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The Official Baldrige Blog

Baldrige Framework Revision: Some Focus Areas Evolve, Some Emphasized

Person wrapping hands around the Baldrige Excellence Framework booklet.
Credit: sdecoret/Shutterstock

The Baldrige Program has been working on the next two-year revision of the Baldrige Excellence Framework® (including the Criteria for Performance Excellence®) to ensure that it encompasses “proven leadership and management practices for high performance.” An additional goal is to simplify as much as possible to make it user-friendly, without losing the robustness of the Criteria as a management guide. The frameworks for business/nonprofit, health care, and education will be available early next year.

Baldrige staff members have conducted interviews with experts in their fields to gather input. For example, Baldrige staff members met with Frank Voehl, administrator of the U.S. technical advisory group for Innovation ISO 56000, and Rick Fernandez, vice chair of the U.S. technical advisory group for Innovation Management, to discuss how innovation is handled in the Criteria. They also met with Don Berwick, president emeritus and senior fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, for a discussion focused on population health and the results asked for in the Health Care Criteria. These interviews are in addition to all of the feedback that was sent to iday [at] (iday[at]nist[dot]gov) (thank you to all!) and discussed during six webinars in the spring.

Key Concepts and Critical Issues

Following are some of the key concepts and critical issues facing today’s organizations that will be woven into the 2023-2024 Criteria:

  • Agility, resilience, and transformation

  • Workforce retention

  • Innovation

  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility

  • Supply-chain resilience

  • Societal contributions, sustainability, and the circular economy

  • The digital economy and the fourth industrial revolution

  • Cybersecurity 

Themes Introduced Over the Last Ten Years

As we focus on the Criteria revisions for 20232024, consider the following key themes of the Criteria revisions over the last decade.

Changes focused on raising or strengthening organizations’ awareness of the need for organizational resilience; the benefits of DEI; and the ongoing digitization of nearly all aspects of organizational operations and management. Other changes clarified the role of innovation in organizational competitiveness and success, and expanded the framework’s focus on societal responsibility.

Changes focused on raising organizations’ awareness of business ecosystems, organizational culture, supply networks, and cybersecurity.

Changes focused on strengthening cybersecurity and enterprise risk management (ERM).

Three key themes evolved: (1) change management, (2) big data, and (3) climate change.

The focus was on three key considerations: (1) designing and implementing competitive work systems, (2) cultivating and managing innovation, and (3) mastering the evolving opportunities and challenges presented by social media.

Share Your Key Themes Suggestions

What would you like to see as the key themes for the next Baldrige Excellence Framework® and Criteria revision?

The 2023-2024 Baldrige Excellence Framework® with its Criteria are expected to be published in early 2023. There will be three versions: Business/Nonprofit, Health Care, and Education. In addition, the shorter version of the framework, Baldrige Excellence Builder®, will be updated and published in 2023.

2023-2024 Baldrige Excellence Frameworks will be available January 2023.

Baldrige Excellence Framework®

The Baldrige Excellence Framework has empowered organizations to accomplish their missions, improve results, and become more competitive. It includes the Criteria for Performance Excellence, core values and concepts, and guidelines for evaluating your processes and results.

2023–2024 Frameworks: Available January 2023


About the author

Dawn Bailey

Dawn Bailey is a writer/editor for the Baldrige Program and involved in all aspects of communications, from leading the Baldrige Executive Fellows program to managing the direction of case studies, social media efforts, and assessment teams. She has more than 25 years of experience, 18 years at the Baldrige Program. Her background is in English and journalism, with degrees from the University of Connecticut and an advanced degree from George Mason University.

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Incorporating content in the Framework around organizations' responsibilities toward climate change would be refreshing and make the US more competitive with Europe.

Thanks, Barry. Nice to hear from you. No comment on a good recession! Kind regards, Dawn

It is good to see proposed emerging themes for forthcoming revision to the framework.
I suggest paying extra focus on the couple of following areas - make them little more prescriptive - even though these are "covered" already:

1. UN SDGs - with special focus on Climate Action & Responsible Production & Consumption behaviours
2. Strategic partnership life cycle stages (Can refer some aspect from ISO:44001)

All the very best and looking forward to updated model in early 2023.



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