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Entries for March 2012

Acknowledging Innovative Excellence – 3M ESPE

The Anaheim Group recently named the 3M Dental Division (ESPE) the “Most Innovative Company” in the worldwide dental industry, for the seventh consecutive year. It is no surprise that this 1997 Baldrige Award winner is pursuing continuous excellence, as they have been striving to become the supplier of choice of dental professionals worldwide for many years. Between their outstanding product development strategies and the 81 news patents released last year alone, it is hard to ignore the innovative efforts of 3M ESPE.

The Anaheim Group’s designation of “Most Innovative Company” is based on three criteria; FDA 510(k) new product clearances for the U.S. market; United States Patent Office dental industry patents; and dental patents from the European and World International Patent Offices. The report cited 3M ESPE as, “a patent dynamo, both in the U.S. and Europe.”

“This achievement is made possible not only by 3M’s continued investment in research and development, but also our culture. Global collaboration and the sharing of ideas lead to new products. That collaboration is both expected and encouraged, it’s a part of who we are,” said Larry Lair, division vice president and general manager, 3M ESPE.

Dentists, distributors, and major suppliers are all brought in to be a part of translating the voice of the customer into real design requirements, prototypes, and reliable, quality products. Mannequins called “Fletchers” are utilized to test and evaluative products on – this, and other methods are in place to ensure customer feedback…

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Key Elements of Employee Engagement

We’ve written frequently about the value of employee engagement on bottom results (here and here, for example) and how to engage employees (here and here). The second part of the fifth category of the Baldrige model is titled “Workforce Engagement.” It asks about key dimensions of employee engagement including culture, performance management, learning and development, and career progression. It also asks “how you determine the key elements that affect workforce engagement?”

Lonnie Wilson has been teaching and implementing lean and other culture-changing techniques for more than 40 years. His recent article in IndustryWeek, “Find the Missing Pieces in Your Employee Engagement Effort,” provides some context for that Baldrige question by listing five key elements necessary to engage employees—and keep them engaged:

  • A sense of meaningfulness. Wilson poses a Baldrige-esque question: “Do [employees] understand the company mission and vision to represent a company that seeks to be competitive, thriving, growing, a company that not only makes money but gives back to the employees and it a good corporate citizen?” And do they believe their jobs serve that mission and vision?
  • A sense of control. Do employees have ways to control what and how they do things or do they check their brains at the door every day?
  • A sense of accomplishment. Can employees codify and quantify their contribution? Can they answer the question: “How did I (we) do today?”
  • A sense of growth. Do employees have ways to learn, grow, and contribute as individuals?…

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Farewell, Mr. Sandy McDonnell

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is saying farewell to Mr. Sandy McDonnell, a friend and leader who was critical to the programs start-up. Mr. McDonnell, 89, died on March 19 in the St. Louis area. ampnbspIn a career spent at ...

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Farewell, Mr. Sandy McDonnell

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is saying farewell to Mr. Sandy McDonnell, a friend and leader who was critical to the programs start-up. Mr. McDonnell, 89, died on March 19 in the St. Louis area. ampnbspIn a career spent at ...

Read More

Farewell, Mr. Sandy McDonnell

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is saying farewell to Mr. Sandy McDonnell, a friend and leader who was critical to the programs start-up. Mr. McDonnell, 89, died on March 19 in the St. Louis area. ampnbspIn a career spent at ...

Read More

Farewell, Mr. Sandy McDonnell

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is saying farewell to Mr. Sandy McDonnell, a friend and leader who was critical to the programaposs start-up. Mr. McDonnell, 89, died on March 19 in the St. Louis area. xa0In a career spent at ...

Read More

Farewell, Mr. Sandy McDonnell

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is saying farewell to Mr. Sandy McDonnell, a friend and leader who was critical to the programaposs start-up. Mr. McDonnell, 89, died on March 19 in the St. Louis area. xa0In a career spent at ...

Read More

Farewell, Mr. Sandy McDonnell

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is saying farewell to Mr. Sandy McDonnell, a friend and leader who was critical to the programaposs start-up. Mr. McDonnell, 89, died on March 19 in the St. Louis area. xa0In a career spent at ...

Read More

Developing the Elements of Strategic Planning and Deployment (A 2-Part Series)

Part II

Develop Annual Goals

An organization sets specific, measurable strategic goals that must be achieved for the broad strategy to be a success. These quantitative goals will guide the organization’s efforts toward achieving each strategy.

Despite the uniqueness of specific industries and organizations, certain goals are widely applicable. There are seven areas that are minimally required to ensure that the proper goals are established. They are:

  1. Product performance. Goals in this area relate to product features that determine response to customer needs, for example, promptness of service, fuel consumption, mean time between failures, and courteousness. These product features directly influence product salability and affect revenues.
  2. Competitive performance. This has always been a goal in market-based economies, but seldom a part of the business plan. It differs from other goals in that it sets the target relative to the competition, which, in a global economy, is a rapidly moving target. For example: all of our products will be considered “best in class” within one year of introduction, as compared to products of the top five competitors.
  3. Business improvement. Goals in this area may be aimed at improving product deficiencies or process failures, or reducing the cost of poor quality waste in the system. Improvement goals are deployed through a formal structure of quality improvement projects with assignment of associated…

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Developing the Elements of Strategic Planning and Deployment (A 2-Part Series)

Part I

Establish a Vision

Strategic deployment begins with a vision that is customer-focused. In the organizations we know that are successfully making the transition to a more collaborative organization, the key to success is developing and living by a common strategic vision. When you agree on an overall direction, you can be flexible about the means to achieve it (Tregoe and Tobia 1990).

“Really powerful visions are simply told. The Ten Commandments, the Declaration of Independence, a Winston Churchill World War II speech – all present messages that are so simple and direct you can almost touch them. Our corporate strategies should be equally compelling.

A vision should define the benefits a customer, an employee, a shareholder, or society at large can expect from the organization.  Here are a few examples:

  • Samsung, the world’s largest manufacturer of high-quality digital products is guided by a singular vision: “to lead the digital convergence movement.” Samsung believes that through technology innovation today, we will find the solutions we need to address the challenges of tomorrow. From technology comes…

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