1. It Is 2020. Is Your CEO Thinking about Perpetual Reinvention?

    January 23, 2020 by BPIR.com Limited

    Article originally posted on Blogrige by Harry Hertz

    It has been a little more than two years since I last summarized the topics that are keeping CEOs up at night, either thinking about challenges their organization faces or opportunities and innovations that should be explored. I ended that 2017 Insights column by stating that I looked forward to taking another look a few years down the road to see how those challenges and opportunities have changed. Well, we are now down the road!

    As in the past, the findings presented below are generally applicable across industry sectors (including government and other nonprofits) and to organizations of all sizes. Also, as in the past, I have combined what I have heard from senior executives, what I have read in blogs and publications of all types, and what I have learned from 11 specific studies. I have identified six areas that are important to CEOs as we enter the next decade. Many of these areas are logical outgrowths of the topics highlighted in the 2017 study, but with new twists and a greater sense of urgency. Agility is the key word and, as the title of this column suggests, CEOs sense a forward-looking need for perpetual reinvention.

    I will briefly describe the 11 articles included in the current study, share the six areas for consideration in 2020 and briefly relate them to how the 2019-2020 Baldrige Excellence Framework is addressing these topics, comment on the similarities and changes in considerations from 2017 to 2020, and provide some food for thought as the Baldrige framework is revised in future years.

    The 11 Articles
    The first article, entitled “What’s Keeping CEO’s Up at Night?” was written by Ben Morton, an opinion columnist for CEOWORLD magazine (CEOWORLD). The second article, entitled “CEO’s Curbed Confidence Spells Caution,” (PDF) is the product of PwC’s 22nd annual global CEO survey (PwC). It involved 1,378 CEO interviews in 91 territories. The third article results from the Gartner 2019 CEO survey (Gartner). This study involved 473 business leaders from 32 countries.

    The fourth article was produced by the Conference Board (CB). The CB’s C-Suite Challenge 2019 is based on a survey of over 800 CEOs and over 600 other C-Suite executives, primarily from the United States, Asia, and Europe. The fifth article, “15 Big Challenges You’ll Face as a Modern CEO (and How to Solve Them),” results from the challenges shared by 15 members of Forbes Coaches Councils based on struggles their executive clients are facing (Forbes). The sixth article, “3 Priorities for CEOs in 2019,” was a product of the World Economic Forum annual meeting (WEF).

    The seventh article, entitled “Global Trends: Navigating a World of Disruption,” (PDF) results from McKinsey Global Institute research and served as a briefing note for the WEF (MGI). The eighth article, “How are CEOs Adapting to the Innovation Challenges of 2020?” comes from EUROPEANCEO magazine (EUROPE). The ninth article, “Incumbents Strike Back,” (PDF) was produced by IBM. It shares the perspectives of 12,854 respondents across six C-suite roles from 112 countries and represents the 19th C-suite study in the series (IBM). The tenth article, entitled “Citizenship and Social Impact: Society holds the Mirror,” results from the Deloitte 2018 Global Human Capital Trends (Deloitte). The 11th and final article comes from the November 2019 McKinsey Quarterly (McKinsey) and is entitled “Answering Society’s Call: A New Leadership Imperative.

    The Six Areas for 2020
    To arrive at the six areas for 2020, I have analyzed and synthesized information across the various articles and studies. I have listed the resulting six areas in order of decreasing mention across the 11 articles, giving some additional weight to the articles that result from studies of many C-suite executives. The first two areas are tied in importance and reflect a focus on the external environment and internal organizational environment, respectively. Areas three and four are also tied. All the areas are considerations for strategic-planning discussions.

    1. Emerging Technologies and the Digital Economy: The importance of this trend is probably best summarized in CEOWORLD. After stating that no single business or sector is safe from disruption by emerging technologies and the digital economy, (even) in the service sector, the article quotes hoteliers and taxi companies who said in effect, “Technology won’t affect us; people will always need a hotel and a taxi.” And then Airbnb and Uber entered the marketplace. Technology, including big data, data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI), is crossing industries to create new and unique product offerings. Two examples that combine manufacturing and service are a Nike shoe that fastens itself through a mobile app and then collects data via sensors to send back to the company, and a capability developed by General Motors and Volvo to have Amazon deliver packages to car trunks using a one-time digital code to unlock the trunk wirelessly.

