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Performance Excellence – Where does your company rank?

IBM, Cadillac, Fedex, Ritz Carlton,  Xerox…  What do these companies have in common?

These companies have each won The Baldrige Award, the only Presidential award for  “Performance Excellence” . The award is named after the late Secretary of Commerce, Malcolm Baldrige, a proponent of quality management.

The correlation between winning this award and their sustained business performance is not coincidental.

In 1989, I was fortunate to be one of the “Baldrige” facilitators for Xerox Corporation as we pursued, and ultimately won this prestigious award.  The experience was life and career-changing. Let me explain…

In 1989, I had just transitioned from a Computer Programmer to a Sales Executive for one of the most renowned sales organizations in the world…Xerox.  To say that I was floundering would be kinda like saying that the Chicago Cubs have had their difficulties winning a world championship. I was living in a new home (with a nice new mortgage), 2 cars, 3 children and essentially no income.

My boss approached me to see if I would be interested in volunteering to be a “facilitator” as we pursued the Malcolm Baldrige Award for Performance Excellence. He probably figured that I wasn’t going to be around for long, so this might be a way to get something of value out of me.  I certainly couldn’t sell, but apparently, I was organized…which is what the assignment called for.  I reluctantly agreed.

Over the next 12 months, my life and career were forever changed… in a very good way.  I learned 7 key principles that I was able to incorporate into my career as well as into my personal life.

1. Quality Leadership – How your actions as a leader sustains a company.

2. Strategic Planning – How to properly plan for success in the future.

3. Customer Satisfaction – How to engage your customers to ensure long-term relationships.

4. Knowledge Management – How to mine your data and knowledge assets (IT).

5. Workforce – How to engage your employees to ensure their professional and personal growth.

6. Process – How to implement processes to ensure organizational success.

What does that really mean? 

Well, embrace the principles of Malcolm Baldrige and you will 

  • achieve your goals,

  • improve your quality of life,

  • be happier.

In 1990, there were approximately 8,000 sales people at Xerox.  I went from being ranked third to last in the company to number #1 in one year…the same year I learned about the Malcolm Baldrige principles  Not bad for a computer programmer, huh? The principles I learned in 1989 continue to influence the way we run our business today at Page Per Page.  

Are we perfect? Nope.  

Are we happy? Yep.

And that is all that really matters isn’t it? 

Over the coming weeks, I will provide more detail on each of these 7 principles.  Feel free to stop in…

Phil