What’s the difference between a Baldrige feedback report and other kinds of performance evaluations? (Sorry, no punch line is coming!) One answer is that the feedback report will not prescribe specific fixes for identified areas in need of improvement. Baldrige feedback comments are designed to help an organization understand where it has robust processes and promising results that are helping it achieve excellence and where its approaches and results are not in alignment with or meeting its own identified needs and aims. But the classroom training and written guidelines that the Baldrige Program gives the sector experts (examiners) who produce feedback reports prohibit prescriptiveness. This ban may not be easy for everyone to appreciate at first, particularly those used to consultations that recommend specific actions to remedy problems.
So why don’t Baldrige feedback reports tell organizations exactly what to do to improve their performance?