Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Blogging the Sterling :: Proven practices from last year's recipients of the Sterling Award

Last year's recipients of the Sterling had a chance to speak today to pass along some wise counsel.

Last year's recipients:Here's a few things I picked up listening to their presentations:

Why pursue a Baldrige-based award? To raise expectations, to improve the organization, to get better individually and organizationally.

Sometimes, the work that appears after receiving the feedback report is way more than all the work done prior to the assessment/examination.

The enemy of being great is being good. Being good can lead to complacency, and complacency leads to mediocrity.

Success starts with a linking a strategic plan to results. Every manager needs to be "graded" against the scorecard's results. Organizations must link the strategic plan with accountability and results. No more ready, aim, quit for the strategic planning process; success is a simplified planning process that can be summarized on one page. There must be a regular accountability system to ensure progress toward defined excellence.

In addition, with the strategic plan and the associated and supporting metrics, there must be complete transparency of information and data. All data must be current and available to everyone in the organization. This available and transparent data helps keep the organization focused on the path and provides one version of the truth with information.

Stretch goals are key performance indicators and are necessary for organizational excellence.

The Criteria's robust model ensures that organizations do more than sustain performance levels, but actually increase.

Bringing in outside examiners or assessors to provide feedback is key in sustaining organizational progress. That external view is paramount.

Having a vision of the future is also critical. The vision must be specific, compelling, and a stretch. The vision to create change is necessary; a worthy vision leads by itself and creates a spontaneous desire which serves as a key driver. That spontaneous desire must be managed, and the tool which allows for management is the Criteria for Performance Excellence.

To move an organization, leaders must focus on the top priorities. Determining the most important outcomes and then focusing on those outcomes helps move an organization toward sustained organizational excellence. No more than 6-8 priorities and aligned systems with the defined outcomes.

Success with a Baldrige-based award program has led other business units to help in their own pursuits of excellence.

Sustainment of the implementation of Baldrige-based organizational leadership and management can not occur if this organizational initiative is limited to some QA department.

The Criteria is comprehensive in nature and provided the answer to many issues with regard to problems with audits, compliance, and customer satisfaction.

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