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The Official Baldrige Blog

a cartoon illustrating a man looking at a computer profile of a woman

Let me start by clearly stating that Fran and I have been married over forty years and I am very happily married. I have no interest in dating.

But, much as I hope your curiosity was piqued by the title of this blog, mine was piqued by a recent HBR Morning Advantage posting entitled "Love in the Age of Data." It referred to a recent Wall Street Journal essay recounting the successful search for love and marriage by Amy, a thirty year-old woman with a background in data analysis. Amy was not finding the "right man". She tried two of the web-based matching sites, with little success. So she wrote profiles of her ideal man, submitted those male profiles to the dating services to see what women would respond, and then looked at the responding women's profiles. She developed a database of the women's characteristics and their manner of response to her fictitious male profiles. She modified her own personal profile and resubmitted it.

What does this have to do with Baldrige, you ask? Read on! Know it or not, Amy was making good use of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence!

  • As leader of the enterprise, she set a clear vision for the future.
  • Then, she strategically designed her work system to achieve her purpose.
  • She outsourced the data gathering function, after implementing a work process to achieve the right profile for the data gatherers (matching services).
  • She sought comparative and competitive data by benchmarking women who were attracted to her ideal mates.
  • Based on the benchmark results from women who responded to her fictitious men, she modified her profile and used the women's multiple modes of communication to respond to men who answered her revised profile.
  • In using these multiple modes of communication, she demonstrated clear customer focus. There are more analogies, but I will stop at these.
  • And what about the results? She is no longer dating the wrong men for her and is now happily married!

Have you applied the Baldrige Criteria in your life situations?  

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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Sounds like a solid business model for a new dating service. We'll call it "Dataing"!
Good story to reach millenials!

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