Posted by Jeff Lucas
Well, not exactly, but the Baldrige Regional conferences do showcase our current class of Baldrige winning organizations telling their powerful stories. We recently wrapped up our conference season with the second regional conference in Birmingham, Alabama. The Alabama Productivity Center put on a great event and there were opportunities to hear from from all seven of this year's Award winners, seven previous recipients, and DCH Health System, recipient of the Alabama Quality Award. The description by DCH of the challenges they faced during the April tornado in Tuscaloosa and the way they responded was truly inspiring.
The first regional was two weeks prior in Kanas City, MO. Raina Knox and her staff at the Excellence in Missouri Foundation did an equally splendid job of helping us host. In conjunction with this event, there was a whirlwind of Baldrige community activity taking place: the Baldrige Executive Fellows wrapped up their year-long experience (see Harry Hertz's post here), The Alliance for Performance Excellence(the network of Baldrige-based state and local quality programs) held their annual workshop, and the Baldrige Award Recipients held their annual face-to-face. Somehow everyone still manged to fit in informative plenary and concurrent sessions by Award Winners and eat their fill of ribs.
Attendees at both conferences were treated to Larry Potterfield's views on why America Needs Baldrige. Larry, CEO of MidwayUSA (a 2009 Baldrige Winner) made a compelling case as usual.
If you haven't had a chance to attend one of the Baldrige Regional Conferences, you might want to make a note to yourself to look for the announcements next summer (or you could just sign up for our email alerts and we'd take care of reminding you). They provide an opportunity to hear from Baldrige Award Winners, network with the larger Baldrige community and experience a wide variety of state-based hospitality from our Alliance partners (all without having to travel to DC, although those cherry blossoms sure are pretty in April). Frequently when we talk to eventual Award winning organizations they mention attendance at a regional conference as the spark that got them started on serious implementation of the Baldrige approach.