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The Official Baldrige Blog

A Leadership Retreat for a Company Under Fire


Recent news has been flooded with stories of companies accused of corporate greed, bucking regulations, reporting losses in the U.S. (thus not paying taxes) but profits overseas, privatizing what they are doing using data and research created from taxpayer dollars, and recalling products and foods that have hurt and sometimes even killed their own customers.

Everyone has their opinions, and of course no story is either black or white; every scandal, every recall has facts and back stories for which the public may not be aware. But what if we imagined that we were in the leaders' shoes, armed with our Baldrige resources?

One suggested way to use the downloadable Baldrige Excellence Builder is for leadership teams to try and answer the questions to (1) ensure leaders are on the same page; (2) figure out, using a whole-organization perspective, what are the company's greatest strengths and most significant vulnerabilities; and (2) prioritize improvements.

So, let us imagine that we are on the leadership team of a company currently under fire, and it was suggested that we use Baldrige Excellence Builder to try and regain customer confidence by beginning an improvement initiative of our management structure.

We start with the  category 1 questions from Baldrige Excellence Builder, and our leadership team reviews our mission, vision, and values (these are, of course, generic and made up).

Our mission is to be the leader in our market for safe and environmentally sound [fill in the blank] that will contribute to the quality of our customers' and stakeholders' lives and the betterment of the planet.

Our vision is economic, environmental, healthful leadership in the industry.

Our values are responsibility, sustainability, learning, integrity, and customer service.

OK, leadership team, any suggestions for how we might answer the following? What would you suggest the company do?

1.1(2): How do senior leaders’ actions demonstrate their commitment to legal and ethical behavior?

Or how about these questions?

1.1(5): How do senior leaders create a focus on action that will achieve the organization’s mission?

1.2(1): How does your organization ensure responsible governance?

1.2(3): How do you anticipate and address public concerns with your products and operations?

1.2(5) How do you consider societal well-being and benefit as part of your strategy and daily operations?

Take a look at the other Baldrige Excellence Builder questions. Could consideration of these questions help leaders who are currently under fire turn things around?

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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Love this blog. Bam! Marketing can use this (if you agree). Can I use it? Please.
Hi Dean. Anyone and everyone may reprint in their entirety and/or use content from these blogs. If at all possible, we just ask you to include the link to Blogrige ( so that we can continue to build and strengthen the Baldrige community. Thanks!

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