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The Official Baldrige Blog

Business Excellence 101: Five Things to Know about the Baldrige Program

5 Things You Should Know about the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program
Credit: Pressmaster/Shutterstock
Business Excellence 101 Blog Series

In this blog series, we are highlighting the many resources that are available to help you learn about Baldrige, improve organizational processes, and build long-term resilience.

As the Greek philosopher Aristotle wisely professed, “Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution.” Improvising a bit, I would add that a successful journey to organizational excellence requires a strategic framework that senior leaders can use to accomplish their missions, improve results, and become more competitive. Following are five things to know about the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, and how we help organizations do just that.

1. Who We Are

Created with Congressional authorization in 1987, the Baldrige Program exists to help organizations improve their performance and succeed in the competitive global marketplace. We are the first and only public-private partnership and Presidential award program dedicated to improving the competitiveness and performance of U.S. organizations.

2. What We Do

The Baldrige Program educates organizations of all sizes and from all sectors about achieving performance excellence, in part by producing and regularly updating the Baldrige Excellence Framework, which includes the Criteria for Performance Excellence. We also administer the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Through the annual Baldrige Award process, we identify and recognize role-model organizations, share best management practices, and help organizations achieve best-in-class performance levels.

In collaboration with the greater Baldrige community, we offer organizations like yours:

  • the Baldrige Excellence Framework (including the Criteria for Performance Excellence)—an integrated management framework and assessment tool that gets results;
  • self-assessment tools based on the Baldrige Excellence Framework to evaluate your improvement efforts;
  • an annual conference and other resources to help you improve organizational performance using the Baldrige Criteria; and
  • feedback reports from a team of trained experts, highlighting organizational strengths and opportunities for improvement.

3. What Is Performance Excellence?

Performance excellence” refers to an integrated approach to organizational performance management that results in delivery of ever-improving value to customers and stakeholders, contributing to: 

  • organizational sustainability (long-term success);
  • improvement of overall organizational effectiveness and capabilities; and
  • organizational and personal learning.

4. What Baldrige Offers You

The Baldrige framework provides a validated management approach to improve your organization’s performance—one that has been used by thousands of organizations for more than 30 years. The framework will guide your organization and improve your abilities to think and act strategically, align processes and resources, engage your workforce and customers, and emphasize key results.

This valuable framework and assessment tool can be used to promote your understanding of organizational strengths and opportunities for improvement and thus for guiding your planning efforts. The framework focuses on these key areas of management:

  • leadership;
  • strategic planning;
  • customer focus;
  • measurement, analysis, and knowledge management;
  • workforce focus;
  • operations focus; and
  • results.

5. What Makes Baldrige Different

Baldrige helps organizations address a dynamic environment; focus on strategy-driven performance; achieve customer and workforce engagement; and improve governance and ethics, societal responsibilities, competitiveness, and long-term organizational success. It offers you a comprehensive management approach that focuses on results in all areas, organizational and personal learning, and knowledge sharing.

Ready to learn more?

Many resources are readily available to assist you in learning about Baldrige:

  • Attend a conference. Each year, the Baldrige Program sponsors the Quest for Excellence® to showcase award recipients. At this event, award recipients present their role-model management practices.
  • Become a Baldrige examiner. Examiners receive valuable training and gain experience in understanding and applying the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence, which they can use within their own organizations.
  • Explore our website and baldrige [at] (contact the Baldrige Program) for additional information and materials.
Business Excellence 101 Blog Series

Upcoming Blogs
Business Excellence 101: Improve Financial and Operational Performance with the Baldrige Framework
Business Excellence 101: Begin Your Baldrige Journey

2021-2022 Baldrige Excellence Framework Business/Nonprofit feature image

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.

Purchase your copy today!

Available versions: Business/Nonprofit, Education, and Health Care

About the author

Michelle Peña

Michelle Peña is a writer/editor for the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program at NIST. Her background includes degrees in English and Spanish from George Mason University, an advanced degree from George Washington University, and more than 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. 

Michelle is passionate about the benefits of personal development in the workplace and helping others become more emotionally resilient leaders in their community. Her blogs provide encouraging perspectives to help employees and businesses thrive and build a culture of continuous improvement.

As a digital marketing enthusiast, she also enjoys sharing motivational social media content and actionable growth strategies that professionals can use to empower their organization.

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