Listen in—Connections Made in New Mexico Are Being Heard Around the World

Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey

On Sundays at 7 pm MT (9 pm ET), you can listen from anywhere in the world to hear best practices on performance improvement, results from using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, and, yes, maybe even a cowboy song or two.

PXUSA JG & Sharon ColeThe radio show “Performance Excellence USA” is hosted by Julia Galbadon, president/CEO of Quality New Mexico, a Baldrige-based state program that is a member of the Alliance for Performance Excellence; Galbadon also currently serves on the ASQ board of directors. It airs on 770KKOB; on the Internet, the show can be found at and

Using an interview format, Galbadon welcomes guests from all over the country, including members of the Baldrige community—award recipients, her colleagues at other Baldrige-based Alliance programs, the Baldrige director, ASQ leaders, and Baldrige examiners—as well as other esteemed performance improvement and management experts who share their expertise and experience.

“The whole purpose,” she said, “is learning best practices. . . . My guests are proud to share their stories; they believe in continual learning and sharing, so we can all learn and get better.”

This spring, Galbadon will host a radio show with author Jim Collins, whose books include Good to Great and How the Mighty Fall. Collins, who has spoken at a Quality New Mexico conference, will talk about leadership, management, strategy, and the concepts in his books. Galbadon said she’ll also ask him to elaborate on his quote, “I see the Baldrige process as a powerful set of mechanisms for disciplined people engaged in disciplined thought and taking disciplined action to create great organizations that produce exceptional results.”

Her radio shows have also included an interview with Mark Blazey, president of Quantum Performance Group, who often trains examiners on the Baldrige Criteria. They spoke about what senior leaders need to know about performance improvement and the value of using the Criteria for Performance Excellence. Blazey also talked about ways to get started with the Criteria and resources available to organizations.

Galbadon has also hosted Baldrige Award and NM Performance Excellence Award winners and the Baldrige family, including Malcolm Baldrige’s daughter Megan and sister Letitia. (Gabaldon first met Midge, Malcolm’s widow, at a 1995 Quality NM conference during a special “Salute to Malcolm Baldrige.”) Gabaldon visited often with Letitia and Midge at Quest for Excellence© conferences and felt an instant connection with the women. In fact, Letitia was the first guest when the radio show changed its name to “Performance Excellence USA.”

Galbadon said her most proud accomplishments from the radio show have come from facilitating connections. “I love connecting people; I’m a connector. . . . I’ve had the opportunity to showcase leaders from across the nation who are passionate about performance excellence and about making a difference in our communities, states, and nation.” And these connections, she feels, have been a major accomplishment, especially with the world-wide audience available on the radio.

On the show, she often has separate guests in studio and on the phone who discover networking opportunities and connect after the show, learning from each other and sharing.

“Baldrige Award recipients have been so gracious in sharing everything and their time. . . . They are incredible leaders,” she said. “I’m very, very proud that I know all of these people and am able to connect with them and invite them to speak in New Mexico.”

For example, Baldrige Award-winning CEOs Bob Pence of Freese and Nichols, Terry May of MESA, and Janet Wager of Sutter David Hospital have been recent radio guests. Galbadon said when Wagner spoke recently, her local guest Megan Baldrige’s eyes lit up, hearing about Sutter Davis’s results with patient safety and satisfaction. Megan went on to write an article for the Albuquerque Journal about what she heard.

It’s a “very positive environment of performance excellence,” said Galbadon. “After a while, this whole experience of being a Baldrige examiner, serving on the Baldrige Board of Overseers and Alliance Board, and being involved in this journey, it becomes a patriotic thing. . . . On a personal note, that’s how I feel these days. . . . It’s a very, very positive environment of people working together to help each other improve.”

Galbadon added, “Those connections to me are just so invaluable. As a teacher at heart, I find it so rewarding to be a conduit to help make these connections happen.”

One of her favorite radio shows, Galbadon  said, was when she featured Baldrige-Award winning Director Dr. Mike Sather of the VA Cooperative Studies Program Clinical Research Pharmacy Coordinating Center with cowboy singer Syd Masters. Sather, who is known for his presentations on the “Code of the West,” especially enjoyed the in-studio songs by Masters, including the official New Mexico cowboy song “Under New Mexico Skies.”

Galbadon has hosted more than 700 radio and several TV shows in New Mexico since 1977. In 1999, in an effort to promote the value of Quality New Mexico, Galbadon said she approached a local radio station and the then-named “Quality New Mexico Radio Show” was born.

Want to share your success stories on the radio? Contact Julia at

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What Happened to the Leading Edge of Validated Management Practice?

Posted by Harry Hertz, the Baldrige Cheermudgeon

For those very careful readers of the Baldrige Excellence Framework, you will notice a subtle change in 2015-2016. We no longer refer to the framework as representing the 2015 2016 Frameworkleading edge of validated management practice. Are you now thinking we have abandoned our guiding principle for revision of the Criteria? Are you wondering what guides us now? Read on!

