why” is a much better recipe for success than having money, the right people, and the right market conditions, he said.

    Understand the Why
    The Baldrige framework emphasizes transparency as defined by consistently candid and open communication, accountability, and the sharing of clear and accurate information by leadership and management. According to the framework, the goal is to help employees understand the “why” of what they are doing. Such understanding helps employees feel connected to the organization’s mission, vision, and values. In the case of many organizations—especially nonprofits, health care organizations, and education organizations—an employee’s connection to why the organization does what it does is a workforce driver; employees who believe in the values and what the organization believes in—both an emotional and intellectual connection—will feel more loyalty to that organization.

    “Transparency is a key factor in workforce engagement and allows people to see why actions are being taken and how they can contribute. Transparency and accountability are also important in interactions with customers and other stake­holders, giving them a sense of involvement, engagement, and confidence in your organization,” according to the Baldrige framework.

    In many, many workforce presentations of Baldrige Award winners, I’ve heard about these role-model organizations prioritizing hiring for a match with their cultures and values over skills—attracting people who believe in why the organization does what it does, with values that match the organization’s own values. Here are just a few Blogrige examples: “Building Employee Trust: Tips Validated by the Baldrige Excellence Framework,” “Baldrige is Answer to How to Create the Culture You Need,” “Leadership Practices of Integrated Project Management, Inc.”, “One Way to Carve Your Values—and Culture—in Stone,” and “How Values, Quarterly Coaching Address Clinician Burnout, Improve Engagement.

    Sinek’s view is in alignment with the Baldrige framework. He said the goal for organizations is to “hire people who believe what you believe” and “do business with the people who believe what you believe.” That is how you build loyalty and inspire others.

    “If you do not know why you do what you do, and people respond to why you do what you do, then how will you ever get people to vote for you, or buy something from you, or, more importantly, be loyal and want to be a part of what it is that you do,” Sinek asked.

    Starting with the why, Sinek says, explains why some organizations and some leaders are able to inspire where others are not. People won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the why behind it, he sums up.

    Do you know why you do what you do? Do your employees understand their why?

  5. Best Practice Report: Artificial Intelligence

    by BPIR.com Limited

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) involves using machines (i.e., computers) to do things that traditionally require human intelligence. This means creating algorithms to classify, analyse, and draw predictions from data. It also involves acting on data, learning from new data, and improving over time. Common AI applications include speech recognition, natural language processing, machine vision (which is similar to voice recognition but enables a computer to see and interpret), and expert systems, i.e., a software application using a database of expert knowledge capable of offering advice to facilitate decision making.
    The Stage
    The term “artificial intelligence” was first coined by John McCarthy in 1956. As one of the founders of AI, he and a group of research scientists started to clarify the role and concept of “thinking machines” at a workshop called the Dartmouth Summer Research Project. McCarthy proposed the workshop “proceed on the basis of the conjecture that every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it.”

    Ever since, AI has been evolving and now has an impact on almost every aspect of life. It is seemingly everywhere. It is in your home (in the guise of Siri or Alexa, for example), at the train station, in public spaces (facial recognition technology), when you use your credit card, and anytime you use Google to search the internet. AI is here to stay; so, we might as well embrace it, and try to understand it better.

    There are two main types of AI: machine learning, and deep learning. Machine learning is the ability to process large amounts of data very quickly. In a manufacturing plant, for example, the machinery is hooked up to a complicated network being fed data, functionality, and production. The machine learning algorithm can rapidly analyse data and detect patterns or anomalies, notifying decision makers of non-optimised production levels or preventative maintenance issues. Deep learning is a widely used version of machine learning that involves multiple “brain-like” networks (neural networks), to engage in non-linear reasoning. Banks use it to detect fraud, and Tesla uses it for its self-driving cars. While machine learning is limited once a certain amount of data has been captured, deep learning is far more scalable. Therefore, deep learning models will be far more prolific.

    Businesses today are increasingly reliant on AI to gain an edge in sectors as diverse as banking, manufacturing, retail, health care, security, and farming. Most industry players use AI to identify, make decisions and, in some cases, predict trends and opportunities. One of the biggest advantages of the AI system is speed: it can outdo humans in processing large amounts of data, and present synthesised courses of action to human users. However, it has difficulty completing common-sense tasks, especially those that involve value-driven decisions.

    AI is increasingly affordable and accessible to businesses and the public, and there is a rapidly expanding range of ready-to-use services for all types and sizes of business. The question is, will AI take over jobs and make human input obsolete? Experts are not quite sure how or to what extent these algorithms will automate existing jobs, but they do agree that manual and managerial jobs will both be affected. New jobs, however, will also be created. Finally, the growing sophistication and ubiquity of AI systems has raised many ethical concerns such as bias, fairness, transparency, safety, and accountability. The algorithm, while being able to serve a wide variety of purposes, can never guarantee ethical decision making by a robot. After all, they have been taught by humans.

    1. What is artificial intelligence?
    2. Which organisations have been recognised for excellence in artificial intelligence?
    3. How have organisations reached high levels of excellence in artificial intelligence?
    4. What research has been undertaken into artificial intelligence?
    5. What tools and methods are used to achieve high levels of success in artificial intelligence?
    6. How can artificial intelligence be measured?
    7. What do business leaders say about artificial intelligence?
    8. Conclusion

    Access the report from here. At the bottom of the page is a PDF version of the report for easy reading. If you are a non-member, you will find some of the links in this report do not work. To join BPIR.com and support our research simply click here or to find out more about membership, email membership@bpir.com. BPIR.com publishes a new best practice every month with over 80 available to members.