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Intelligent Risks – Opportunities for which the potential gain outweighs the potential harm or loss to your organization’s sustainability if you do not explore them. Taking intelligent risks requires a tolerance for failure and an expectation that innovation is not achieved by initiating only successful endeavors.
Strategic Opportunities – Prospects that arise from outside-the-box thinking, brainstorming, capitalizing on serendipity, research and innovation processes, nonlinear extrapolation of current conditions, and other approaches to imagining a different future. Choosing which strategic opportunities to pursue involves consideration of relative risk, financial and otherwise, and then making intelligent choices (intelligent risks).
This year, NIST added the two terms above to their glossary. These two new terms summarize the changes made to the criteria in a more succinct way than I ever could, but I’ll lay out the differences further below. The purpose of revising the Criteria is “that the Criteria always reflect the leading edge of validated management practice,” inevitably leading to sustainability and success when orchestrated with an organization management program. Some of the more significant changes and their rationale are outlined below
1. The information and decision process for work systems has been incorporated into the strategic planning category.
- Why? Decisions about what should be made or supplied outside the company, core competencies, and how to engage customers are made by senior leaders, and need to be
Loyola University has just announced that their Fall 2013 MBA curriculum will not only follow the Baldrige criteria framework, but also incorporates Six Sigma training and certification. Through partnership with the American Society for Quality (ASQ), Loyola students will have the opportunity to work on real performance improvement projects and project management certifications.
“Six Sigma is a quality improvement methodology that is used by most of the top companies in the country for controlling variation and reducing costs. It’s a highly prized, internationally recognized standard,” said Jerry Goolsby, Ph.D., M.B.A., director of graduate programs for the College of Business.
According to a press release from the University, recent Loyola MBA grads have gone on to work in advanced professional positions at companies like General Electric, General Motors, Symetra, and Shell.
Loyola has been incorporating the Baldrige criteria into their curriculum for the past few years, but have been fine-tuning the coursework along the way. To expose students to the realities of the corporate world, the school offers an Executive Mentor Program for MBA students, which matches a small group of students to a successful area business executive. Shadowing business trips, discussing time management, personal finance, goal setting, and communication skills, as well as networking with the local business community are just some of the benefits students can absorb from this program.
In …6Feb2013 | Joseph A. De Feo | 1 comment | Continued
Whether you’re ready to write your application for the Baldrige Award, or you’re just dabbling in the criteria, creating an organizational profile of your company is the place to begin. It’s like a summary of sorts, and can help you identify your performance gaps at an early stage. If your Baldrige application can be compared to a thesis, your organizational profile is the introduction.
If you’re scratching your head still and asking, “So, where do I start?” like those folks in the Cars.com commercials that inevitably chase a line across the floor to a dealership, you might need someone to point you in the right direction. You’ve come to the right place.
Start at the top. What does your company offer? Hopefully, that’s an easy one to answer. Why is what you’re selling important? If nobody needs or wants it, nobody will buy it. How do you deliver? Obviously, a hospital would answer those questions very differently than a large retail store, so clarity and detail are important. What are your mission and vision for the company? Usually these answers will revolve around the core competencies of your company, or its strengths and areas of greatest expertise. These strengths are what set you apart from your competitors, and are how you fulfill your mission and vision. They should be unique to you …29Jan2013 | Joseph A. De Feo | 0 comments | Continued
Most hospitals face similar challenges as they upgrade their paper-based record systems to electronic medical records (EMRs), and those challenges tend to center around managing change within the organization as the ways and means that information is recorded evolves. Hospitals move very fast, and those that get used to the hectic pace of things aren’t very fond of change as it has the potential to initially create chaos, even if there is a promise of increased simplicity, usability, and accuracy.
Within the Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management section of the Baldrige criteria, applicants are asked how they make needed data and information available to the workforce, suppliers, partners, collaborators, and customers, as appropriate. To address the reluctance that many healthcare organizations have over switching to an electronic system, some EMR vendors have resorted to very interesting tactics in order to woo these potential customers.
Athenahealth is a very popular EMR and data management platform used by hospitals, which has recently made the news for the purchase of Epocrates, a startup whose mobile application provides drug reference advice to healthcare providers. Epocrates pioneered the development of what has been widely recognized as the most popular point-of-care medical application among U.S. physicians, providing vast swaths of data regarding pharmaceutical usage and interaction at the touch of a finger. Together, these two giants will manage data and …24Jan2013 | Joseph A. De Feo | 0 comments | Continued
It’s a new year; time to plan, set goals, and determine where your business is going and how it will excel. Where will you go? What will you do? What will you focus on? Will your company branch out in new directions? How will you keep your customers happy? And what about your employees; where do they fall on the totem pole of prioritization? If your strategy is busting at the seams but lacking clear direction, perhaps it’s time to take a look at the Baldrige criteria.
“When you look at the Baldrige Criteria, what a great road map to say if you can do the things in all these categories and do them well, you’re going to be a well-run company.” – Robert F. Pence, President & CEO Freese and Nichols, Inc., 2010 Baldrige Award recipient
The Baldrige criteria for performance excellence are aimed at increasing the competitiveness of U.S. businesses. Some of the core values that are interspersed throughout the criteria include customer-driven excellence, a focus on the future, operational effectiveness, and managing for innovation. These values are tested throughout the seven criteria items: Leadership; Strategic Planning; Customer Focus; Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management; Workforce Focus; Operations Focus; Results. If you’re new to Baldrige, the Strategic Planning section is a great place to start.
So, your strategic plan is overflowing with initiatives in …11Jan2013 | Joseph A. De Feo | 0 comments | Continued
NIST has released the 2013-2014 Criteria for Performance Excellence! Click here for pricing and download information.
19Dec2012 | Joseph A. De Feo | 0 comments | Continued
Is your organization doing as well as it could? How do you know?
What and how should your organization improve or change?
- reach your goals,
- improve your results, and
- become more competitive by aligning your plans, processes, decisions, people, actions, and results.
“Once and done” is almost always a wasted effort. It is not enough to reach a certain level of quality leadership and plateau. The real goal is to sustain quality leadership performance, to grow as both a company and as a leader, and to always be striving to improve. Rather than a quick sweep, many organizations will use quality awards as an annual or semiannual cycle to assess and improve themselves. These organizations recognize that achieving and sustaining quality leadership is a journey. With the new Baldrige criteria for 2013, NIST has announced if an organization is a recipient of their state’s quality award that they are automatically eligible to apply, so this is particularly relevant information for any companies thinking about applying within the coming years. (Hopefully, there are many, many of them!)
A typical cycle of improvement might consist of the following:
- Assess. This involves a comparison of actual performance to the award’s criteria and scoring guidelines. This can be accomplished through an award application or by some other form of self or third-party assessment. Many consulting firms offer self-assessment opportunities, including mock-Baldrige assessments.
- Plan. This involves evaluating the results of the assessment to identify and prioritize the vital few opportunities for improvement.
- Improve. This involves carrying out improvement projects and activities to close the vital few opportunities for improvement. Continuous improvement