    According to Gartner, 82 percent of CEOs state that they have initiatives to make the organization more digital, including dealing with cybersecurity concerns. According to the WEF, over 70 percent of CEOs interviewed believe they need to lead a radical digitally led transformation of their business model and that understanding of the cloud, the impact of AI on the workforce, and cybersecurity are becoming table stakes for them. CEOs need to find the right balance between data and intuition, which means they need to get deeper into the way they develop data-driven insights for their business, according to the WEF.

    In more than two-thirds of the use cases studied by MGI, AI can improve performance more than other analytics techniques. MGI promotes the belief that AI adoption can boost global GDP by as much as $13 trillion in the next ten years. IBM writes about the Internet of Things (IoT) bridging the digital and physical worlds. IBM indicates that the IoT will result in value shifting to organizations that best orchestrate the combined digital-physical worlds. And just recently, the Harvard Business Review announced a survey on how executives are using technology and shared data to unite their Human Resources and Finance teams to increase efficiency.

    The Baldrige framework has organizational learning and agility and managing for innovation as two of its core values. The 2019 Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence (part of the framework) ask how your strategic planning process addresses the potential need for transformational change and organizational agility. The notes refer to the need to integrate data from all sources to generate strategically relevant information, including technological innovations that could affect your products and services.

    1. The Right People for the Organization: While this topic did not generally rank at the very top of CEOs’ list of concerns (unlike technology and the digital economy), it was consistently present on their list of concerns. Several different organizational needs related to “the right people” were mentioned repeatedly by C-suite executives: the need for new skills and lifelong learning because of automation, AI, and the digital economy; the need for more cross-functional teamwork; the growing need for management development in a more empowered workforce environment and for leadership development of the next generation of leaders; the need to “liberate” the workforce through empowerment and encouragement to experiment; and the need to retain talented people in a more mobile workforce. According to Forbes, leaders need to promote a simple statement: “people first.”

    In the CB study, CEOs globally ranked attracting and retaining top talent as their number-one internal concern. Developing the next generation of leaders was their third-highest concern. CEOs expressed a need for more formal leadership development programs that provide cross-functional rotational opportunities. According to MGI, about 15 percent of the global workforce (approximately 400 million people) could be displaced by automation by 2030. At the same time, 550 to 800 million new jobs could be created that demand increasing digital skills. EUROPEANCEO executives predicted that in 2020, the third and fourth most commonly added C-suite job roles will be focused on digital and cloud, respectively. (The first most commonly added role is focused on customer experience, my sixth area; the second on big data, my fifth area.)

    In the IBM study, people skills rose sharply to third place among the external forces that will impact the organization, recognizing the need for having the right people in the organization. Sixty-one percent of C-suite executives rated this as an important external factor. They also believe they will be sharing people skills with other organizations in their value chain. Asked to rank the capabilities most important for innovation, CEOs in the study ranked two characteristics above all others: a willingness to experiment and the support of empowered people in the organization

    A Baldrige framework core value is valuing people, and this core value is thoroughly embodied in the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. The Baldrige Criteria place a specific focus on building an effective and supportive workforce environment, including preparing your workforce for changing work systems. This focus is accompanied by questions related to workforce and leader development. This development incudes supporting the organization’s intelligent risk taking. Additional questions relate to how the organization’s workforce engagement processes foster retention. In the Leadership category of the Baldrige Criteria, leaders are asked how they create an environment for success, including the development of future leaders and cultivating individual learning and intelligent risk taking.

    1. Evolving and Uncertain Global Markets: According to PwC, 2018 saw a record jump in global optimism about economic growth. By contrast, 2019 has seen a record jump in pessimism, with nearly 30 percent of CEOs projecting a decline in global economic growth. CEOs are showing growing concern over trade disputes and an unpredictable geopolitical landscape, counteracting a 40-year trend of increasing globalization. According to CEOWORLD, this is happening at the same time when CEOs are challenged by currency volatility, extended and uncertain supply chains, local competition, and a concern about changing policies and legislation that will have to deal with human, ethical, and moral implications of new technology. The CB study indicates that globally, CEOs rank a recession as their number-one external concern and threats to global trade as their second-highest external concern. The WEF concluded that CEOs need to hone their geopolitical skills and engage more with politicians and civil society leaders.

