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The Official Baldrige Blog

Back to the Future...Baldrige Style

future worker

We have made it to 2015 and there has been much recent news coverage of the 2015 predictions from the Back to the Future 2 movie. And interestingly enough, many of the predictions have come true (or close to it), including the Chicago Cubs almost making it to the world series. So, with tongue in cheek, I decided to take some key words from the Baldrige Excellence Framework and predict what they will encompass 25 years from now, in 2040.

Analysis: CEOs will upload the content of their brains (including data and information that has been presented to them) to the cloud at night and then download recommended decisions and implementation plans back to their brains before going to work in the morning.

Stakeholders: Your key stakeholders will include not only customers, workforce members, partners, collaborators, and local and professional communities, but will also include the robots and computers that are making important decisions for your other stakeholders.

Organizational Structure: The typical organization chart will include where computers sit in the various decision making processes of leadership, management,  and governance.

Action Plans: Creating specific actions to reach longer-term strategic objectives will include traveling to the future to see the outcome of the intended plan and then modifying it based on what you learned. Of course your competitors will be doing this also and modifying their plans!

Workforce Engagement: A key factor will be how many teleportation locations you provide to let employees teleport to work from their homes around the globe.

Workforce Empowerment: Allowing workforce members to use their implanted, non-company-controlled, personal computers to make real-time work related decisions.

Customer Support: A software module that can be downloaded to the customers' implanted personal computer to address their requirements and desires, without them ever asking.

Customer Engagement: The success of the downloaded module in meeting your customers' needs and providing information on the characteristics of the product upgrade/replacement they will want to buy in five years.

We can all meet in 2040 and see what came true!

About the author

Harry Hertz “The Baldrige Cheermudgeon”

I am Harry Hertz, the Baldrige Cheermudgeon, and Director Emeritus of the Baldrige Program. I joined the Program in 1992 after a decade in management in the analytical chemistry and chemical sciences laboratories at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the home of the Baldrige Program. I started my career at NIST (NBS) as a bench analytical chemist.

My favorite aspects of the Baldrige Program are: (1) the opportunity to interact with leading thinkers from all sectors of the U.S. economy who serve as volunteers in the Baldrige Program, who participate in the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program, and who represent Award applicants at the forefront of the continuous journey to performance excellence, and (2) the intellectual challenge of synthesizing ideas from leading thinkers and from personal research into Insights on the Road to Performance Excellence and other blogs that tackle challenges at the “leading edge of validated leadership and performance practice,” and contribute to the continuous revision of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework.

Outside of work I spend my time with family (including three beautiful granddaughters), exercising, baking bread, traveling, educating tomorrow’s leaders, and participating on various boards and board committees.

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When I was Director of the Management Course at the Air Force Academy in the early 90’s, Alvin Toffler, John Naisbitt, and other "experts" were predicting the future in 2000. I compiled a list of inventions and innovations that had predicted and asked my students to predict the year they would be achieved. EVERY one of them arrived earlier than predicted. If you think you are good at predictions, you may want to test your capabilities in the Good Judgment™ Open currently being run online at by Phillip Tetlock, famous for his research on the "fallacy of expertise" in his 2005 book, Expert Political Judgement: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? His overarching finding: The average person does better than the "experts." The "experts" have a lot more biases, including "over confidence" or ("I am an expert. My business card says so." and the "fallacy of centrality" or ("I am the boss. If this were happening, I would know.") No wonder computer prediction models dominate the prediction markets.

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