I recently had the opportunity to visit China to provide expertise on a site visit to a very large multi-national organization. The evaluating organization uses a model of performance excellence that is very similar to the Baldrige and EFQM Criteria. What was the value I provided? Based on my experience as a Baldrige Examiner and EFQM Assessor and Licensed Advisor, I was able to provide an international perspective to the site visit that helped the assessing organization ensure a value-added site visit for the applicant.
What were some key learnings for the various parties?
Applicant – the applicant gained a better knowledge of the characteristics of a high-performing organization through the application writing process and the site visit review. The use of the Criteria will also help them have a “common language of performance excellence” with other Chinese organization using the Criteria. With an international perspective to the site visit, they are better able to describe the value of this performance excellence journey to their colleagues in other countries who may use Baldrige or EFQM Criteria.
Assessing organization – the assessing organization gained increased knowledge of how Baldrige and EFQM site visits are conducted. For instance, an opportunity for improvement was to focus more on asking questions of the applicant, rather than listening to presentations that provided extra detail on what was already provided. Changes were made during the site visit to provide more questions, helping the assessing organizations identify Strengths and Opportunities for Improvement that may help the applicant better identify blind spots in their already high-performing organization.
Coe Values Partners – I had the opportunity as part of this process to see the commitment to performance excellence in another country – another culture – another economic system. I was pleased to see the use of a Criteria similar to Baldrige or EFQM that is putting an emphasis on meeting customer requirements – an indication of moving away from strict central planning in China to a more market-based economy. I was also pleased – and honored – to see the Chinese assessing organization focus on understanding how their program is doing compared to my experience with Baldrige and EFQM site visits. What I told them is that a key Strength they have is in the first part of the Learning (Evaluation+Improvement) component – they are willing to evaluate their systems and processes to help Chinese organizations compete on a more global platform.
Kudos to our colleagues in advancing global performance excellence in China!