The Jobs of the Future: How Can We Help?

Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey

The Baldrige Program was created to help manufacturers be more competitive, and it has endorsed Manufacturing Day for years, doing what it can to help connect Baldrige community members, especially schools, with manufacturers and to promote open houses and other events. Most recently, the program has sought feedback on a draft tool called the Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder to help all organizations assess and prioritize improvements for their risk management programs.

1370194-thbIn thinking about the Baldrige mission to help U.S. organizations improve, I recently came across an interesting article about manufacturing and the jobs of the future. Without choosing a political side, the author puts forward an opinion on how to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States—or, more accurately, what those jobs might look like. This has me thinking about how the Baldrige Program can reasonably help.

“We can bring manufacturing home, but we cannot sustain the repetitive, manual jobs that powered American factories in the 1950s,” writes Joe Blair in an online article called “Can Robotics Spark A Renaissance In American Manufacturing?” “That is a price of innovation. The industrial revolution made tanners, blacksmiths, and weavers obsolete. The digital revolution may soon replace cashiers, drivers, and stock traders with computers. . . . Under our current paradigm of manufacturing, yes, most jobs will stay in Asia and Mexico. However, if the U.S. was to fully embrace next-generation robotics and automation, it could create high-paying industrial jobs on a massive scale—just not the same jobs we had in the 1950s.”’

The large Baldrige community, including many from the manufacturing sector, likely has the expertise to respond more specifically on how the Baldrige Excellence Framework and its Criteria could support advanced manufacturing organizations in implementing use of robotics or other innovations in their work processes. The Baldrige Program can certainly continue to support such organizations pursuing the innovations of the future. For example, by

  • helping all organizations assess and improve their cybersecurity risk management programs;
  • offering considerations as a roadmap to focusing on the future and being prepared to innovate quickly;
  • providing an outside, objective criteria for organizations to evaluate themselves against and determine how well they’re doing, both within and outside their industries, with world-class goals and benchmarks; (According to Mike Garvey of M7 Technologies in a recent blog, “I didn’t know the real value of [the Baldrige Criteria] until 2008–2011. We were looking for a cure to help sustain stronger financial security and job security . . .  because of what happened to us in the recession. . . . [We realized that the Baldrige Framework] has to be our cure to raise us to higher performance and make the competition irrelevant.”)
  • providing a systems focus on aligning and running the entire company, so that gains are not short lived; (According to Bill Baker of the Association for Manufacturing Excellence in “That Dog Won’t Hunt . . . for Long!”, “My big concern is that a continuous improvement/lean strategy is way more complex than a set of tools to reduce manufacturing labor and material costs. It is the mantra of how to run the entire company. We need to be looking at the market, the customers, and the future customers focusing on how the company needs to change in this rapidly changing world!”)
  • accelerating a common culture and core values, especially after mergers and acquisitions; (Said Robert “Rusty” Patterson of the National Council for Advanced Manufacturing in a recent blog, “It’s not just about how well you execute what you’re doing. It’s about how you create the culture that continues to execute no matter the process. And it’s everything from the CEO to the janitor who understands how to approach issues and problems, understands how to approach their work, and has appreciation for each other’s roles.”)
  • sending feedback from trained Baldrige examiners on product and process efficiency and productivity; (Said Patterson in the same blog, “What I tell people is you ought to use the Baldrige Criteria to turn a mirror on yourself. You don’t have to win a Baldrige Award. . . . The real key is that you can put that mirror on yourself and get some examiners to come in and evaluate what you’re doing because sometimes it’s hard for you to do this. It’s an excellent criteria [framework that helps you say] you’re doing a lot of the right things, but here are some areas where you can improve.”)
  • helping organizations to integrate the approaches they use (e.g., ISO 9000, Lean, and Six Sigma), improve productivity and effectiveness, and pursue performance excellence; and
  • helping organizations conduct strategic planning and focus on the customers of the future, including building their satisfaction, engagement, and loyalty.

In a recent white paper, “The Value of Using the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework in Manufacturing Organizations,” authors Prabir Kumar Bandyopadhyay and Denis Leonard also offer some conclusions on what needs to be done to interest manufacturers in what Baldrige resources have to offer. They posit a stronger partnership between the program and manufacturers to “create a version of the criteria specifically focused on manufacturing and its particular needs and issues . . . . Furthermore, identifying advocates, aligned stakeholders including peer groups, and regulatory authorities could stimulate interest among manufacturing organizations.”

