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The Official Baldrige Blog

12 Examples of How Baldrige Executive Fellows Are Leading Innovation

Baldrige Fellows artwork
Credit: Baldrige Performance Excellence Program

Do you remember reading here a few years ago about the manufacturing company that, drawing on the Baldrige Excellence Framework, initiated a strategy to engage senior leaders of competitor companies to share ideas and benchmark performance so they could all improve? As executives of more than 18 defense contractors of the U.S. Department of Defense got involved, their collaboration helped improve the entire supply chain for the U.S. military.

Did you know about the medical school professor’s proposed framework to better address U.S. population health today using a systems approach? Her Baldrige-based framework would “drive a strategic outcomes-oriented, rather than action-oriented, approach by creating an evidence-based, national reporting dashboard,” she stated.

What about the university administrator who—with the ultimate aim of improving the value of current and future college degrees—focused on aligning students’ learning in and outside classes on campus to workforce development needs identified by potential employers? He worked with faculty members to create a scorecard to evaluate the curriculum and map all curricular activities and co-curricular experiences to seven institutional learning outcomes; that work led to nearly 500 changes in the curriculum in just one year.

Below you can find links to those stories on Blogrige, the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program's blog, as well as more interview-based blogs on the ground-breaking work of Baldrige Executive Fellows. Listed in order of publication date (most recent first), the following blogs describe merely a sampling of the innovative ideas put into action by leaders from a variety of sectors who have participated in the annual Baldrige Fellows program.

1. Engaging Physicians in Changing Organizations: A Baldrige Fellow’s Systems Approach (Eric Moll, Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics, WA)

2. A Doctor Who Launched an Innovative Surgery Center during His Baldrige Fellowship (Brett Simon, Josie Robertson Surgery Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering, NY)

3. Leveraging Baldrige to Build a Value-Based Service Organization (Cindy Bo, Nemours Children’s Health System, Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, DE)

4. A Baldrige Fellow’s Plan to Make University Degrees More Valuable (Timothy Mottet, Colorado State University–Pueblo, CO) 

5. Bringing a Systems Approach to U.S. Population Health (Julie Kapp, University of Missouri School of Medicine, MO)

6. First-of-Its-Kind Innovation Hub Envisions—and Prototypes—the Future of Health Care (Richard Davis, Sibley Memorial Hospital, Washington, DC)

7. A Baldrige Fellow Engages Employees via a “Galactic Communication Strategy” (Steven Kravet, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, MD)

8. Creating an Organizational Scorecard for the United States Golf Association (Rand Jerris, United States Golf Association)

9. Boosting Workforce Engagement (from the Bottom Up) (Steffani Webb, University of Kansas Medical Center)

10. Boiling the Ocean: How a Manufacturer Leveraged the Criteria to Improve its Supply Chain (John Varley, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control)

11. Why and How AARP Uses the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence (Jo Ann Jenkins, AARP, Washington, DC)

12. Inspiring Executives–On the Plant Floor and in Other Safe Spaces (Peter Pronovost, Johns Hopkins Medicine)


As you can see, since the inception in 2010 of the prestigious, yearlong leadership program, Baldrige Executive Fellows have been effectively using their cross-sector learning from each other as well as leaders of the role-model organizations they visit to improve and innovate the organizations that employ them in wide-ranging states and sectors of the U.S. economy.              

About the author

Christine Schaefer

Christine Schaefer is a longtime staff member of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP). Her work has focused on producing BPEP publications and communications. She also has been highly involved in the Baldrige Award process, Baldrige examiner training, and other offerings of the program.

She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Virginia, where she was an Echols Scholar and a double major, receiving highest distinction for her thesis in the interdisciplinary Political & Social Thought Program. She also has a master's degree from Georgetown University, where her studies and thesis focused on social and public policy issues. 

When not working, she sits in traffic in one of the most congested regions of the country, receives consolation from her rescued beagles, writes poetry, practices hot yoga, and tries to cultivate a foundation for three kids to direct their own lifelong learning (and to PLEASE STOP YELLING at each other—after all, we'll never end wars if we can't even make peace at home!).

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