    These uncertainties are enhanced by MGI data that indicate that two-thirds of global GDP growth and more than half of new consumption over the past 15 years stems from emerging economies. Furthermore, more than 120 companies from these economies have joined the Fortune Global 500 list since 2000. MGI states that, by several measures, these companies are more innovative, nimble, and competitive than their Western rivals. IBM concludes that companies will have to “dance with disruption,” having the fortitude for perpetual reinvention even when the status quo is working well.

    Two of the Baldrige framework core values are visionary leadership and organizational learning and agility. Visionary leaders need to manage risk and deal with external uncertainties. The organizational learning and agility core value states, “Success in today’s ever-changing globally competitive environment demands continual organizational learning and agility.” In the Strategy Development component of the Baldrige Criteria (item 2.1) there are specific questions relating to how your strategic planning considers potential changes in your regulatory and external environment and how you prepare for potential blind spots. In Strategy Implementation (item 2.2), organizations are asked how you recognize and respond to needed shifts in your action plans with rapid execution.

    1. Responding to Society’s Call: According to Deloitte (and others), corporate citizenship has become a CEO-level business strategy—defining the organization’s very identity. This strategy involves the organization’s ability to do social good, both externally (among customers, communities, and society) and internally (among employees and other key internal stakeholders). According to a 2017 Deloitte study, millennials, who constitute over half of the workforce in many countries, are increasingly sensitive to how their organizations address issues such as income inequality, hunger, and the environment. Eighty-eight percent believe that employers should play a vital role in alleviating these concerns. Furthermore, 55 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for products coming from companies’ committed to positive social impact. MGI states that gender parity, a scenario where women and men participate in the economy in equal parts, will add as much as 26 percent to global GDP. A longitudinal study of purpose-focused companies found that they outperformed their S&P 500 peers by a factor of eight. Nevertheless, Deloitte found that while 77 percent of their global respondents cited citizenship as important, only 18 percent said it was a top priority in their organization’s strategy.

    According to McKinsey, nine of every ten Generation Z consumers believe that companies have a responsibility to address environmental and social issues. MGI states that governments and business leaders will have to jointly address societal concerns on misuse of AI, automation, and data privacy.

    One of the Baldrige framework core values is societal contributions. Societal contributions include leading and supporting the environmental, social, and economic systems in your organization’s sphere of influence. Role-model organizations influence other private and public organizations to partner for these purposes. The Baldrige Criteria include leadership questions related to societal contributions. The questions encompass how your organization considers societal well-being and benefits as part of its strategy and daily operations and how you strengthen and support your key communities.

    1. Big Data and Business Platforms: The challenge already faced by CEOs—and growing in importance—is translating vast amounts of data to use for better decision making. According to the WEF, over 70 percent of the CEOs contacted believe they need to lead a digital transformation of their business model. EUROPE cites that in 2020 the second-most important new role in the C-suite will be focused on big data (the first will be focused on customer experience, the sixth area, which is described below). This also impacts directly the workforce skills that will be needed (an overlap with the second area, on the right people).

    Big data will be instrumental in the growth of platform businesses. A platform business facilitates interactions across many participants. Existing large-scale platform businesses include eBay, Amazon, Facebook, and CVS Health. According to IBM, platform operators double down on data and turn large volumes of data into innovation and the continuous recalibration of their strategy and operations. They excel at creating personalized customer experiences (the sixth area). The IBM study found that 46 percent of organizations are investing in or considering the new platform business model. Organizations enter ecosystems, establish strong collaborative relationships, and emerge as orchestrators on a digital platform.

    The availability of large amounts of data challenges our ability to practice the Baldrige framework core value of management by fact; it is increasingly difficult to analyze the data available and extract larger meaning for the benefit of organizational decision making. This was a key challenge CEOs faced in my 2017 study, and it is even “bigger” today. The Baldrige Criteria have a component (item 4.2) on information and knowledge management. It asks how your organization blends and correlates data from different sources to build knowledge and how this knowledge is used in your innovation and strategic planning processes.

