By Christine Schaefer
Fifteen organizations recently received site visits as part of the evaluation process for the 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Those finalists had already proven they are relatively high-performing businesses, nonprofits, and education or health care organizations. First, even to establish their eligibility to apply for the Baldrige Award, most of the organizations earned top-tier awards for their performance through regional or state-level Baldrige-based programs. Second, the 15 organizations were selected to receive site visits by the panel of judges in August based on their scores in two earlier phases of the rigorous evaluation process for the annual Baldrige Award.
In early November, the 12 members of the 2016 Judges Panel for the Baldrige Award will meet to review the extensive information and data gathered by the 15 teams of Baldrige examiners who participated in this year’s site visits. Based on their deliberations during the private meeting, the judges will then recommend award recipients to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. The winning organizations will be revealed on November 15, 2016, through a public announcement from the Commerce Department.
For those interested in learning more about the judging process and the judges themselves, following is a list of links to 11 blogs that share exactly what goes on “behind the curtain,” consider the impacts of the awards, and profile individual judges on the 2016 panel.
“A Peek Behind the Curtain”
“What’s So Exciting about the Baldrige Awards”
“Baldrige Award Judges Panel: Interview with New Member Tammy Dye”
“Focus on the 2016 Judges Panel: Major General John C. Harris, Jr.”
“Focus on the  Judges Panel: Dr. Ken Davis”
“Focus on the  Judges Panel: Miriam Kmetzo”
“Focus on the  Judges Panel: Dr. Greg Gibson”
“Focus on the  Judges Panel: Dr. John C. Timmerman”
“Focus on the  Judges Panel: Fonda Vera”
“Focus on the  Judges Panel: Ken Schiller”
“Focus on the  Judges Panel: Michael Dockery”
The 2016 Baldrige Award recipients will be recognized for their achievements next April at an official ceremony in Baltimore, MD. The ceremony, traditionally attended by the President of the United States or a designee, will precede the Baldrige Program’s annual Quest for Excellence® Conference.
At that best-practice-sharing conference, the national role models will share with other organizations in every sector their Baldrige journey stories and their effective processes for addressing leadership, strategic planning, knowledge and data management, and all other categories of the Baldrige Excellence Framework.
Through such teaching and learning, the Baldrige Award recipients named next month will ultimately help strengthen the U.S. economy as a whole. And that is what some of us find most exciting about the Baldrige Awards!