Posted by Dawn Bailey
In 1987, when the development of a national quality award was assigned to scientists at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS), first Baldrige Program director Curt Reimann had a dilemma.
How do you recruit quality experts from a broad spectrum of industries and ask them to contribute volunteer hours and expertise? And then how do you keep these volunteer experts engaged and willing to share with peers? In the late 1980s, for a technical organization like NBS, such cross-sector teamwork was new–scientists in different disciplines rarely worked across fields with other scientists.
However, the cross-sector sharing was a success. Driven by patriotism and a spirit of continuous improvement and innovation, individual members of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners have worked together, sharing insights, expertise, and best practices from all sectors of the U.S. economy and abroad for more than 26 years.
This elite group of professionals excelling at performance excellence and continuous improvement recently shared the benefits they have derived by serving as a Baldrige examiner; for example,
- “Best post-grad-education and professional development”
- Understanding of an organization at both the big-picture and detail levels
- Knowledge of the core values at the foundation of all high-performing organizations
- Skills to build consensus, balancing varied viewpoints
- Knowledge of when to use ELMO (Enough, Let’s Move On)
- Application of a systematic framework to processes that are often driven by the “seat-of-the-pants”
- Best practices across industries and sectors/benchmarking opportunities
- Evaluation of processes using approach-deployment-learning-integration
- “Continuous refining clarity and focus about performance”
- An extensive network of other examiners for mentoring and sharing
- Resources to create an organizational strategic plan
- Knowledge of ways to improve measurements and deployment
This list continues and continues. Just ask a Baldrige examiner what he or she has personal gained as a professional development and what his or her organization has gained from having a Baldrige examiner among its ranks.
What could you gain as a Baldrige examiner? Interested in finding out? The 2015 Baldrige Examiner Application opens on November 25, 2014.
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