    1. Customer Experience: The CB asked CEOs how they plan on succeeding in 2025. CEOs expressed confidence about their organizations being able to thrive but stated that a challenge is that the customer experience is starting to be more important than the actual product. This will require rethinking their offerings. The IBM study found that 86 percent of organizations say they are at least somewhat effective at creating individual customer experiences, and 53 percent say they are quite effective. Nevertheless, 68 percent of C-suite executives said they will be changing their value proposition to emphasize customer experience over products.

    According to EUROPE, the most commonly added role to the C-suite in 2020 will be focused on customer experience. IBM found that over one-quarter of their forefront organizations are using AI and cognitive solutions to improve their customers’ experiences. They are developing customer co-creation communities to better understand human motivations and gain customer empathy. Community members become influencers and brand advocates that extend trust outside the community more effectively than advertising can.

    Organizations are trying to stand out from their competitors through new and novel offerings (possibly through ecosystems; see big data and business systems above). Competition is coming from different industries that suddenly invade “your” market space. As stated in the IBM study, “The risk for incumbents is that their business models will be turned into Swiss cheese.” Customer desires and market opportunities are breaking down old business siloes.

    Two of the Baldrige framework core values are customer-focused excellence and managing for innovation. Customer-focused excellence is about considering all product and service features and characteristics and all modes of customer access that contribute to value for your customers. Managing for innovation includes collaboration among people who did not historically work together. This core value may need broadening in the future to include customer co-creation. Since customer focus is so central to the Baldrige framework, the area of customer and market orientation pervades the Baldrige Criteria questions, from category 3 on customers, to work systems, innovation, and knowledge management, all intended to enhance customer engagement and loyalty.

    CEO Issues of 2020 and 2017
    Comparing the CEO issues in 2020 and 2017 reveals some subtle differences, a few significant changes, and a great deal of overlap or ongoing concern.

    The seven areas identified in 2017 were

    1. uncertainty and resilience
    2. finding the right employees
    3. short-term and long-term value creation
    4. partnerships and interdependency
    5. big data
    6. customer and market orientation, and
    7. cybersecurity.

    The 2017 area that has disappeared is short-term and long-term value creation. The concern about short-term value creation has been superseded by a concern for evolving and uncertain global markets (short-term and long-term). The long-term value creation focus is reflected within the scope of each of this year’s areas. This year’s concern about evolving and uncertain global markets is a sharpening of the theme of uncertainty and resilience expressed by CEOs in 2017. Finding the right employees has evolved into the larger topic of the right people for the organization. Partnerships and interdependency has been focused in the areas of business platforms (and ecosystems) and customer co-creation of the future. Big data remains a major focus for CEOs. Customer and market orientation has been focused on the customer experience and the service relationship that will drive customer decision making. Cybersecurity is a major concern within the overall digital economy.

    New this year is the area of responding to society’s call. While social responsibility was covered in my 2015 study, it did not have the strategic focus that is present now. Concepts that are in this year’s study for the first time include the digital economy, AI, business platforms, and customer co-creation.

    Implications for Future Baldrige Framework Revisions
    While it is still too early to anticipate the next set of revisions to the Baldrige Excellence Framework, the results of this study yield some topics to keep top of mind as we anticipate the near- and longer-term contributors to performance excellence. The clearest contributors to the short-term evolution of the Baldrige framework are probably customer and societal innovations. There are opportunities to consider the enhanced role of the customer experience as we think about customer engagement, an experience that goes to strategic considerations when addressing customer co-creation of offerings. Similarly, in answering society’s call, there will be Baldrige framework opportunities to look strategically at offerings that improve the societal and community well-being and to look at broadening the innovation focus to address products, processes, organizational effectiveness, and societal well-being.

    Of longer-term strategic significance will be the need and opportunity to address changing work systems. Influencers will be the growing role of AI and its intersection with a digital economy. In addressing the digital economy, organizations will probably find it increasingly important to have a strategy that includes a role in platform businesses. All these areas will require a greater emphasis on re-training and lifelong learning as a core competency for all people in the workforce. While these three areas (AI, the digital economy, and platform business models) are still at the very leading edge (in most business environments), they will have to be watched for rapid advances over the next few years.

