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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    You can read the full research from here.



  2. Excellence Makes People Happier at Work

    February 6, 2012 by
    Happier at Work


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

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

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


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

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

    Early results are showing three connections emerging from the data.

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

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

    Quality and Engagement

    Happier at Work 

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

    Quality and Morale

     Happier at Work

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

    Quality and Satisfaction

    Happier at Work 

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

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

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

    Benefit of participating.  Each participating organization will receive:

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

    Details of the Research

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

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

  3. Call for Papers – World Business Capability Congress

    January 23, 2012 by
    Call for Papers

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

    Dr. Robin Mann

  4. Design Thinking: a pathway for innovation

    January 4, 2012 by

    If you are a design engineer, process engineer or even someone just interested in understanding how to facilitate innovation in your organisation you have probably heard of the term “Design Thinking”.

    Design thinkers use a number of tools to facilitate innovation processes e.g. mind mapping, sketches, and rapid prototypes, and brainstorming to build on the ideas of customers and the design team.

    Design thinking can be broken down into the following four stages:

    1. Defining the problem
    2. Creating and considering many options
    3. Refining selected options
    4. Picking a winner and executing the solution or design
    Design thinking is used to solve complex problems as described in the clip below which explains how a design team developed two revolutionary prototype pint glasses for reducing injuries resulting from glassing attacks.

    Our next Best Practice Report which is programmed for publication in February 2012, will cover the subject of “Design Thinking” in detail.

    If you are not already a BPIR member this is an excellent time to consider joining and enjoy the many BPIR membership benefits.

    A 20 percent discount is available this month only when joining (offer expired).

    Ahmed Abbas

  5. Quality and Innovation for Growth

    December 29, 2011 by
    eCubed Building Workshop
    The NZGBC 5 Green Star Rating
    Right specifications, right time, right price and customer satisfaction. We hear these phrases everywhere and any in industry because as it is important that an organisation’s financial policies and marketing strategies are well designed and established, it is also essential for  organisations to have  an clearly defined quality system and follow it but is that enough?

    Years ago the demand of customers was for quality products and services but now in the present information age, customers are more aware of quality  and can often find a choice of “quality” suppliers. Therefore organisations need to provide something additional in order to delight the customer. That’s why delivering a service that is unique to each customer is becoming more important than delivering a standard solution.  In other words, organisations need to offer innovative solutions instead of trying to cut the cost of goods or services if they want to stay in business.

    One of these organisations is eCubed Building Workshop Ltd a leading sustainable building services consultancy with offices in Auckland and Wellington. eCubed specialises in green buildings design and have a strong commitment towards customer service. In 2010 one of their buildings was certified by the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) as New Zealand’s second six-star building, with a rating of 83 points. It is currently New Zealand's highest rated Green Star building and  received a record four out of a possible five points for innovation. Due to eCubed’s focus on innovation and customer service they have won 9 awards since 1999.

    Below is an interview with eCubed’s Director Patrick Arnold talking about his journey with eCubed Building Workshop Ltd.

    Ahmed Abbas

    When eCubed Building Workshop director Patrick Arnold was young, he was angry at how New Zealand houses were damp, inefficient and cold. So, he developed a service to change that, even if it was only one house at a time.

    The entrepreneurial building science graduate teamed up with fellow building science guns Quentin Jackson and Barbara Joubert to form the Wellington company Building Workshop. The company offered technical services such as thermal, daylight and energy modelling.

    As the green building sector grew, the team realised they needed an engineering component to offer a whole solution to customers so in 2005 it merged with Auckland engineering consultancy eCubed.

    A typical project? "We get asked in by an architect who will have a concept sketch of a building which could be anything from a couple of lines on the back of a napkin to a full computer drawing. They'll say – this is what I want to do. What do you reckon?"

    Sustainable design was optimising the building and making sure it would work, Arnold said. The building science aspect meshes with the engineering side to assess the design, using computer simulation before building begins to make sure the design team is on the right track.

    "Once the building is complete and operational, we can go in again and do things like energy audits and post-occupancy evaluation to provide more feedback on how things actually worked."

    eCubed Building Workshop is trying first and foremost to be the best at what it can do. "If we end up taking over the world that's great – as long as there's no drop in the quality of our work."

    Why did you become an entrepreneur?

    "A couple of reasons. Firstly, my previous work experience had been in London on OE in a nine-to-five office job and I was determined not to work for `the man'. More seriously, the larger, more traditional companies didn't really offer the opportunity to do building science as a career per se."

    What have been the biggest obstacles in running your company?

    "A lot of the construction industry in New Zealand has a very short-term focus, particularly on upfront capital costs. So to start off, we had to really educate the market, and industry in general, as to what we did and why it was worth it.

    "We were lucky in that we were doing this at the same time as the natural tipping point occurred and a lot of what we were talking about became mainstream.
    "Recently we've also had a combination of the [global financial crisis] which has tightened everybody's purse strings – unfortunately sustainability in construction is still often seen as a nice-to-have, which makes it one of the first things to go when money gets tight … coupled with certain political frustrations."

    Name one thing you've learnt while in business and from whom?

    "This is going to sound like a cop-out but we all learn things every day from the other directors, the staff, clients and even the hard way – from our competitors.

    "Learning (or at a corporate level, research) is fundamental. As soon as you stop learning or doing research or creating innovative solutions on projects, it's probably time to stop and have a think about what else you could be doing."

    What are your business and personal goals?

    "When I was younger (and probably more naive), I was really quite angry at how New Zealanders' houses were cold, damp and inefficient. I wanted to provide a service to change that – even if only one house at a time. Nowadays I'm less angry but I've extended my focus to all buildings and making sure they work.. .

    "As a company we're focused on trying to be the best rather than the biggest, so we're very focused on the quality of our work. This means we don't like to walk away as soon as the mayor has cut the ribbon, but prefer to stay involved, monitoring the building to make sure it's behaving and learn from it."

    Do you have any tips for budding entrepreneurs?

    "Don't be scared to be bold, but be prepared to be patient."

    Article source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/6191136/Hatred-of-cold-homes-motivated-entrepreneur