NZBEF eNews - January 2016
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NZ Business Excellence Foundation News

Welcome to 2016 – a New Year of challenge and opportunity

The key question I encourage us all to consider as the year gets underway is existential – how do we turn strategy into action and goals into achievements? How do we turn a fluid idea into a fixed reality?

We must all find our own pathway, one that suits our own unique organisations and organisational cultures, but there are a number of reference points around which the pursuit of Business Excellence can triangulate.

  1. Culture comes first – Organisations must undertake their journey by building a culture supportive of change, excellence, innovation and responsibility first. Perfectly designed systems and processes will not function in a working environment that circumvents or misapplies them
  2. Set and maintain the new standards – Initially, this is more difficult but, as the culture embeds, it becomes the implicit guardian of the new standard
  3. Be pragmatic – Research, read and experience the systems, then adopt and adapt them for the organisational purpose. Design processes from the desired outcome and work backwards through the flowchart, ensuring that the process will deliver that specific outcome. Set rules for process development, eg the process must align with organisation’s values, it must comply with contractual, legislative and regulatory requirements, it must be lean, controls must be embedded and it must be customer focused
  4. Lead from the front – Build competency around the Criteria for Performance Excellence as designed by the Business Excellence Foundation. The talent should be built with more than sufficient numbers of key influencers within the organisation to create and sustain a critical mass for changed thinking. Early investment in training and the rationale is important to both recruit support and stifle the opportunities for naysayers to fill the vacuum. Senior leaders must be actively engaged – quality can’t be driven from the middle of the org chart
  5. Be honest (about your strengths and weaknesses) – Identify organisational strengths and opportunities, and explore how you can leverage these to achieve your clearly stated aims. Similarly, pick your weaknesses and explain how the model will affect these
  6. Communicate, communicate, communicate – Fill the vacuum with facts on the rationale, progress to date and future tasks, how the risks are being addressed and who’s responsible for doing what
  7. Be systematic – Set up a system within your organisation so that your trained talent can begin to systematically address the Performance Excellence requirements and communicate progress in these areas. Be prepared to challenge historical models where the original designer is reluctant to entertain change. Remember that sacred cows make the best hamburgers. It's unlikely that all your current systems are world class
  8. Take the wins where you find them – Reward success quickly and in an appropriate forum
  9. Turn data into insight – Find early ways to measure the effectiveness of your organisation's key processes or factors. Build your processes so that measurement of effectiveness and the ability to track performance is designed in – you can’t manage what you can’t measure...

Best wishes for the year ahead and I look forward to celebrating more milestones on our collective journey towards organisational excellence.

Brett Marsh – Board Chair
New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation

EOIs sought for 2016 Business Excellence Awards programmes

The New Zealand Business Excellence Awards are the only awards in New Zealand which are fully calibrated to the US Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence. This ensures a very rigorous evaluation process is followed making these New Zealand's preeminent business awards.

For those organisations not quite ready to be assessed against the full Criteria we also offer the New Zealand Business Achievement Awards. These Awards follow the same rigorous four-stage team evaluation process, but against an abridged Criteria.

Expressions of Interest are invited from NZBEF Members to enter the 2016 programme.

Further information can be found on our website at or please contact us on or call (09) 489 8791.

For those Members applying this year, please complete the EOI form linked below and return it to us by Monday 22 February 2016.

Business Excellence 'Category' Awards now available

We're now offering the option of testing your organisation against just one of the criteria categories as an introduction to the Awards process. 

If your organisation is just starting out on the journey, you may prefer to be measured against one or two aspects of your business which you believe are well on the way to excellence. So put it to the test and apply for an NZBEF Category Award.

In 2016, you have the option of applying for the Customer-focused Excellence Award, Workforce Excellence Award or Operational Excellence Award

The category awards are non-competitive so, just like the Business Excellence and Business Achievement Awards, you're only competing with the Criteria. 

You'll still receive a team-based evaluation and site visit, and you will get that all-important actionable feedback at the end of the process!

Expressions of Interest are invited from NZBEF Members to enter these category awards.

Further information can be found on our website at or please contact us on or call (09) 489 8791.

For those Members applying this year please complete the attached EOI form and return it to us by Monday 22 February 2016.  

Call for Evaluators for the 2016 Awards Programme

The NZBEF Awards Programme is reliant on the dedicated and professional volunteer services of the National Evaluator Panel. 

Becoming a National Evaluator is a one-of-a-kind professional development opportunity and the chance to make a meaningful contribution to organisational improvement and 'New Zealand Inc'.  

The Foundation’s goal is to ensure a broad representation from organisation in all sectors and each year managers, leaders and professionals from a wide range of New Zealand business, health care and non-profit organisations are chosen to become NZBEF National Evaluators.  

If you have management and/or organisational performance management experience and the ability to analyse and synthesise information, then we want to hear from you. 

While you're giving of your time and expertise, you''ll have the opportunity to review an organisation in-depth, to learn how others apply the Criteria and develop skills and knowledge to take back to your employer.  

If you're interested in volunteering as an evaluator, please contact us and we'll send you a copy of the 'Evaluator information booklet' and application form.

For those thinking of applying, evaluator training will be held in Auckland on Wed-Fri 25-27 May, so please diary those dates now. This training is complimentary to all participating in our evaluation teams.