    I look forward to observing changes in performance excellence over the next few years. And I look forward to another look at CEO challenges and opportunities a few years down the road, to see what has remained the same and what has changed in our insights on the road to performance excellence!

  2. Best Practice Report: Leadership: Governance

    January 19, 2020 by BPIR.com Limited

    Governance is the ethical and effective management of an organisation by its executives and its governing board of directors or trustees. The corporate governance framework consists of rules, practices and processes to ensure accountability, fairness and transparency in an organisation’s relationship with all of its stakeholders (including financiers, customers, management, employees, government and the community).
    In This Report:

    1. What is “governance”?
    2. Which organisations have received recognition for good governance?
    3. How have organisations reached high levels of good governance?
    4. What research has been undertaken into governance?
    5. What tools and methods are used to support high levels of successful governance?
    6. How can good governance be measured?
    7. What do business leaders say about governance?
    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.

  3. Listing and analysis of Business Excellence journal papers from 1990 to today

    January 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 January 2020

    Click here for an updated version of the findings

    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.

    382 Business Excellence papers have been published from 1990 onwards

    Click here for a full listing and analysis

    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 having 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;
    • It examined the existing established BE models or proposed a development/ variant of these established models and showed clearly the differences with research validating any proposed change; and
    • It adopted the same understanding of BE as portrayed by the Global Excellence Model (GEM) Council.

    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 favoring 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% of BE papers are published in or after 2009 and 25% in the last 5 years

    The most popular journals for publishing BE papers in were Total Quality Management and Business Excellence (82 papers), The TQM Journal (37 papers) and International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management (34 papers).

    The journals that had published more than 5 BE journal papers and had the highest citations rates were Journal of Operations Management (11.6 citations per paper), International Journal of Production Research (5 citations per paper), and International Journal of Operations and Production Management (2.8 citations per paper).

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

    The paper with the most citations, 280 citations, was titled “An empirical assessment of the EFQM Excellence Model: Evaluation as a TQM framework relative to the MBNQA Model” and second with 256 citations was “Quality awards and the market value of the firm: An empirical investigation”

    The most average citations per year for a paper was 28 for two papers “An empirical assessment of the EFQM Excellence Model: Evaluation as a TQM framework relative to the MBNQA Model” and 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 worksheets in the attached Excel file show:-

    • Listing of all BE Papers: This worksheet contains the list of all 382 papers, their number of citations, theme code and average citations per year by paper.
    • Avg. Citation by Journal: This worksheet contains the list of all the journals that published BE papers and the launch year, AJG ratings, h-indexes, number of papers, number of citations, average citations per year of these journals.
    • Authors of 5 or More BE Papers: This worksheet contains the list of authors that published 5 or more papers along with the department/ research centre, institute, country and keywords of these authors.
    • Themes and AJG Ratings: This worksheet contains the number of papers and citations under 8 themes and 16 sub-themes and the average citation per year per BE paper in a journal compared to the AJG rating of that journal.
    • Graphical Analysis: This worksheet contains the trend analysis of the publications and their citations from the period 1990 to date.

    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

  4. TRADE Benchmarking Stars Announced at the Grand Finale of Dubai We Learn – Excellence Makers 3rd Cycle, 2019

    December 24, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited
    Press release contributed by Dr. Almas Tazein, BPIR.com Limited

    Completing its 3rd Cycle on 22 December 2019, the Final (4th) Knowledge Sharing Summit of the Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP) was held at Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai. The agenda was to celebrate the Best Practice learning across all projects and give recognition to all the ten project teams who had been working relentlessly, displaying unwavering commitment over the last year. The ten Dubai We Learn – Excellence Makers Program Project Teams were awarded using the TRADE Best Practice Certification system.

    At the final event attended by project sponsors, key stakeholders, guests and project team members, the projects were scrutinized for their quality and evaluated for their performance impact by an esteemed expert panel of judges that included Professor Dotun Adebanjo, University of Greenwich, London, United Kingdom, Dr. Woon Kin Chung, Previous Head of Singapore’s Productivity Centre, Singapore, and Mr. Arndt Husar, Senior Public Management Specialist (Digital Transformation), Asian Development Bank, Philippines.

