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The Official Baldrige Blog

How Role Models Support Organizational Resilience

Baldrige Award recipient Role Models showing images from four different recipient organizations.
Credit: Zephyr_p/Shutterstock

Senior executives of a sampling of Baldrige Award recipients since 2017 recently described exemplary practices of their organizations that are aligned with the Baldrige Award Criteria’s added focus in 2024 on organizational resilience. They credited such practices with strengthening their organizations’ abilities to surmount formidable challenges and sustain their long-term success. 

For example, Michael Gerusky, chief innovation and performance officer of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE), a 2019 Baldrige Award recipient, shared that “CORE has evolved its strategic planning process to focus on innovation for achieving breakthrough results. This includes changing the way we set goals, moving from a process capability approach to align with industry-elite tier expectations.”

Dr. John Chessare, president and CEO of the 2020 Baldrige Award-winning GBMC HealthCare system (GBMC), cited his organization’s “strategic planning process that is linked to our leadership system” as well as its “daily Lean Management System walk” as examples of practices that support the organization’s resilience. 

Kelly DiMartino, city manager of the City of Fort Collins (CO), a 2017 Baldrige Award recipient, said that her city’s “leadership system supports resiliency through an agreed-upon set of key components and processes that—when executed effectively—create conditions for organizational success and high-quality services to our community.” 

In describing another example of such a practice “that aligns directly with our leadership system,” DiMartino stated, “Our key processes of strategic planning, budgeting, and performance measurement and review are systematic, evaluated for effectiveness, and improved on a regular basis. These key processes stood firm during COVID and enabled us to deliver a recovery plan to our organization and our community that has now become a ‘resiliency’ plan.”

Brian Dieter, president and CEO of Mary Greeley Medical Center (MGMC), a 2019 Baldrige Award recipient, provided three examples of his organization’s effective practices in support of resilience:

  1. “Our ability to engage our workforce in meaningful, two-way communication throughout the pandemic via our safety huddles was critical in communication flow—keeping everyone up to date and safe.” 
  2. “Our systematic planning and deployment of strategies through our ‘Big Dot Goal’ approach ensures that our workforce understands organizational priorities and how their work supports key achievement of our strategic objectives.”
  3. “Our focus on our workforce through the development of career pathways allowed us to improve staff engagement and reduce costly travel staff.

Dieter credited use of the Baldrige framework for providing a “powerful accelerant in the buildup of organizational defenses against challenges and difficulties, as well as the ability to withstand those challenges and recover quickly.”

“Our steadfast commitment to the Baldrige framework has provided us with vital business structure as we navigate tremendous challenges in the health care environment,” said Dieter. 

2023-2024 Baldrige Excellence Framework Business/Nonprofit cover artwork

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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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