Our definition of management has always been in the context of organizational performance management which begins with the role of senior leaders. Over the course of time the word “management” has taken on a meaning in many organizational environments as the work of front-line and mid-level supervisors and decision makers, in contrast to leadership who set the strategy and inspire the organization to achieve. The first few sentences in the definition of management in the Business Dictionary illustrate this point, “The organization and coordination of the activities of a business in order to achieve defined objectives. Management is often included as a factor of production along with‚ machines, materials, and money.” While that is clearly not the context in which our guiding principle is viewed, it is the reality of many organizations today and we must be clear in our intent. Baldrige starts with the role and actions of senior leaders and encompasses the strategic and operational aspects of organizational success. That posture is reflected, more clearly we believe, in our new guiding mantra contained in the 2015-2016 Baldrige Excellence Framework. The Baldrige Framework represents the leading edge of validated leadership and performance practice.

Baldrige starts with the key roles of leadership: setting vision and values, exhibiting high ethical conduct, communicating, and guiding performance to achieve the mission. And it is an a-to-z guide that ends with measuring all key dimensions of organizational performance: product, process, customer, workforce, leadership and governance, and financial and market. It is also an organizational maturity model that unites the leadership with performance in an integration dimension that links results to the responsibilities of leaders and their role in creating change. Baldrige represents the leading edge of validated leadership and performance practice.

We have not abandoned our guiding principle, we have made it more explicit. Is your organization on this journey?

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Rediscover an Organization’s Potential with the “Baldrige Criteria’s Power”

Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey

A recent study conducted by a professor at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business unveils “a framework for organizations to rediscover their potential and charge ahead using the levers of business excellence and innovation.” Sunil Mithas, professor of information systems, said the framework is used by the Indian conglomerate, the Tata Group, whose revenues have multiplied tenfold since 2002. What is that framework? It’s the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, licensed and adapted by Tata into its Tata Business Excellence Model.

From right to left, Sunil Mithas; Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry; and Sunil Sinha, resident director for Tata Sons, Middle East and North African Region, at Business Excellence Convention in Chennai, India.

From right to left, Sunil Mithas; Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry; and Sunil Sinha, resident director for Tata Sons, Middle East and North African Region, at the Business Excellence Convention in Chennai, India.

The Tata group—whose many well-known brands include Jaguar Land Rover, Taj Hotels, Tetley, and Eight O’Clock Coffee—transformed itself from a $4 billion domestic company in 1991 to a $103 billion global enterprise by 2014, with an untiring focus on business excellence—a transformation derived from the Baldrige Criteria.

According to Mithas, the “Baldrige Criteria’s power” helped the Indian holding company transform itself. One key factor was Tata’s “relentless focus on tracking and improving every measurable attribute of corporate excellence, from customer satisfaction to employee morale to strategy development and implementation. As it happens, Tata’s corporate leaders were greatly influenced by the principles behind the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. . . . Because of its broad holdings and massive scale, the Tata Group is sometimes called ‘the GE of India.’ But in terms of growth, if not sheer size, Tata outsmarts its American cousin. GE had revenues of $146 billion in 2013, up from $54 billion in 1991. Tata lags GE at $103 billion today, but that’s up from a mere $5.8 billion in 1992.”

Mithas recently discussed his Tata-based study in a podcast: “Innovation Engine.” According to the episode description, the podcast discusses what companies can learn from the Tata Group’s “ascension to becoming one of the world’s most well-known—and profitable—businesses in the world, . . . [discussing] the Malcolm Baldridge framework for measuring innovation, why it’s important to have a long-term vision for innovation, and a number of different innovation competitions that Tata has set up to encourage innovation within its companies.”

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Follow These Leaders (Why Wouldn’t You?)

Posted by Christine Schaefer

Leaders of Baldrige Award-winning organizations have credited their use of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence with enabling them to achieve exceptional results. They represent a range of organizations: from large to small businesses, from large health care systems to single schools. Consider the following testimonials about the value of the Baldrige framework to a high-performing hospital, a large manufacturer, a small business, and a school district, respectively:

“The Criteria really focused us . … To stay on track and get results for our patients—both quality and safety—you have to have an engaged workforce. … When everyone’s engaged, we have very consistent results.” (Janet Wagner, CEO, Sutter Davis Hospital, 2013 Baldrige Award recipient)

“Baldrige sustains and maintains a succession of learning—a model to stay out front of constant change. It helps an organization to reset if its processes are not as efficient as they should be.” (James E. Berry, President, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, 2012 Baldrige Award recipient)

“Before starting our Baldrige journey, we were working our butts off. We didn’t know

K&N Results and Impacts of Using Baldrige in Its Restaurants

Results and Impacts of Using Baldrige in K&N Restaurants

how we were doing, probably above average. … Efforts were in different directions. … Baldrige brought us alignment. It is a tool to channel your efforts. … We all started rowing in the same direction. … Baldrige is the key to winning results and world-class excellence.” (Ken Schiller, President, Co-Owner, and Founder, K&N Management, 2010 Baldrige Award recipient)