    Amidst an exhilarated audience, the 7 Star projects that received a TRADE Benchmarking Proficiency Certificate with Commendation were:

    • Dubai Municipality – Digital Transformation of Contracts;
    • Dubai Police – Airport Secure Luggage (Safe Bags);
    • Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services – Moonshot: Is Where Magic Happens.

    Coming close with impressive performance were the 5 to 6 Star projects that received a TRADE Benchmarking Proficiency Certificate with Commendation were:

    • Dubai Electricity & Water Authority – EV Green Charger 2.0;
    • Community Development Authority – Enabling Happiness;
    • Dubai Health Authority – Dubai Heart Safe City.
    • Dubai SME (Agency of Department of Economic Development) – Improving Entrepreneur’s Business Guidance & Start-Up Services

    Showing immense potential and foresight were the 3 to 4 Star projects that received a TRADE Benchmarking Proficiency Certificate:

    • Dubai Land – Smart Property Valuation;
    • Road & Transport Authority – Return on Innovation for Agile Innovation Journey;
    • General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs – Cooperative Integration System.

    The achievements by all teams has been exceptional considering the shortened time of Dubai We Learn this year with teams encouraged to resubmit in May 2020 after they had had more time to deploy best practices and demonstrate results over a longer period of time… We are expecting greater achievements to follow to make this the most successful Dubai We Learn so far!

    Group photo during the Final Ceremony, Dubai We Learn 2019

    “I think these are very laudable projects in their 3rd round of Dubai We Learn. Over the years, I have seen great improvements in the quality of benchmarking proficiencies and benchmarking skills of the teams. The projects have had a very significant impact on Dubai society and economy, and also the health of the people,” reflected Professor Dotun Adebanjo. “One of the outstanding projects last year was the Dubai Health Authority project which has helped tackle diabetes within Dubai. I think if you replicate these sorts of projects across many entities over the years, it will have a major impact on society, and I have been very happy to be involved with DWL,” he concluded.

    DGEP and COER will in the next 6 months publish a book, ‘Achieving Performance Excellence Through Benchmarking and Organisational Learning’ showcasing the discoveries of the 3rd Cycle of Dubai We Learn. This will follow on from the book of the 2nd Cycle of Dubai We Learn that was launched at the conference

    Click here to download the book.

    For more information on Dubai We Learn contact:

    Dr. Zeyad Mohammad El Kahlout, Senior Quality and Excellence Advisor,
    Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP).
    Email: Zeyad.ElKahlout@tec.gov.ae

    Or contact Dr Robin Mann to learn more about the TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking Methodology, r.s.mann@massey.ac.nz

  5. Dubai We Learn – Government Excellence Makers Program 3rd Knowledge Sharing Summit

    November 23, 2019 by BPIR.com Limited


    By Dr Flevy Lasrado, Asst. Professor of Organizational Excellence, University of Wollongong in Dubai

    I was pleased and delighted to accept the Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP’s) invitation to learn more about the amazing projects associated with the Dubai We Learn initiative on Wednesday, 16 October, 2019 at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai. Needless to say, the ‘Dubai We Learn – Excellence Makers Program 3rd Knowledge Sharing Summit’ is one of the most intellectually sophisticated events in the field of business excellence, best practices and benchmarking.

    The event was held in the Godolphin Ballroom and the atmosphere was exuberant and lively, with very many erudite professionals and astute officials representing the various authorities of the Government of Dubai. It was a wonderful knowledge sharing summit that included project presentations from 10 government entities. From my own perspective with a background in continuous improvement, I could not have spent 16 October, 2019 in any better way, especially because that evening I was to speak about process improvements to my Master’s class from the University of Wollongong and would be able to share real-life examples with them. The 10 cases of extremely well-presented cases were exemplary and gave the audience much to learn and think about. Each entity presented a themed project and provided evidence of the multitude of benefits that they have achieved, while also giving feedback to co-participants and pointing out future opportunities for improvements. The breakout sessions were also planned so well that even a coffee moment turned out to be brilliant knowledge sharing moment!

