Saturday, September 21, 2019



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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Valuing Employees at Google

Fortune recently named Google number one among the 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2012. Explaining its decision, Fortune wrote: “Everything was up at Google last year—revenues, profits, share price, paid search click, hiring—and so, too was employee love…Employees rave about their mission, the culture, and the famous perks.”

Larry Page, Google’s co-founder and CEO, explained what he thinks draws people to Google: “You want to be working on meaningful, impactful projects, and that’s the thing there is really a shortage of in the world. I think at Google we still have that. We’ve always had that in spades.”

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information. “I don’t think we’re going to run out of important things to do,” Page observes. He sees his role as a leader “to make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, and that they feel they’re having a meaningful impact and are contributing to the good of society.”

Google is a great place to work because it values its people. It engages them in the…

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Remedy First, Diagnose Later?

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Joseph M. Juran’s article entitled, “Industrial Diagnostics: A Systematic Approach to Management Problem-Solving.”

The temptation to start with remedies instead of diagnoses is so common that it merits separate discussion. The peril exists because many people are engaged in the hard sell of remedies, but few are engaged in the hard sell of diagnoses. The stock-in-trade of staff departments, consultants, vendors, associations, and others consists to an important extent of prefabricated remedies: profit sharing, training programs, job evaluation, statistical quality control, integrated data processing, etc.

The difference in the number and intensity of those selling remedies and those selling diagnoses are great enough to be a widespread cause for by-passing diagnosis. The guilty party is the well-intentioned manager who adopts or imports a remedy because it has been well sold, because it seems to fit the case, because it is the talk of the town, or even because a competitor has it. These remedies are, of course, effective for certain ailments, but the ailments are often not…

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Acknowledging Innovative Excellence – Milliken

The Baldrige Criteria for Excellence ask how you govern and fulfill your societal responsibilities, with specifications regarding reductions in environmental impacts through the use of “green” technology, resource-conserving activities, or improvements in social impacts such as volunteering or charity work. Ethical behavior is also included in this category, with considerations for key processes and measures or indicators of quality ethics. Milliken, a textiles company that was founded in 1865, knows firsthand what it takes to earn a Baldrige Award, as they were recipients back in 1989. Since being granted the Award, Milliken has diversified to a much more expansive organization, which now produces all sorts of different specialty chemicals and textiles, from the fabric that reinforces duct tape, to the products that make mattresses fire resistant, the antimicrobial coatings on countertops, and thousands of other patents.

Milliken takes a unique route when it comes to encouraging innovation from within. The idea began as a method of allowing lab researchers to run with their curiosity until they’d reached a marketable end.  Researchers…

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How Do You Do What You Do?

Baldrige is a process model. The first six of the Criteria’s seven categories ask how you do what you do, while the seventh category asks for the results of those processes. Your organization, division, department, and work group must think process to drive continuous improvement and achieve your goals.

In Baldrige terms, “how” encompasses four areas: approach, deployment, learning, and integration. When responding to the “how” questions in the Criteria, of which there are more than 130, you must be able to describe how you address each of these four areas for all of your key processes. Ideally, your approaches will be systematic and repeatable. They will be designed, managed, and improved using data and information. They will be deployed to all relevant parts of the organization. They will include cycles of evaluation and improvement. They will align and harmonize with other key processes, plans, measures, actions, and results to achieve the organization’s goals.

You can develop more effective processes at any level of your organization. Start by identifying your key processes.…

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At Sharp HealthCare, This Bud’s For You

In 2007, Sharp HealthCare of San Diego County was a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient. Operations and activities of the entire hospital group are aligned under Sharp’s Six Pillars of Excellence – Quality, Service, People, Finance, Growth, and Community. Engineering Operations Manager of the Sharp Grossmont Hospital, Andy Grossman, was recently tasked with the responsibility of making sure everybody from the custodial staff to the transplant surgeons are making Sharp patients feel more welcome, engaged, and at ease; to generally increase customer focus. It should come as no surprise to readers that a Baldrige Award winning hospital would employ a particularly unassuming idea into a brilliant one.

Sharp Grossmont Hospital is surrounded by more than 300 rose bushes, meticulously maintained by a team of five landscaping crewmen. These men typically spent the vast majority of their days outside, and really only knew how to get to the restrooms and the cafeteria inside the hospital. On a random occasion, Grossman had seen the men cut and hand out single roses to…

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Valuing Workforce Members and Partners

An organization’s success depends increasingly on an engaged workforce that benefits from meaningful work, clear organizational direction, and performance accountability that has a safe, trusting, and cooperative environment.  Nestle Purina PetCare, one of the 2010 Baldrige Award winners, are well aware of how an organization does exactly that. A successful organization can capitalize on the diverse backgrounds, knowledge, skills, creativity, and motivation of its workforce and partners. Valuing the people in your workforce means being committed to their engagement, satisfaction, development, and well-being. Increasingly, this involves more flexible, high-performance work practices tailored to varying workplace and home life needs.  Major challenges in the area of valuing members of your workforce include the following:

  • Demonstrating a leader’s commitment to their success. At Purina, senior leaders communicate the ideals of the company’s founder: the “4 Talls” (Stand Tall, Think Tall, Smile Tall, and Live Tall,) to which they have added a 5th, “We create Tall innovation.”
  • Providing recognition that goes beyond the regular compensation system.
  • Offering development and progression within your organization.
  • Sharing your organization’s knowledge so your workforce…

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