“We’ve seen student achievement go up in ways that we never thought imaginable. We’ve become more efficient and more effective. And these successes aren’t just figures and statistics; they do change lives. And in the process, we’ve become an innovative force in education. We’re transforming how we deliver learning for our students, and that’s creating life chances, and that’s opening the door to each child’s future. For those pondering whether or not to pursue this Baldrige process, I say boldly, ‘Why wouldn’t you?’” (JoAnn Sternke, Superintendent, Pewaukee School District, 2013 Baldrige Award recipient)

You can read more about the improvements and successes achieved by these and other Baldrige Award recipients in the online profiles of national role-model organizations in every sector. And you can follow these leaders by embracing the Baldrige systems approach to boosting performance excellence throughout your organization. All three sector-specific versions (business/nonprofit, education, and health care) of the 2015–2016 Baldrige Excellence Framework booklets are now available, with the release today of the education and health care editions.

To paraphrase Sternke’s question, why wouldn’t you want to improve and excel, too?

Editor’s Note: Listen and learn from the latest Baldrige Award-winning organizations—2014 award recipients PricewaterhouseCoopers Public Sector Practice, McLean, VA; Hill Country Memorial, Fredericksburg, TX; St. David’s HealthCare, Austin, TX; and Elevations Credit Union, Boulder, CO—at the 27th Annual Quest for Excellence® Conference in Baltimore on April 12-15, 2015.


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Fanfare for Baldrige in Health Care

Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey

In January 2015, the 2015–2016 Baldrige Excellence Framework (Health Care)—which Pages from 2015-16 Health Care Criteria_508 contains the Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence, core values and concepts, and scoring guidelines—will be released. The Baldrige Program is grateful that there has already been much written about the value of using this Criteria for improvement.

“Baldrige hospitals are . . .  more likely to be cited for marked performance improvement over a five-year span,” writes Deborah Bowen, president and CEO of the American College of Healthcare Executives and Baldrige Fellow. In “Using Baldrige Criteria as a Tool for Hospitals’ Performance Improvement,” Bowen writes that thousands of hospitals, clinics, and health care systems have turned to the Health Care Criteria “with its established framework for improvement and innovation that builds on core values and concepts, including: patient-focused excellence; organizational and personal learning; agility; and focus on results and creating value. . . . It is clear the Baldrige framework can be useful in enhancing systemic performance and achieving better results. . . . A key component is the importance of sharing best practices and learning from those who have achieved systematic results.”

Bowen adds, “Boards also can encourage their organizations to learn from others and adopt performance improvement processes using such resources as the Baldrige Health Care Criteria for Performance Excellence, because there is still much work to be done to improve the outcomes of health care for patients, families, and our communities.”

In “What About Lousy Hospitals?,” John Griffith, professor emeritus, Department of Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health, The University of Michigan, writes, “Hospitals seeking excellence are pursuing various paths, but the best documented and most comprehensive is the ‘Baldrige journey.’ . . . Baldrige recipients and Magnet hospitals claim that they are ‘great places to get care’ because they are ‘great places to give care.’ Both document low workforce turnover and vacancy rates. . . . Hospitals such as AtlantiCare in Atlantic City, Henry Ford in Detroit, Sharp in San Diego, and North Mississippi in Tupelo all work in challenging economic environments. They are all Baldrige winners. Maybe the ‘lousy’ hospitals should study the public responses and start the Baldrige journey? It takes as little as three years to move from lousy to respectable or better.”

In “Correlation Between Baldrige Award Recipients and 100 Top Hospitals Winners,” Truven Health’s Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president, Performance Improvement and 100 Top Hospitals, writes, “Once again, the selection of St. David’s HealthCare and Hill Country Memorial as 2014 Malcolm Baldrige Award winners and performance on the 100 Top Hospitals® National Balanced Scorecard overlap . . . a significant statistical association between use of Baldrige best management practices and highly balanced performance excellence. . . .  This is all very good news for measurement of the impact of leadership in hard data.”

As for any organization, its best testimonials come from its customers. Thankfully, the two 2014 Baldrige Award winners in health care have embraced the Baldrige spirit of improvement and sharing. In “Baldrige Awards are Just the Icing on the Cake for 2014 Winners,” both Hill Country Memorial and St. David’s HealthCare write that participating in the Baldrige Award process brought them improvement:

“We never got on this journey to win—though that’s amazing and we’re super-excited—it was to improve,” says Debbye Dooley, executive director of business intelligence for Hill Country Memorial.

C. David Huffstutler, president and CEO for St. David’s HealthCare, adds, “Obviously, our organization, our employees, our physicians are delighted. It’s something we’ve been working toward for a long time. . . . Though we have said from the beginning, while it would be nice to win the award, it really has been about the Baldrige process, and using it as a performance improvement tool.”

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