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Thanks for the feedback report …. Now What?. A feedback report represents an opportunity to:. Role model a “systematic approach” for analysis Celebrate (and build upon) strengths Improve the organization Improve the next application Enhance alignment Foster “frank, two-way communication”

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A feedback report represents an opportunity to
A feedback report represents an opportunity to:

  • Role model a “systematic approach” for analysis

  • Celebrate (and build upon) strengths

  • Improve the organization

  • Improve the next application

  • Enhance alignment

  • Foster “frank, two-way communication”

  • Establish priorities for improvement

However …

  • Common responses to the feedback include:

    • Defensiveness

    • Denial / Overwhelmed

    • Defeat / Confusion


  • The ANALYST: “What sector were those examiners from anyway? Obviously, they didn’t understand our organization.”

  • The DETECTIVE: “Where did they find that in the application?”

  • Favorite responses:

    • We’re not really like this.

    • We used to be this way, but we changed between when we submitted the application and now.

Denial overwhelmed
Denial / Overwhelmed

  • The HERO: “You have confirmed what we always knew: Our company is the greatest! Just look at all of these strength comments!

  • The BUSY Executive: “No time for this – We’ve got more important things to do!!”

  • Favorite responses:

    • The comments about our strengths are accurate, but not the comments about our weaknesses.

    • What do they mean “not deployed”? We sent out an email to everyone the week before the site visit!!!

    • I think two data points make a trend – we’re better now than the last time we measured.

    • Nobody is perfect – we’ll put this on the agenda later.

Defeat confusion
Defeat / Confusion

  • The DELEGATOR: “We’ll just let the writing team fix it.”

  • The PROCRASTINATOR: “I’m not sure where to begin, so I’ll file it for now and deal with it later.”

  • Favorite responses:

    • The examiner team didn’t really get to know the company that well.

    • Nobody could really answer ALL of those questions.

    • Pssst … I heard that most companies score low.

    • I’m not really sure what some of these comments even really mean!

Conscious competence model
Conscious Competence Model



How good you feel


How much you know

It really is progress
It really IS progress

  • Cycles of improvement through the self-assessment process of writing the application

  • Increased knowledge in the organization about this “journey toward performance excellence”

  • Increased knowledge in the organization about the Baldrige criteria

  • Cycles of improvement from feedback analysis and response

What did they really mean
What did they really mean?

  • Understanding the examiners’ language will help

  • Many terms and phrases have somewhat different meanings in “Baldrige-speak”

    • Advantages & Challenges

    • Aligned

    • Anecdotal

    • Approach, Deployment

    • Early stages

    • Innovation

    • Integrated

    • Performance Projections

    • Systematic

    • Well deployed

    • “While” and “Although”

  • Key resources: Glossary & Scoring Guidelines

There is opportunity in almost every comment
There is opportunity in (almost) every comment

Analyze each comment


+ or - ?






Opportunity for reward, recognition, celebration


Application OFI?



Create action plan to address




Agree with an identified strength
Agree with an identified strength?

  • Celebrate it

  • Keep it in the application for next year

  • Strengthen it even more

  • Capture the cycles of improvement

  • Continue to evaluate and document related results

Disagree with an identified strength
Disagree with an identified strength?

  • Self-identified OFI

  • Take the “hint” and run with it

    • Presume that “benefit of the doubt” was given in the examination process

    • Perhaps the examiners found a strength you didn’t know you had – check it out!

    • Create an action plan – what can you do to make it a “real” strength?

    • Or, … ignore it

Agree with an identified ofi
Agree with an identified OFI?

  • Create an action plan

  • Benchmark with other organizations

    • All Baldrige recipient applications are posted online

    • Similar organizations

    • Dissimilar organizations, similar processes

  • Keep documentation to show “cycles of learning and improvement” in the next application

Disagree with an identified ofi
Disagree with an identified OFI?

  • Consider how you can ensure that the next examiners understand your “it’s really not-an-OFI” perspective

    • In the application

    • At site visit

  • Consider whether they may indeed be correct – an approach that you have is not fully deployed, so they didn’t see it – need an action plan

    • Or, … ignore it

Why almost every comment
Why “almost” every comment?