What do you think are ways that Baldrige resources can support the jobs of the future for U.S. organizations?

Posted in Baldrige Award Process, Baldrige Criteria, Business, Customer Focus, Manufacturing, Operations Focus, Performance Results, Strategic Planning, Uncategorized, Workforce Focus | 1 Comment

A “Best Place to Work” with a Culture of Caring

By Christine Schaefer

It may not surprise anyone that Baldrige Award-winning Sutter Davis Hospital is on the 2016 list of “Best Places to Work in Health Care” recognized by Modern Healthcare. The 2013 Baldrige Award recipient has made its “Culture of Caring” the foundation for excellent results in all key areas. In fact, the high-achieving hospital considers its Culture of Caring to be its core competency.

Photo Courtesy of Sutter Davis Hospital

Photo Courtesy of Sutter Davis Hospital

Following are highlights from the profile of Sutter Davis Hospital on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program’s website:

  • The Culture of Caring is reinforced through senior leaders’ dedication to safe patient care, an engaged workforce and the community. Annual goals and action plans create accountability for the delivery of a consistently positive patient experience. This accounts for the hospital’s solid clinical quality ratings and outcomes and its strong position as a preferred place to work and practice medicine.
  • Sutter Davis Hospital demonstrates high standards for work and process efficiency. For example, the average door-to-doctor time in emergency has decreased from 45 minutes in 2008 to 22 minutes in 2012, well below the California benchmark of 58 minutes.
  • An organizational focus on people is reflected in Sutter Davis Hospital’s employee satisfaction and engagement scores, which exceed the top 10 percent of marks in a national survey database. Physician satisfaction shows sustained improvement over the past three years, increasing from 80 percent to 90 percent, and attaining Press Ganey top 10 percent performance in 2011 and 2012.
  • Measures of workforce climate at Sutter Davis Hospital exceed targeted goals of Sutter Health (the parent organization). Employees have rated workforce health, safety and security at 100 percent from 2008 to 2012. Employee perceptions of safety exceed national top 10 percent benchmarks as measured in the hospital’s annual Culture of Safety survey.

How Sutter Davis Hospital builds an effective and supportive workforce environment and engages its workforce to achieve a high-performance work environment (the basic requirements of category 5 of the Baldrige Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence) are described in a summary of the organization’s 2013 application for the Baldrige Award, which is publicly available on the Baldrige Program website (see the PDF).

As that document indicates, benefits for Sutter Davis Hospital employees have included discounted daycare, tuition reimbursement, employee discounts at health clubs and amusement parks—and health insurance that expanded to include pet insurance and identity theft coverage based on employee feedback

In the following excerpt, Sutter Davis Hospital (SDH) describes five approaches supporting its winning culture:

Organizational Culture. SDH fosters an organizational culture characterized by open communication, high performance, an engaged workforce and ensures our culture benefits from the diversity of our workforce via the following mechanisms:

1. CULTURE OF CARING classes: Quarterly, all new workforce members at SDH attend the CULTURE OF CARING class. This four-hour class orients new employees to the Sutter Davis Difference, including the Mission, Vision, and Values (MVV), STANDARDS OF BEHAVIOR, professionalism, patient satisfaction, and key resources for the workforce.

2. Just Culture: The Just Culture process was instituted after receiving the results from our Culture of Safety survey. The Just Culture Algorithm systematically allows us to identify needed process improvements, hold employees accountable for their choices while at the same time encouraging an open learning culture. It shifts the focus from errors and outcomes to system design and behavioral choices.

3. Round the Clocks: In order to further deploy the Sutter Davis Difference and MVV to all workforce members and to ensure SDH is communicating at all levels; the ATeam schedules quarterly Round-the-Clocks to meet with the workforce. All shifts are visited in Round the Clock meetings, during which the A Team focuses on rewarding and recognizing success, engagement and communicating key messages. In addition, volunteers receive information at least semiannually through the Volunteer Update Meeting.

