Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of talking on the phone with Baldrige alumnus Barry Johnson (thanks, Barry!) about how organizations can use the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence to achieve innovation, remain competitive, and above all sustain themselves. And when these organizations apply for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and receive actionable, meaningful feedback from our cadre of volunteer examiners, they often improve their customer focus, their workforce engagement, and above all their bottom-line results.
Barry mentioned another way that the Criteria can be used that I thought was very much worth sharing. As a series of questions and thoughtful considerations that can guide an organization on its path to performance excellence, the Criteria can also be used to help educate management teams. If senior leaders sat down to answer the questions in the Criteria’s Preface: Organizational Profile, would they all come up with the same answers? Do all the senior leaders in your organization agree on how your business should run, both now and into the forseeable future?
The senior leaders of a management team can use the Organizational Profile to find out if they agree on the importance of the organization’s product offerings (are they even offering the right products?), for example, or if they agree on their competitive situation, including opportunities for innovation. And a great exercise for any management team is to sit down to ensure that members agree on who are their key customers and what are those customers’ expectations and requirements now and into the future.
The Preface: Organization Profile of the Criteria asks the thoughtful questions regarding an organization’s vision and mission, workforce profile, assets, suppliers and partners, and much more, all in an effort to help U.S. organizations become more competitive (the mission of the Baldrige Program). And the Baldrige Program has even more tools to help those who are new to the Baldrige Criteria.
Is your management team on the same page?