Next 'Foundation Course' in Auckland – 18-19 and 24-25 February

The Business Excellence Foundation course is underpinned by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, and is designed to introduce the principles of the Criteria, while enabling attendees to identify how well they are applying 'excellence' in their organisation.

This programme is a fully interactive forum, developed by leading Business Excellence consultants, to give you a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of how to implement a business improvement programme in your company/organisation based on the seven categories of the Criteria for Performance Excellence.

Bookings are now open for the next course in Auckland starting in mid-February.

Places are limited so book online at, or contact us on or (09) 489 8791.

Editorial: Good to Great

By Jim Scott

I’ve been reading some quotes from the book Good to Great by Jim Collins.

One quote “...the enemy of Great is Good...” refers to the difficulty 'Good' organisations have in deciding if implementing the effort to be 'Great' is worthwhile. This had me thinking of the questions asked and evidence I have found in assessing organisations against the Criteria for Performance Excellence (Baldrige Criteria).

How many businesses (and size does not matter) identify a longer term objective to be recognised as 'Great' an how many are happy to settle for and maintain recognition as 'Good' and do they even know if they are Good or Great?  “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness it turns out, is largely a matter of Conscious choice and discipline.”

So what does Great look like? Great suggests, better than everybody else in their field of business, so have they thought of what they would need to measure and information they would need to gather to prove they were better than the rest.

The Results category of the Criteria asks how the performance of your organisation compares with that of competitors and other high performing organisations in a similar activity.

The Results category is worth 450 points out of 1000 in an assessment. Separating out the Good organisations from the Great organisations is most often provided by the Results scores allocated in this category.

Those businesses which enter the NZBEF awards and are assessed at Gold level have provided evidence in their Results, and can justifiably call themselves Great. But you don't have to enter the Awards, you just have to apply and assess your organisation against the Criteria. Winning an NZBEF Award allows you to publicise the fact.  

A Blogrige communication on the US health industry identified that hospitals using the Baldrige Criteria demonstrated:

  • Faster five-year performance improvement than their peers
  • That 83% of these hospitals were more likely to listed in the Top 100 Hospitals
  • That hospitals using Baldrige out performed non-Baldrige hospitals on six out of seven, 100 Top Hospital measures

So, better than the rest at what?

The Criteria Results category considers five key areas:

  1. Products and process (customer-focused product and process results, work-process effectiveness results, supply chain results)
  2. Customer (satisfaction and engagement)
  3. Workforce (capability, capacity, climate, engagement and development)
  4. Leadership and governance (leadership, governance, law and regulation, ethics and society, strategy implementation)
  5. Finance and Markets (financial performance and marketplace performance)

So what do Great results look like?

  1. Your levels of performance are better than your planned targets
  2. Your performance trends over time are sustained, and positive
  3. Your performance compares favourably with the industry leader or is the industry best
  4. Your performance results are integrated, eg customers are pleased with product quality, innovation and process effectiveness. They are engaged with the organisations products, governance, law and regulation compliance, ethics and contribution to society. The workforce capability, capacity, climate, engagement and development ensure product quality and innovation. Effective processes, ensure internal alignment of activities and product delivery. This all contributes to financial and market performance and a successfully developed and implemented strategy

The Results scores are a reflection of the success of the other Criteria categories of:

  • Leadership
  • Strategic Planning
  • Customer Focus
  • Measurement Analysis and Knowledge Management
  • Workforce
  • Operations

An assessment of your organisation against the Criteria for Performance Excellence is a method to identify if your organisation is 'Good' or 'Great'.

From the Business Performance Improvement Resource (BPIR)

Harnessing the power of workforce engagement

An employee suggestion scheme—also known as an idea programme—is a mechanism used by organisations to harvest employee ideas with the objective of improving and growing their business.
People are the only source of creativity, innovation and improvement, so harnessing their talents is vital to an organisation’s success and growth.

A well-designed suggestion scheme can save money, and improve and streamline processes. A suggestion scheme can also help improve the working environment within an organisation. It can create a platform through which employees might be given the recognition and rewards they deserve.

From the Baldrige Foundation

What Do CEOs and Human Resource People Have in Common?

The Human Capital Institute recently published the results of their member survey of top priorities for 2016. The top five priorities are:

  1. Employee engagement
  2. Succession planning
  3. Manager as coach/coaching culture
  4. Performance management
  5. Workforce planning

I was curious how this list related to the nine focus areas for CEOs and other senior executives that I gleaned from five recent studies of CEO issues as we approach 2016.

The CEO’s list had the following three overlap areas:

  1. Workforce Strategies
  2. Collaboration
  3. Ethics

From the Baldrige Foundation

Life-changing bench-marking: How does your organsation compare?

Executives who have applied the Baldrige Criteria to their own work and used Baldrige feedback reports for assessment and planning have often spoken about how new insights led them to continuous improvement and the very beneficial results achieved both…

From the Baldrige Foundation

How the Baldrige Foundation’s Chair has used the Framework to support business success

In an interview for Blogrige, Benson shared examples of several ways that corporate directors can benefit from using the Baldrige Excellence Framework (which includes the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence) today.

In doing so, he also shared the story behind an award he recently received for guiding and improving a company’s leadership succession process while he served as the lead director of its board...

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