    The Centre for Organisational Excellence Research (COER), New Zealand, has been orchestrating the learning, knowledge gathering and execution of the Dubai We Learn initiatives (now in their 3rd cycle) in tandem with DGEP. COER assists the teams in using the TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking Methodology so they can identify and implement best practices, and empowers the teams to reach a 7-Star level of excellence that assures long-term sustainability and future relevance

    TRADE Stages

    Figure 1 – The TRADE Best Practice Benchmarking Methodology


    The program included an introductory welcome from Dr Zeyad El-Kahlout, Senior Quality and Excellence Advisor, of DGEP, followed by Dr Robin Mann, who presented the participating teams to the audience.

    Without further delay, let me summarise the 11 projects.


    To develop a new user friendly EV Charger which supports a seamless customer experience as an interim solution till standardization of single EV charging solution occurs

    Encourages adoption of electric vehicles in the city for a sustainable city.

    2Dubai Police

    Find and implement best practices enhancing the efficiency and operational capacity of Hold Bag-gage Screening System (HBS) as well as the productivity of employees engaged within the different processes and levels of the HBS at Dubai Airports by EXPO 2020

    Increased satisfaction of travellers by speeding up the process, and reduced costs as less delays in flight times due to security issues.

    3Community Development Authority

    Identify and implement best practices in: Loyalty, Motivation, Communication, Empowerment, Innovation and Productivity.

    Increased employed happiness and productivity, reduced absenteeism and greater employee retention.

    4Roads & Transport Authority

    To develop a simple and reliable approach for measuring and communicating Return on Innovation (ROI) that is aligned to RTA’s  strategic needs to culminate in an Agile  Innovation  Journey

    Estimate and understand ROI for key investments such as the Enterprise Command & Control Centre and Dubai Metro.

    5Dubai Health Authority

    Improving the out-of-hospital post cardiac arrest (OHCA) survival rate

    Save 1000’s of additional lives.

    6Federal Authority for Identity & Citizenship

    To identity best practices that will lead to an effective integrated system between GDRFA’s strategy, Innovation, PMO, Operations and Excellence departments

    Efficiently through adopting international, regional, and local best practices and excellence models, that meets Dubai’s Government directions and GDRFA’s vision, therefore, acts as a best practice in its field.

    7Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services

    Develop a vibrant Moonshot innovation ecosystem to accelerate the effectiveness and outcomes of all innovation ecosystem components in line with international best practices.

    Accelerate all innovation ecosystems to achieve multiple moon shots every year.

    8Dubai SME

    To improve the process of qualifying and supporting entrepreneurs to start viable businesses.

    Increase efficiency of guidance service and the level of entrepreneurs’ happiness with service information by Dec 2020 to ultimately have more successful businesses.



    To provide an instant, reliable and robust unit valuation service.

    Increase the speed of valuation process from 3 days to instant thus increasing customer happiness.

    10Dubai Municipality

    Accelerate the processes of service contracts, re-engineer the process through technical opportunities.

    Faster service contract cycle time from 210 days to 45 days or less, saving money and increasing supplier satisfaction.

    Figure 2: Summary of All projects presented at the 3rd Summit

    A number of the projects were aimed at improving project agility and cycle times, and implementing new approaches and measures for innovation. Other projects involved incorporating the latest technology applicable to the problem area, including machine learning and AI. A common thread across all projects was to raise happiness for the citizens of Dubai, so that Dubai becomes the happiest and smartest city in the world.

    Watch highlights of the day video

    Overall, it was a fascinating experience to witness the massive improvement of each of the entities and their dedicated commitment to their innovative projects. Dubai We Learn has proven to be a very promising journey for all participating organisations and is paving the way for ‘dreams to come true’! I wish all the teams’ further achievements and success when the projects conclude on 22 December with the final Knowledge Sharing Summit.

    For more information on Dubai We Learn contact:

    Dr. Zeyad Mohammad El Kahlout, Senior Quality and Excellence Advisor,
    Dubai Government Excellence Program (DGEP).
    Email: Zeyad.ElKahlout@tec.gov.ae