This article is contibuted by Norman Christopher, Executive Director at the Grand Valley State University Sustainable Community Development Initiative.
Now that 2013 has arrived and is in full swing, many of our business owners and leaders have probably taken time to pause, reflect, and plan for what the New Year will bring forth. Whatever the original plans, one strategy will remain consistent as businesses move forward and that is the pursuit of excellence in world class operations.
One of the highest standards that an organization can strive for is the Baldridge Criteria for Performance Excellence. The Baldridge model addresses 10 steps in their overall process including:
- Leading the transformation with management that is committed to excellence through planning, communicating, measuring, and discussing the required change.
- Developing management system experts and change agents that have the required external and internal needed areas of expertise.
- Promoting a desire to learn within the organization with a willingness to challenge the status quo and reward individuals for taking responsibility and improving performance.
- Requiring process and systems thinking throughout the organization to address systemic problems and implement sustainable progress and overall change.
- Benchmarking the best in class companies and organizations including key processes and performance measurements.
- Assessing and applying the best practices that work and demonstrating overall improved performance by first starting with an in-depth self-assessment to prioritize overall activities.
- Demanding continuous improvement through the use of data and information that recognizes and rewards opportunities.
- Aligning the change and work flow within the organization’s strategic plan and integrating required resources to achieve optimal results and overall performance.
- Establishing innovation and creativity as part of the organizational culture through the implementation of disruptive and breakthrough approaches in critical success areas.
- Sustaining the efficiencies, gains, and value creation by identifying the steps to true sustainability within your organization and ensuring the leverage of core competencies.
The Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence empower your organization—no matter the size or industry—to reach your goals, improve results, and become more competitive by aligning your plans, processes, decisions, people, actions, and results. The Criteria give you the tools you need to examine all parts of your management system and improve processes and results while keeping the whole organization in mind. Visit www.nist.gov/baldrige/ to find out more about the performance excellence framework and how you can apply the criteria to your business today.