  • Some are prescriptive

    • Embrace it anyway?

    • Dismiss as taking action will not add sufficient value to the organization

  • Some are invalid, and not necessary to address

    • Remember, examiners are human, occasionally have OFIs themselves

    • They don’t know your business as well as you do

  • Shouldn’t be very many comments “ignored”

Most routes lead toward action planning
Most routes lead toward action planning

Analyze each comment


+ or - ?




Opportunity for reward, recognition, celebration


Application OFI?



Create action plan to address




Action planning
Action Planning


Identify Opportunity for Improvement

Identify Stakeholders

Draft and Document Action Plan

Evaluate for S.M.A.R.T.E.R.

Deploy / Implement According to Timeframe


Measure / Monitor Effectiveness of

Activities, and Impact of Results


Execute and Review All Continuously




Identify and Implement Lessons Learned

Identify and Implement Lessons Learned


Continue Progress According to Plan

Revise Action Plan

A word about action plans
A word about action plans…

  • “SMART” is good … “SMARTER” is better!

  • The most effective action plans are:

    • Specific

    • Measurable

    • Aligned

    • Realistic

    • Time-bound

    • Evaluated

    • Reviewed

Specific action verbs
Specific – Action Verbs

Probably result in task accomplishment

  • Increase

  • Decrease

  • Design

  • Redesign

  • Eliminate

  • Deliver

  • Implement

May not be as helpful

  • Explore

  • Consider

  • Seek

  • Study

  • Investigate

  • Research

  • Discuss

  • Obtain

  • Reduce

  • Identify

  • Analyze

  • Review

  • Examine

  • Determine

It s in how you evaluate what you measure that matters
It's in how you evaluate what you measure that matters

It's not just measuring things that are important

It's not just making sure that you have accurate measurements


  • Accomplishment of the specific actions must logically lead to attainment of strategic goals

    • Balance the needs of all stakeholders

    • Support our objectives & goals

    • Creates conditions for our success

    • Consider the impact on:

    • Other processes – one “solution” may have an adverse response on another process

    • Other people – who else does your solution effect?

    • All key stakeholders – do they know what you are doing?

    • “Nice” to do vs. “Need” to do?

Optimization of all sub-processes does not equal system optimization!!

Look familiar
Look Familiar?

  • Good thing this never happens here …


  • Benchmarking – How are others doing it?

  • Comparison data – How well are others doing it?

  • Competitor information – How well are “they” doing?

  • Establish goals or targets that are reasonable, but will make us have to improve / innovate to achieve

  • Determine how to address gaps between goal and actual performance / projected performance

  • Law of diminishing returns is in effect – not all improvements are worth pursuing

Time bound

  • Short-term planning horizon

  • Near-term planning horizon

  • Longer-term planning horizon

  • Long-term planning horizon

  • “We’ll get to it when we get to it”

Synonymous with “probably not going to happen any time soon … if at all”


  • “Measured / Monitored” means we need a process to keep track of the plan’s progress

    • Collect the data

    • Analyze the data

    • Convert the data into information

    • Use the information to:

      • Support decision making

      • Communicate with stakeholders

      • Build excitement

      • Generate ideas for further improvement



  • “Hawthorne Effect” – what is measured “moves” in the desired direction

  • “Review Effect” – what is reviewed by senior leaders moves even further in the desired direction

    • Venue for reporting

    • How often?

    • Who will be looking at the results? (Who’s going to call if the results aren’t looking so good?)

      • Identification and sharing of best practices

  • Implications for accountability

    • Accomplish the plan

    • Drive improvements

    • Decision regarding changes to planning

    • Additional resources needed?

Where do we begin
Where do we begin?

