Excellence or Excuses?

Starting the journey to performance excellence

Earlier this month, we attended the AHCA/NCAL Convention where exceptional long-term care organizations were recognized for committing to a journey of performance excellence. There were 540 Bronze Award recipients, 72 Silver Award recipients, and 3 Gold Award recipients. The tiered program is based on the Baldrige Excellence Framework, with Gold Award applicants responding to the full Baldrige Criteria. Gold Award recipients are also named only after having a successful site visit.
We loved hearing the inspirational stories of the three Gold Award recipients and felt more than a little pride since two of them have been our clients. While their stories and their timeline to achieve recognition may have differed, one theme was constant – embarking on the journey has made their organizations better and made them better leaders.
I think I’ve heard every excuse for why a leader won’t embark on the journey to performance excellence.
“We’re not ready.”  “We’re too busy.”  “We don’t have the results we need yet.”  “We don’t have the time to put together an application.”  “It’s too expensive.” The litany goes on.
In preparation for our new book https://www.amazon.com/Leading-Malcolm-Baldrige-Way-Organizations/dp/1259588661(to be released December 9), we interviewed more than 50 senior leaders from more than 30 Baldrige or Baldrige-based Award recipients across all sectors. Many expressed regret at not having begun the journey earlier. Not one wished they had delayed getting started. The reasons are obvious. Along the way, they saw increased customer loyalty, higher levels of employee engagement, reduced turnover, improved financial performance, and a more competitive position in their marketplace.
If you’re still not convinced, listen to Maryruth Butler, the Executive Director of Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation – Mountain Valley, a Gold Award recipient in 2011 who continues to raise the bar for her organization and herself. When asked about why she embarked on the performance excellence journey, “My answer is very simple: 5 Stars on the CMS ratings for 6 consecutive years attracts new residents and new employees. 12 years of Idaho Quality Award for survey outcomes, 100% resident and family satisfaction for the past 3 years, employee satisfaction of 92%, 95% occupancy rate vs. 65% for the state……….that’s why we are involved with the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program.”
You can find similar testimonials for every sector on the Baldrige website. https://www.nist.gov/baldrige/testimonials  Baldrige Award recipients will be presenting at the PiPEx Conference on November 3. There’s still time for you to register! http://partnerspex.org/pipex/events.ashx
When will you get started to take your organization to the next level?
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