4. Interdisciplinary Practice Councils (IPCs): The IPCs allow the workforce to contribute their diverse ideas, skills and abilities to improve the workforce and patient’s experience. Open communication in the IPCs creates a work environment that promotes respect, sharing common goals, and having a voice in patient care and work environment decisions.

5. All Staff Assembly: As a cycle of improvement, SDH began inviting all workforce members, to an annual All Staff Assembly. In a three-hour session designed to be informative, engaging, inspiring and entertaining, A Team members deploy messages related to the Sutter Davis Difference, the MVV, the Strategic Planning Process, the DASHBOARD and PILLAR performance.


Posted in Baldrige Award Recipients, Health Care, Workforce Focus | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Judging Organizations for America’s Highest Award for Excellence

By Christine Schaefer

Fifteen organizations recently received site visits as part of the evaluation process for the 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Those finalists had already proven they are relatively high-performing businesses, nonprofits, and education or health care organizations. First, even to establish their eligibility to apply for the Baldrige Award, most of the organizations earned top-tier awards for their performance through regional or state-level Baldrige-based programs. Second, the 15 organizations were selected to receive site visits by the panel of judges in August based on their scores in two earlier phases of the rigorous evaluation process for the annual Baldrige Award.

In early November, the 12 members of the 2016 Judges Panel for the Baldrige Award will meet to review the extensive information and data gathered by the 15 teams of Baldrige examiners who participated in this year’s site visits. Based on their deliberations during the private meeting, the judges will then recommend award recipients to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The winning organizations will be revealed on November 15, 2016, through a public announcement from the Commerce Department.

For those interested in learning more about the judging process and the judges themselves, following is a list of links to 11 blogs that share exactly what goes on “behind the curtain,” consider the impacts of the awards, and profile individual judges on the 2016 panel.

“A Peek Behind the Curtain”

“What’s So Exciting about the Baldrige Awards”

“Baldrige Award Judges Panel: Interview with New Member Tammy Dye”

“Focus on the 2016 Judges Panel: Major General John C. Harris, Jr.”

“Focus on the [2016] Judges Panel: Dr. Ken Davis”

“Focus on the [2016] Judges Panel: Miriam Kmetzo”

“Focus on the [2016] Judges Panel: Dr. Greg Gibson”

“Focus on the [2016] Judges Panel: Dr. John C. Timmerman”

“Focus on the [2016] Judges Panel: Fonda Vera”

“Focus on the [2016] Judges Panel: Ken Schiller”

“Focus on the [2016] Judges Panel: Michael Dockery”

Baldrige Award crystal photo
The 2016 Baldrige Award recipients will be recognized for their achievements next April at an official ceremony in Baltimore, MD. The ceremony, traditionally attended by the President of the United States or a designee, will precede the Baldrige Program’s annual Quest for Excellence® Conference.

At that best-practice-sharing conference, the national role models will share with other organizations in every sector their Baldrige journey stories and their effective processes for addressing leadership, strategic planning, knowledge and data management, and all other categories of the Baldrige Excellence Framework.

Through such teaching and learning, the Baldrige Award recipients named next month will ultimately help strengthen the U.S. economy as a whole. And that is what some of us find most exciting about the Baldrige Awards!

Posted in Baldrige Award Process, Baldrige Award Recipients, Baldrige Events | Tagged | 2 Comments

OED Watch Out!

Posted by Harry Hertz, the Baldrige Cheermudgeon

Yes, it is time for the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) to pay attention! Having recently seen an article in the Guardian about the new additions to the OED, it seemed a good time to dictionarytake a somewhat tongue-in-cheek look at the ten words I would propose for inclusion in that venerable reference for the English language. After all, if yolo (you only live once) and squee (an exclamation expressing delight or excitement) can make it, why not my ten words?