Difficulty to address

Next priority

First priority = Easy Wins

Importance to the organization

Team growth & development

Benchmark information available

Key Themes

“Not really”OFIs

Low hanging fruit

Tackle the easy wins
Tackle the “easy wins”

First priority

  • Anything important to the organization, … and not too difficult to address

  • Get to something of importance quickly

  • Shows that you regard the feedback report to be valuable to the organization

  • Emphasizes that the major purpose of the assessment was to improve the organization

  • Reinforces a “learning organization” culture

  • Helps everyone get past feelings of defensiveness, to excitement about reaching the next level

Build on the momentum
Build on the momentum

Next priority

  • Projects, plans, and processes that are more difficult to address, but are of high value to the organization

  • Usually those that require a greater degree of change and / or involve more people - resources

  • Role model “we can do this…together” attitude and behavior

  • Involve SLT as champion / coach

Decide how far to go
Decide how far to go


Maybe, Maybe Not

  • Some items may not be difficult to address, but also not very important to the organization

  • Determine the costs and benefits considering the needs of all stakeholders

    • Are they important issues to one of your “segments”?

    • Is it a “pet project” for someone?

    • Would some individual or work unit perform better or feel more valued if it was addressed?

Feel compelled to address everything
Feel compelled to address everything?

Don’t bother!

  • Opportunities for improvement which would add little value, and would not be easy to accomplish

  • These will distract your attention from high priority items

  • People will feel that they are accomplishing only “busy work,” or just doing it for the award

  • You will have a different examiner team next year – they may not see the same picture

What are your questions

What are Your Questions?

[email protected]

Denise Haynes


Doug Serrano


Online search of management by
Online Search of “Management by …”

  • … Exception

  • … Objectives

  • … Walking Around

  • … Wandering Around

  • … Intimidation

  • … et al.

The evolution of the management by journey
The Evolution of the “Management by …” Journey




MBWT vs.





Management by exception
Management by Exception

  • First described by Lewin, Lippitt, and White in 1938 along with the autocratic leadership and democratic leadership styles

  • Managers intervene only when their people fail to meet their performance standards

  • Managers stay out of the way of improvements that the employees generate. If personnel are performing asexpected, the manager will take no action.

  • Major advantage: Empowerment of the employees

  • Major disadvantage: Effective only in limited circumstances

Management by objectives
Management by Objectives

  • First popularized by Peter Drucker’s 1954 book – 'The Practice of Management'

  • Still commonly used

  • Integrated management system with planning as its dominant function

  • Aim: increase performance by aligning organizational goals and subordinate objectives – central focus is the cascading of objectives from the organizational level to individual levels

  • Intermittently replaced and sometimes simply exchanged with Management by Objectives and Results

"It's just another tool. It is not the great cure for management inefficiency ... Management by Objectives works if you know the objectives; 90% of the time you don't." -Drucker

Management by objectives1
Management by Objectives

  • Advantages:

    • Objectives can be set in all domains of activities and for various levels of the organization; relatively ease to use; widespread acceptability, and longevity in usage

  • Disadvantages:

    • Short-term and narrow focus on bottom-line results can become a major facet of its use

    • Possibility that the pressures resulting from strict adherence “… could be counterproductive and contribute to a climate that may lead to distortion of the system, manipulation of accounting figures, and, ultimately, unethical behavior.”

      (2004 Management Accounting Quarterly)

Management by wandering around
Management by Wandering Around

  • Developed by executives at Hewlett-Packard in the mid-20th century

  • Popularized by Tom Peters in the early 1980s in his book with Bob Waterman, “In Search of Excellence”

  • Other derivatives include:

    • MBWAWAP (Without a Purpose)

    • MBWA&L (and Listening)

Management by wandering around1
Management by Wandering Around

  • Advantages:

    • Executives get out of the office to build relationships, motivate, and keep in direct touch with the activities of the workforce

    • Reflects commitment to keep up to date with individuals and activities through impromptu discussions, "coffee talks," communication lunches, etc.

    • Creates opportunities for “frank, two-way communications”

  • Disadvantages:

    • Depending upon the organizational culture, some employees may suspect MBWA is just an excuse for managers to spy and interfere with their work

    • Suspicion may be heightened if MBWA is implemented during a high-stress time for the organization

Management by intimidation
Management by Intimidation

  • Managing people based on fear

  • In direct opposition to Deming’s 8th point of management to “Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company ” – enabling employees to feel secure enough to express their ideas and ask questions

  • Has most significant deleterious effect on the morale of employees

  • Most organizations have some managers or leaders who use MBI approaches

  • Advantages: None known

  • Disadvantages: Myriad

Management by wishful thinking
Management by Wishful Thinking

  • MBWT – Also known as “ostrich syndrome”

