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Core Values and Concepts

The Baldrige Criteria are built on the following set of interrelated core values and concepts. These beliefs and behaviors are embedded in high-performing organizations. They are the foundation for integrating key performance and operational requirements within a results-oriented framework that creates a basis for action, feedback, and ongoing success.

For more detailed explanations of these core values and concepts, see the Baldrige Excellence Framework®.

Systems Perspective

A systems perspective means managing all the components of your organization as a unified whole to achieve your mission, ongoing success, and performance excellence.

Visionary Leadership

Your organization’s senior leaders should set a vision for the organization, create a customer focus, demonstrate clear and visible organizational values and ethics, and set high expectations for the workforce.

Customer- (or Patient-, or Student-) Focused Excellence

Your customers (or patients, or students) are the ultimate judges of your performance and the quality of your products and services. Thus, your organization must consider all product and service features and characteristics, all modes of customer access and support, and all organizational values and behaviors that contribute value to your customers.

Valuing People 

An organization’s success depends on an engaged workforce that benefits from meaningful work, clear orga­nizational direction, the opportunity to learn, and account­ability for performance.

Agility and Resilience

Success in today’s ever-changing, globally competitive environment demands agility and organizational resilience. Agility requires a capacity for rapid change and for flex­ibility in operations. Organizational resilience is the ability to anticipate, prepare for, and recover from disasters, emergencies, and other disruptions, and—when disruptions occur—to protect and enhance workforce and customer engagement, supply-network and financial performance, organizational productivity, and community well-being.

Organizational Learning 

Organizational learning includes continuous improvement of existing approaches; the adoption of best practices and innovations; and significant, discontinuous change or innovation, leading to new goals, approaches, products, and markets.

Focus on Success and Innovation

Ensuring your organization’s success now and in the future requires understanding of the short- and longer-term factors that affect your organization and its environment. It also requires the ability to drive organizational innovation.

Management by Fact 

Management by fact requires you to measure and analyze your organization’s performance, both inside the organization and in your competitive environment.

Societal Contributions 

Your organization’s leaders should stress contributions to the public and the consideration of societal well-being and benefit. Leaders should be role models for your organization and its workforce in the protection of public health, safety, and the environment.

Ethics and Transparency

Your organization should stress ethical behavior in all stakeholder transactions and interactions. Your senior leaders should be role models of ethical behavior and make their expectations of the workforce very clear.

Delivering Value and Results

By delivering and balancing value for key stakeholders, your organization builds loyalty, contributes to growing the economy, and contributes to society. To meet the some­times conflicting and changing aims that balancing value requires, your organizational strategy should explicitly include key stakeholder requirements.

Getting Started

How Baldrige Works
Baldrige Excellence Builder
Self-Assessing Your Organization
Create an Organizational Profile
Baldrige Award


Purchase Baldrige Excellence Framework Business/Nonprofit, Education, Health Care
2023-2024 Self-Analysis Worksheet Word
Baldrige Key Terms
Baldrige Improvement Tools

Related Links

Board of Director Responsibilities: A Baldrige Core Values Perspective
Baldrige Impacts
Baldrige Products and Services
Baldrige Award
Baldrige Award Recipient Listing
Baldrige FAQs


  • Baldrige Customer Service
    (301) 975-2036
    100 Bureau Drive, M/S 1020
    Gaithersburg, MD 20899-1020
Created September 24, 2019, Updated February 5, 2024