Friday, December 2, 2011

Eyes and Mind Forward

Posted by Harry Hertz, the Baldrige Cheermudgeon

While it is frequently tempting to look in the rear-view mirror and admire where you have been, aside from the function of providing an important piece of an "environmental scan", a driver must face forward and look to the road ahead. The same can be said for organizations and the Baldrige Program is a perfect example.

Recognizing the need for the Program to have greater leverage through partnerships and also the possibility of a shift to no Federal funding, we embarked last year on a strategy mapping activity and completed that strategy map this fall. Now that the possibility has become a reality (with the Baldrige Foundation providing funding for the Program in FY 2012), the strategy map, and the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, serve as guidance documents for us as we now develop a business model and financial plan that do not rely on Government funding.

Here are some of the current activities we are engaged in to ensure the sustainability of the Baldrige Program into the future. We are actively working with our Enterprise partners (the Baldrige Foundation, The Alliance for Performance Excellence, and ASQ) to develop an Enterprise business and financial model that looks at Baldrige processes on an enterprise-wide scale, looking for revenue sources and efficiencies that can be gained. At the same time our internal Enterprise Transition Team, composed of five Baldrige staff members, is working on our own business model, as part of the transition to an Enterprise focus. Included in our planning are some revisions to Award eligibility rules to encourage organizations who are not "Award ready" to apply to their state programs first. We have benchmarked other award programs, various associations, and successful nonprofits; decided on numerous process simplifications and stop-do's to get us the bandwidth to work on the new business model; and are working on revenue generation opportunities and financial models.

There is a lot of very focused planning happening and we are committed to sustainability and agility. I wanted to share this brief update to encourage your ongoing support, your continued application for the Baldrige Award, and to affirm your continued ability to rely on Baldrige products and services. We will be different, but we are here and we will be true to our three strategic thrusts of defining, promoting and recognizing performance excellence,

You should expect specific communications about our plans and changes as we progress. The Baldrige community is a strong and dedicated community! We look forward to a long relationship.

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