Posted by Dawn Marie Bailey
Recently, a group of just over 50 management consultants who specialize in the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence were surveyed to explore whether there would be interest in formalizing a collaborative group to support the development of the Baldrige Enterprise and contribute to Baldrige success and learning.
According to the survey organizer, Jackie Beede, the interest and passion of those who responded to the survey revealed a lot of excitement.
“The idea is that having an organized group will give these [Baldrige] stakeholders a more focused voice to provide input, information, and offers of help to the Baldrige Enterprise,” she said. “[A group structure] will also provide a much easier method to get information [from the Baldrige Enterprise partners] back to these stakeholders in a common format.”
The Baldrige Enterprise—which comprises the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the Alliance for Performance Excellence, ASQ, and the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award—began to more formally partner last year. Its vision is to enhance the competitiveness, quality, and productivity of organizations in the manufacturing, service, small business, health care, education, and nonprofit sectors through tools, recognitions, assessments, and other programs. The partner programs continue to operate independently but have committed to an integrated focus to share information and resources that carry the Baldrige brand.
Baldrige-based management consultants are key stakeholders for all of the Baldrige Enterprise programs but have not yet had a formal vehicle to share and receive information. Jackie believes this group could be just such a vehicle.
Of the 51 consultants who started a survey that Beede organized on LinkedIn, 47 of them completed it and 5 opted-out of participating. According to Beede, of the remaining 42, all but 2 indicated that there was a need for such a group, and 100% of them wanted to be a part of it.
“This is not just some ordinary group of consultants either,” Beede said. “Between them, they have over 745 years of Baldrige experience—all but four of them have over six years’ experience. They have served at least double that amount of time for Baldrige-based state and sector award [Alliance for Performance Excellence] programs. These individuals all expressed an incredible level of support of the Baldrige Enterprise and a strong desire to help in some way.”
Beede said some of the ways this group could help the Enterprise are to help organizations work with the Baldrige Criteria, serve as ambassadors, and provide input from the applicant as well as from the examiner viewpoint. She said group members also indicated that they would like to help by participating in Enterprise design/implementation teams and by providing an “extra set of hands.”
The collaborative group is currently working on a code of conduct, some level of selection criteria to be considered a Baldrige-based consultant in the group, communication channels, and methods for determining representation approaches.