Thursday, December 2, 2010

Baldrige at Risk

This month in his blog A View from the Q, Paul Borawski addresses the potential elimination of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award program by President Obama's commission to reduce financial costs to the US government (National Commission for Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRR)). Is the Baldrige program viable or has it run its natural course?

Let me start by saying that I've never been a fan of awards. If you do your job and do it well, then you are duly compensated. I never understood why the Entertainment and Sports industries go a step further, after paying astonomical salaries, and give awards to those at the 'top of their game'.

That said, do I believe there is value to the Baldrige program? My answer is a resounding YES!!!! I say yes because Baldrige is not focused on the outcome, it is actually focused on the journey. Baldrige has laid the ground work for establishment of a sound Business Management System that allows any organization to achieve success. Like ISO 9001, Baldrige is the framework and how it is used it the choice of the organization.

Should the US government continue to support a program that addresses business success? Again, I say YES!!!! Our government excels at supporting programs geared toward bailing out other countries. I say we should focus locally. Earmark that money to drive business improvement and success within our own borders. If we continue to drive businesses to send their work centers off shore then what will become of us? We need our government to encourage US businesses to remain domestic and continually improve themselves, thereby bolstering our own national economy. The Baldrige program provides the tools any organization might need to better define and improve itself. Let's work to keep it going and drive its success well into the future.