From Thirty Years of Evolution = Revolutionary Change by Harry Hertz “The Baldrige Cheermudgeon”
There have been four major iterations of the framework diagram. (Infographic compares the four major changes in 1988, 1992, 1997 and 2015.)
Perhaps the most profound change in the Baldrige Program occurred at the time of the transition from the second framework diagram to the third. That was the time when the focus on overall organizational performance excellence and a systems approach to that overall performance took hold. That basic framework diagram change was made in 1997, ten years after the start of the Baldrige Program. It was actually slightly modified again in 2001, with the umbrella over the diagram changing to the Organizational Profile, indicating the clear role the Profile plays as an overarching context for the organization’s performance management system. In 1997, Results also became a separate Baldrige Criteria category, emphasizing (with 450 out of 1,000 points of the evaluation scoring system) that having a process without achieving commensurate results was meaningless.
The current framework diagram has three significant changes: (1) the Organizational Profile is now shown as the background “color” for the whole framework, indicating the pervasive nature of your operating environment, relationships, and strategic situation as influencing everything you do as an organization; (2) the word integration is now part of the framework, indicating the holistic, and interrelated nature of the Baldrige Criteria categories and questions; and (3) the Core Values and Concepts are now part of the framework, indicating their foundational nature in a performance management system as values embedded in high-performing organizations.
While the Core Values and Concepts were not articulated in the first Baldrige Criteria in 1988, they were as much a part of those criteria as they were in 1992, when the core values were specified for the first time.
(Infographic shows the initial core values and concepts in 1992 and the 2019.)
While there isn’t a one-to-one correspondence between the 1992 and 2019 versions, there is a lot of overlap, with a few notable changes that reflect the evolution of our understanding, and the changing nature, of organizational performance excellence. A Systems Perspective was not present in the initial core values. As the criteria became more holistic and we simultaneously realized that organizations had to be viewed like living organisms with interdependent parts, the systems perspective became a bedrock core concept of the criteria. While Full Participation in 1992 focused on all employees participating in the work of the organization, it did not encompass the full meaning of today’s Valuing People, which recognizes the workforce as the internal customer. Valuing People also recognizes external customers, community members, and other people who are important to the organization. Continuous Improvement evolved to Organizational Learning and Agility, a broader concept that recognizes the importance of an organization’s knowledge base and its use with external data to drive learning and strategic agility. Public Responsibility evolved to the more explicit values of Societal Contributions and Ethics and Transparency. This change reflects the larger role high-performing organizations today have in contributing to their various communities both because they value being good citizens of those communities and because such contributions make good “business” sense. The explicit statement of Ethics and Transparency as a core value was made real by breaches that we collectively observed in our business community. Finally, Delivering Value and Results paralleled the introduction of Results as a separate criteria category, recognizing that an organization must deliver value to all its key stakeholders in order to continue to thrive.
Originally a set of statements, the Baldrige Criteria became a set of questions in 1999, recognizing that leaders guided an organization’s performance management and that the criteria questions should guide you by asking how you accomplish your mission, how you plan for the future, and what your results are.
(Infographic shows a listing of criteria item titles from 1988, 2002, and 2019.)
The following observations are apparent when you consider these titles and what they mean to your organization.
The evolution of the criteria has always been driven by the mantra that the criteria reflect the leading edge of validated leadership and performance practice.
1995: Strategic quality planning → strategic planning
2001: Organizational Profile added
2003: Dual purpose: “running the business” & “changing the business”; linkages among categories enhanced
2004: Approach, Deployment, Learning, Integration (ADLI) introduced
2005: Strategic challenges added; leadership category expanded; leadership effectiveness results added
2007: Questions on strategic advantages, strategic opportunities, workforce capability/capacity, work systems, work processes, core competencies added
2008: Levels, Trends, Comparisons, Integration (LeTCI) introduced
2009: Customer engagement introduced; questions on management of information technology/systems added; societal responsibility incorporated as cross-cutting
2011: Innovation incorporated as cross-cutting; intelligent risks & social media questions introduced
2015: Big data/data analytics introduced; organizational change management embedded
2017: Cybersecurity & enterprise risk management focus enhanced
2019: Ecosystems introduced