For the rest of the world, it is called super glue. For me it has been my "silver bullet" this past week. We all hope for that silver bullet that will solve all our problems.
I'll share my story shortly, but maybe a little context first. The term silver bullet originated in 1806 according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and is defined as, "something that acts as a magical weapon; especially one that instantly solves a long-standing problem." For me, the term was introduced in the 1950's by the Lone Ranger, who always left behind a silver bullet as a symbol of his correction of an injustice. Other famous characters have also had their silver bullets; for example, many of us will remember Windex as the magic cure for all ills in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Super glue has been my constant companion this past week. In one week, I have used super glue to:
While super glue sure appeared to be a magic cure for these challenges, we all know that there are no universal silver bullets.
Yet in life and in leading or managing organizations we still keep hoping for that silver bullet! I hesitate to think of the many times I have sat at a Baldrige conference and had an audience member ask each of the Baldrige Award recipients what key change led to their becoming a high-performing, role model organization. The recipients always respond with the process changes and key cultural attributes that led to their success, emphasizing that there is no single, magical silver bullet. Yet year after year the question persists. We all want to lead and work for great organizations. And the truth is it takes dedication and hard work to be a great organization. Of course, being a great organization is oh so rewarding for all stakeholders.
With the new year upon us, let me offer no silver bullets, but a proven three-prong approach to striving for excellence:
The start of a new year is a great time for a renewed beginning focused on achieving performance excellence. I wish you high energy, clear vision, and a commitment to action!
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.