  • Toxic form of management

  • No known “how to” books, but is recognized as not particularly uncommon, and something to be avoided

  • Demonstrated in organizations where:

    • Plans are developed in the absence of a planning process

    • Meetings are held to generate enthusiasm

    • Managers retreat to bury their heads in the sand (or the other work that they have) and hope that the organization will be successful

  • Frequently associated with “get rich quick” fads

  • Advantages: None known

  • Disadvantages: Myriad

Management by fact
Management by Fact

  • One of Deming’s guiding principles whereby all employees collect data about the work they perform, and use that information to make decisions affecting their work

  • One of the “Core Values and Concepts” of Baldrige

    • Customer, product, and process performance measures

    • Comparisons of operational, market, and competitor performance

    • Supplier, workforce, partner, cost, and financial performance

    • Governance and compliance outcomes

  • Depends upon analysis – extracting larger meaning from data and information to support evaluation, decision making, improvement, and innovation

  • Requires segmentation of data (e.g., markets, product lines, and workforce groups) to facilitate analysis

Management by fact1
Management by Fact

  • Advantages:

    • Supports decision making in a changing environment

    • Supports more viable strategic planning

    • Supports more accurate review of performance

    • Supports efficient improvement of processes

    • Supports accomplishing change management

    • Supports comparing performance with competitors’ or with “best practices” benchmarks

  • Disadvantages:

    • Requires agile measurement system

    • Requires resistance to making decisions “on the fly”

    • Requires patience and diligence

Management by asking really good questions1
Management By Asking Really Good Questions

  • Advantages:

    • Holistic approach to organizational improvement

    • Leading edge of validated management practices

    • The focus is on results, not on procedures, tools, or organizational structure

    • Really Good Questions

  • Disadvantages:

    • It is not easy

    • Not a “How to” book

    • There are no “Answers”

    • Not a quick fix

    • It takes time, patience, & “stick-to-itiveness”

Why does mbargq work
Why does MBARGQ work?

  • Compels us to maintain a comprehensive strategic focus on overall organizational competitiveness and sustainability

  • It examines and evaluates our key processes

    • “Linked activities with the purpose of producing a product or service for a customer (user) within or outside the organization”

    • Generally, processes involve combinations of people, machines, tools, techniques, materials, and improvements in a defined series of steps or actions

  • And through examination and evaluation, … it compels us to improve

I see the Baldrige process as a powerful set of mechanisms for disciplined people engaged in disciplined thought and taking disciplined action to create great organizations that produce exceptional results. —Jim Collins, author of Good to Great

So you just might ask
So … you just might ask …


How can i use the criteria to best help my organization
How can I use the criteriato best help my organization?

  • Read / understand the key terms and questions, and how they interrelate; use them as part of your language

    • Is this a systematic approach? Is it well-deployed?

  • Think of the organization “as a whole”

    • Rarely does optimization of individual processes / departments optimize the system / organization

  • Be on the lookout for opportunities for improvement

    • Understand and coach others that an “opportunity for improvement” is not a criticism of the status quo

  • Be prepared to “question-drop” at appropriate times

Become an examiner!

Question dropping can help
“Question-dropping” can help … !

  • Focus our thinking and our efforts

  • Empower people to think

  • Clarify what’s important

  • Highlight the strengths

  • Identify best practices

  • Discover opportunities for improvement

  • Create the conditions for innovation

  • Encourage two-way communications

Some Really good questions you won’t find in the criteriaTo give you a “jump start” on asking really good questions

Key questions for key systems
Key questions for Key “systems”

  • Leadership

  • Communication

  • Strategic Planning

  • Action Planning

  • Customer Relationship Management

  • Performance Measurement, Analysis, & Review

  • Knowledge Management

  • Workforce Engagement, Development, & Management

  • Process Management & Improvement

  • Disaster & Emergency Preparedness


  • Who are all of the stakeholders in this decision we need to make, or in this process we are about to change?

  • What are the stakeholders’ requirements and expectations in this process (especially the customers)?

