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The Official Baldrige Blog

Rules of Engagement

The staff at the Baldrige Program take the Baldrige Excellence Framework and its Criteria seriously. Not only do we promote it, but as a small, revenue-generating government unit that thus operates somewhat like a small business, we try to follow the core values and use the best practices that are foundational to the Baldrige framework, too.

For example, in alignment with Criteria questions "how do you achieve transparency in operations?" (1.2a[1]) and "how do you promote and ensure ethical behavior in all interactions?" (1.2b[2]), the Baldrige Program recently updated its "Rules of Engagement with Customers." We consider these rules especially important given the program's new business model that includes cost-recovery for some products and services and revenue generation.

The rules are intended to ensure that fairness and transparency are part of all customer interactions, including for assessment and education services and for sponsorships, for which the program uses a third party to handle all monetary transactions.

Some highlights of the rules are as follows. For example, the Baldrige Program does not

  • provide prescriptive solutions or approaches,
  • approach that year's award applicants individually with information on sponsorships,
  • approach current-year award applicants for the provision of other services, and
  • provide individual educational services to current-year Baldrige Award applicants during the calendar year in which they apply for the award.

The Baldrige Program is fortunate to have a robust community of state programs (the Alliance for Performance Excellence), practitioners, and consultants who often provide such services. These folks can be found on social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter and across the Internet. Practitioners can also be found among current-year trained Baldrige examiners on the Baldrige website by state and in alphabetical order.

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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This looks like a cycle of evaluation and improvement to me (learning). Well done!

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