NZBEF eNews - April 2016
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NZ Business Excellence Foundation News

How Baldrige builds successful organisations

Many organisations have Mission and Vision statements which are lofty and sound impressive.

But the real question is whether everyone understands their meaning and purpose, whether the activities being undertaken are actually focused on moving the organisation towards that Mission and Vision, and whether there is a clear picture of what this will look like when (and if) achieved.

The US Baldrige reviewers last year introduced the concept of a ‘successful organisation’, replacing ‘sustainable’ (the Criteria is reviewed every two years to ensure its currency and rigour). 

A successful organisation is defined as being "...capable of addressing current business needs and, through agility and strategic management, is capable of preparing for its future business, market and operating environment. Achieving future success may require leading transformational changes in the organisation’s structure and culture.  Both external and internal factors should be considered..."

For me the word ‘successful’ goes much further than ‘sustainable’. 

Sustainability implies being able to maintain your position in the marketplace, and can refer to survival rather than growth or innovation.  Success is an open book – and what this looks like will be different for every organisation, no matter what size, type or sector.  

The Criteria is not explicit about what success should look like – that is over to you to decide. But without a clear Mission, Vision and Values which are reflected in your business strategies and business plans, how do you ensure everything you do will lead you to success as you define it?

And, of course, let’s not forget performance measures, ie what have you decided is important to measure and how well are you doing it? And, more importantly, using the information to reflect back into all aspects of your business, particularly your strategic planning. 

The Criteria asks:

  • How do senior leaders’ actions build an organisation that is successful now and in the future? 

How do they:

  • Create an environment for the achievement of your Mission, improvement of organisational performance, performance leadership, organisational learning and learning for people in the workforce?
  • Create a workforce culture that delivers a consistently positive customer experience and fosters customer engagement?
  • Create an environment for innovation and intelligent risk taking, achievement of your strategic objectives and organisational agility?
  • Participate in succession planning and the development of future organisational leaders?

These are challenging questions to answer – and I suspect, for many, the temptation is to focus on the process of strategic planning, rather than the quality of the outcome. 

Strategic planning should not be a compliance exercise – it should be adaptable to the needs of the organisation, responsive to environmental changes and challenges, and be informed by real information from clearly identified performance measures, and accurate reporting including external bench-marking. 

Using an internationally calibrated, proven management framework such as the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence gives an organisation the ability to ask the right questions to achieve world-class best practice.

It separates out ‘what’ you do from ‘how’ you do it and asks you how effective what you are doing actually is...
Please contact the Foundation to find out more about how the Criteria can benefit your organisation – we're always open to a no-obligation coffee meeting. 
Fiona Gavriel
Chief Executive

Help us grow the Business Excellence community

NZBEF is a membership body and our definition of a 'successful organisation' means growing our membership. 

What is apparent to us – and, yes, it might seem simple – is that without some interest or desire to achieve excellence, organisations think they have no reason to join us. 

However, that’s not always correct. All of our members are at varying stages of their Business Excellence journey – some are actively pursuing it, while others are just starting to identify the power of the Criteria to guide their continuous improvement activities. 

None of these approaches are right or wrong – they're just what's suited to the organisation at the time.

It's also clear to me, after two years in this role, that a warm lead is so much better than a cold call – again, not rocket science!

We're focused on growing our membership, and getting the message about Business Excellence and its benefits out into the marketplace to organisations of all types, sizes and in all sectors. 

So… we're seeking your continued support to spread the word in the form of referrals to your colleagues. If you can introduce us, we will do the rest. 

Please feel free to email me on and I will come back to you for further information. Thanks for your support. 

More Business Excellence Foundation Courses planned

We recently held a successful three-day training course in Auckland, taking attendees through the Criteria for Performance Excellence, including how to use it, writing an Organisational Profile, understanding the various Categories and how the scoring works. 

There were some very informed conversations around the table about the principles of ADLI – Approach, Deployment, Learning and Integration – and some honest assessment about how the group were applying this in their own organisations. 

Feedback has been very positive to the new format and we're now in the process of confirming dates for Waikato and other regions.

Out of Auckland, the course will be run over two days with slightly longer hours. If you're interested in attending, please email me.

Our thanks go to Trish MacPherson for putting the course together and very ably presenting it over the three days.

Thanks also to Trish’s employer, Kamo Rest Home and Village Charitable Trust, for their support in giving Trish the time to do this for us.  And thanks to Auckland Council for hosting the course and providing catering etc.

NZBEF brand refresh underway!

NZBEF is updating! The Board has recently signed off a new logo for the Foundation which we will be rolling out over the next few weeks.

This is a refresh of our logo as opposed to a complete re-branding exercise, but the Board is confident the new logo better represents Business Excellence and celebrates the achievement of our members. 

The design represents the success and growth that is achieved from using the New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation.

The triangle in the middle represents strength and growth. One side represents the customer and the other side represents NZBEF.

The two sides joining at the top show that through collaboration comes the ultimate success.

The five stars down the side give the logo a sense of authority and it also act as a functional 'rating system', along with the colour palette.

The logo will be used for our Award trophies in the relevant colour, depending on the level achieved, eg Gold, Silver or Bronze, and Blue for the New Zealand Business Excellence Achievement Award. 
We encourage members to use the logo on their websites to show association with NZBEF, as well as a commitment to the Business Excellence journey. 

Please contact us if you'd like us to send you the new logo.

Don't miss the APQO Conference in Rotorua on 20-23 November

The Asia Pacific Quality Organisation will be holding its annual conference in New Zealand this year. 

The conference is being run by the New Zealand Organisation for Quality and NZBEF is working with them to have a Business Excellence presence, including Fiona Gavriel speaking on ‘The Pursuit of Business Excellence – Why the Benefits Outweigh the Effort'. 

We encourage members to attend this conference, and take advantage of a wide range of international and local speakers. 

Registrations and further information is available at

In addition to the speaker programme is an awards dinner for the Global Performance Excellence Awards. 

These awards are administered by APQO and entry is open to those organisations that have already won a national award in the past few years within the member countries (including Australia, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia and, of course, New Zealand).  

We're pleased to see a New Zealand presence in this year's awards programme.

All the very best for the month ahead.

Fiona Gavriel
Chief Executive
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