  • How will we role model or “live” our Mission, Vision, and Values?

  • How will we recognize and reward the behaviors we want to encourage, and hold people accountable for organizational results?

How do we know?


  • Who needs to know what, by when, and to what degree of detail?

  • How will we communicate this information to them?

    • Different mechanisms for different groups?

    • Is “one-way” communication sufficient, or do we need “two-way” mechanisms?

  • How will we assess the effectiveness of the communication to ensure that we didn’t just broadcast a message?

  • Best Practices?

    Strategic planning
    Strategic Planning

    • What are the challenges and advantages we face, both now, and in the foreseeable future?

    • What are our critical success factors?

      • Does our plan address them all?

    • Will the achievement of our strategic objectives and goals logically lead to the attainment of our vision?

    • Is our plan too broad / too narrow / just right?

      • Do we have the right priorities?

    How do we know?

    Action planning1
    Action Planning

    • Do our objectives and goals have “SMARTER” action plans?

      • Specific

      • Measurable

      • Aligned

      • Realistic

      • Time-bound

      • Evaluated

      • Reviewed

    • Do all of our organizational objectives / goals have action plan support?

    Best Practices?

    Customer relationship management
    Customer Relationship Management

    • Do our customers know all that we have to offer them?

    • Why would / should / do they go anywhere else?

    • Do we know their requirements and expectations?

    • How can we meet all of their requirements and exceed their expectations?

    • How do we recover their loyalty if we let them down?

    • Are they really “engaged” with us, or merely satisfied?

    How do we know?

    Performance measurement analysis review
    Performance Measurement, Analysis, & Review

    • What are the “key” measures that spell success for this organization?

    • What can we stop measuring?

    • Are we measuring this to drive improvement, or just to monitor?

    • How can we find comparison / competitor / benchmark levels of performance?

    • Are we comparing “apples to apples”?

    • Is more improvement worthwhile for us to strive to achieve right now?

    Best Practices?

    Knowledge management
    Knowledge Management

    • Do we know what we need to know about this topic?

      • If not, where can we find out more?

      • Is it worth the cost ($ / time) to find out more?

    • Do we “think we know,” or do we “know we know”?

    • How can we best use all of our “knowledge repositories” to enhance learning and sharing?

      • Workforce, databases, documents, guides, policies / procedures, software, etc.

    Best Practices?

    Workforce engagement development management
    Workforce Engagement, Development, & Management

    • Do we have the right capabilities and capacities?

    • How do we foster the skills, knowledge, talents, attributes, and characteristics we want to have?

    • How do we engage the workforce, in addition to satisfying them?

    • How do we prepare our workforce for the future?

    • How do we provide a “safe” environment – physically and emotionally?

    • How do we foster innovation?

    Best Practices?

    Process management improvement
    Process Management & Improvement

    • How do we focus on what is right – not who is right?

    • How do we promote understanding that “opportunity for improvement” is not criticism of the status quo, or the people who created this system?

    • How do we move from reacting to problems to fact-based, systematic evaluation and improvement and organizational learning through innovation?

    • What process management and improvement tools are we using … PDSA/PDCA, ISO 9000, Lean, Balanced Scorecard, Six Sigma, … something else?

    Best Practices?

    Disaster emergency preparedness
    Disaster & Emergency Preparedness

    • How do we identify / assess our risk level for various threats?

    • How can we prevent / mitigate the risks?

    • How will we continue our operations, if something happens?

    • How (and how quickly) can we recover?

    • How do we use our actual events and our drills to improve?

    Best Practices?

    Our final consideration of a really good question
    Our “final consideration” of a Really Good Question

    “Would it be helpful … ?”

    Some thoughts by some who have gone before us
    Some thoughts by some who have gone before us

    • This is not an agenda item – it’s how we do things around here

    • The award is wonderful – and it’s amazing what these questions have done for our organization

    • Getting everything into 50 pages is hard work – there is way too much great stuff

    • Results are not an issue – these are the same ones that we review on a regular basis, anyway

    • It used to seem like a “foreign language” – now it makes total sense

    What are your questions1

    What are Your Questions?

    [email protected]

    Denise Haynes


    Doug Serrano