It’s Our Anniversary! 25 Reasons to Celebrate

Posted by Christine Schaefer

Twenty five years ago today—on August 20, 1987—Congress passed Public Law 100-107, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Improvement Act of 1987. This legislation set the foundation for the Baldrige Award and Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. The charge was to identify and recognize role-model U.S. businesses, establish criteria for evaluating their improvement efforts, and disseminate and share their best practices. The aim was to help U.S. organizations, particularly manufacturers, improve their performance and competitiveness relative to others around the world, in order to benefit the nation’s economy.

As former President Ronald Reagan wrote that year:

The [Baldrige] Award salutes companies that improve the qualities of their goods and services, thus enhancing productivity, lowering costs, and increasing profitability. . . . They are the engines of growth, jobs, and prosperity in any society, along with the good management and attention to quality and customer needs that the [Baldrige] Award will promote.

The 25th anniversary of the founding of the Baldrige Award—which we are celebrating all year, culminating at the 25th annual Quest for Excellence® conference next April in Baltimore—is certainly not a private affair. Whether you work in the business, health care, education, or nonprofit sectors today, if you are a U.S. organization or citizen, you have plenty of good reasons to celebrate this anniversary as benefitting you. In fact, here are 25 ways that Congress’s establishing the Baldrige Award 25 years ago has added value to the U.S. economy:

  1. Jobs created
  2. Lives saved
  3. Increased sales,profits, and market share
  4. Rising reading and mathematics proficiency
  5. Benefit-to-cost ratio of 820-to-1
  6. Demonstrated return on investment
  7. Cross-sector learning
  8. Best-practice sharing
  9. Large number of corporations, associations, and government programs basing internal assessments on Baldrige
  10. Essential core values to world-class organizations
  11. Systems perspective leading to maximized systems so more resources can be spent on saving lives, helping students learn, and generating sales or revenue
  12. Continuous improvement and learning
  13. National role models
  14. Tremendous time and resources donated by volunteer sector experts
  15. Increased customer satisfaction and engagement
  16. Proven improvement and innovation framework
  17. Value-added, cost-effective business assessments and feedback
  18. Self-assessments
  19. Focus on quality, innovation, and excellence
  20. Improved cycle time (see page 24 of Baldrige 20/20)
  21. Alignment of resources and processes that drive results
  22. Regional consortiums and communities
  23. Better ability to face health care reform
  24. Workforce satisfaction and engagement
  25. Outreach and education

How might you and your organization celebrate all this value? An obvious way is to take advantage of the Baldrige Program’s many tools for improving your organization’s performance. We also invite you to attend the 25th Anniversary Quest for Excellence conference in Baltimore, April 7-10, 2013; stay tuned for more details. Check out the letters of congratulations the Baldrige Program has received from U.S. and international organizations and leaders. And happy anniversary to us all!

The Baldrige flag is raised along with the U.S. flag outside NIST on August 20, 2012.

The Baldrige flag and U.S. flag fly at NIST on August 20, 2012.


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4 Responses to It’s Our Anniversary! 25 Reasons to Celebrate

  1. Dean Bondhus says:

    Happy Anniversary Baldrige.
    To the best enterprise performance improvement collaboration of all time!

  2. Greg Stewart from NexGen Management says:

    A great accomplishment …. The need for continuous improvement that programs like Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, Lean Manufacturing, ISO, and Six Sigma are critical for a firms success and Baldrige has provided support tools for organizations of all sizes for over 25 years to measure the business against other similar organizations and get objective feedback and recommendations to improve their business – WELL DONE!!!

  3. Brian Lassiter says:

    Congratulations on the 25th anniversary milestone, Baldrige! And here’s to the next 25 years of advancing performance excellence within our businesses, our schools, our hospitals, our nonprofits, and our communities!

    Brian Lassiter, president, Performance Excellence Network (MN state program) and
    Chair, Alliance for Performance Excellence (consortium of state quality programs)

  4. Ravi says:

    Congratulations on the 25th anniversary milestone, Baldrige
    Keep growing & Helping Businesses

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