So, with no shame or even claim to authorship in some cases, here are my ten proposed additions (in alphabetical order, of course):

  1. custoforce engagement — the act of delighting the customer by empowering the front-line workforce to take action on first contact with the customer, thereby improving both customer and workforce engagement
  2. gutformation — ignoring the use of data and analysis in favor of gut instinct as the information source for decision making
  3. laction — missing the critical step in strategic planning of going from strategic objectives to specific action plans, thereby lacking the organizational capability to act on the strategic objectives
  4. leaderwalk — the true values and culture of the organization as displayed by the senior leader in her/his day-to-day observable actions
  5. nonovation — an organizational rationale for not innovating due to the myriad of organizational stumbling blocks, policies, or cultural attributes that stifle the taking of intelligent risks (reinforcing the “no” in innovation)
  6. probortunity —the unity between problems and opportunity, that results in looking at ways to turn problems into opportunities. This term comes from a blog post by Gerry Sandusky (not the former Penn State coach).
  7. recombobulation — the act of reorganizing and gathering one’s thoughts, allowing a person time and space to reestablish his/her composure. I first came across this word in the physical recombobulation zone at Milwaukee Airport in the area that is just beyond the security checkpoint.
  8. stratovation — a mechanism for encouraging innovation and making sure successful outcomes of innovation efforts are hardwired to the strategic planning and thinking of an organization. I introduced this term in an earlier Blogrige post.
  9. sucflushion planning — when good organizations discard all their senior leader succession plans and leadership development successes and bring in a new senior leader from outside the organization, who then disrupts all that is good about the organization and its culture
  10. voluntold — when a manager or leader helps an employee understand the wisdom of doing something that the supervisor thinks is good for the company (and the employee). I first heard this term from Larry Potterfield of MidwayUSA.

Now, before you dismiss this blog post as just another attempt at humor, do me one favor. Treat these ten words as an organizational self-assessment tool. How many of the good words are characteristics of your organization? How many of the detrimental words are practiced regularly by your organization? Are there successes you should build on? Is there some action planning that comes out of your self-assessment?

Please let me know!

Posted in Customer Focus, Leadership, Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management, Strategic Planning, Uncategorized, Workforce Focus | Tagged | 6 Comments

Someplace Between Your Past and Your Future

Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey

In a recent Hospitals and Health Networks article, Dan Beckham writes,

109224663.thbYou can’t figure out where you’re headed unless you first determine where you are. And where you are is someplace between your past and your future. The “present” isn’t a static location. In fact, it’s more like water moving past a rock. Any effort to pin it down is just a snapshot in time.

With these thoughts in mind is a good place to start strategic planning, he says.

“Every strategic plan should spring from an assessment of the organization’s situation,” writes Beckham, and then the organization can look at its most strategic future challenges/issues and prioritize, debate, and address them.

Beckham’s article, “How To Make Strategic Planning Work for Your Health Care Organization,” is very clear that strategic planning is a leadership tool, and as such, executives, board members, and physicians—in the case of a health care organization—should be the chief architects of the strategic plan.

An interesting warning Beckham gives is to “avoid the group hug” (i.e., involving too many people in strategic planning and glossing over “brutal realities” and “shortcomings” for fear of offending). Regarding the involvement of nonexecutives, he writes, “There is, however, an important role for nonexecutives and front-line employees to play. Throughout the organization, their work needs to align with the institution’s overall strategic direction. Their input is vital to the action plans needed to turn strategy into results. But that will happen only if direction is clearly articulated and performance appraisal methods are synced with the accomplishment of driving strategies, tactics and actions.”

In another recent strategic planning-related story, “Integrating Strategic Planning and Quality Improvement Methods to Create Sustainably High Performance,” by Soma Grover, Jamison V. Kovach, and Elizabeth Cudney, the Baldrige Excellence Framework is used to figure out where you’re headed by determining where you are—as Beckham notes above. In the article, published in July in ASQ’s Journal for Quality and Participation, the authors write, “To determine a baseline for the project, a survey was conducted, based on the organizational assessment profile included in the Baldrige criteria.”

The profile used is the Organizational Profile, the preface to the Criteria in the Baldrige Excellence Framework. The Organizational Profile is a snapshot of an organization, the key influences on how it operates, and its competitive environment.

And of course, an entire chapter (or category) of the Criteria is dedicated to all of the considerations that go into strategic planning, which are nicely aligned with what Beckham says should be the more important questions and key outcomes of strategic planning. For example, the Baldrige Criteria ask about strategy considerations, innovation, key strategic objectives, resource allocation, workforce plans, and performance measures.

In essence, I believe the Baldrige Criteria provide a roadmap to the very considerations for strategic planning that Beckham highlights.

How do you make strategic planning work for your organization?

Posted in Baldrige Award Process, Baldrige Criteria, Strategic Planning, Uncategorized | 1 Comment