Eighty-three organizations are in the running for the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest recognition for organizational performance excellence through innovation and improvement. Applicants include three manufacturers, two service companies, seven small businesses, 10 educational organizations, 54 health care organizations and seven nonprofits/governmental organizations. The number of applicants is up 20 percent over 2009 and marks the fifth consecutive year that there have been 70 or more organizations seeking the award. Additionally, the 54 health care applicants are the largest number in that category since it began in 1999.
The 2010 applicants will be evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process management; and results. Examiners provide each applicant with 300 to 1,000 hours of review and a detailed report on the organization's strengths and opportunities for improvement.
The 2010 Baldrige Award recipients are expected to be announced in late November, 2010.
Named after Malcolm Baldrige, the 26th Secretary of Commerce, the Baldrige Award was established by Congress in 1987. The award—managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in collaboration with the private sector—promotes excellence in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. The award is not given for specific products or services. Since 1988, 80 organizations have received Baldrige Awards.
Thousands of organizations use the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence to guide their enterprises, improve performance and get sustainable results. This proven improvement and innovation framework offers organizations an integrated approach to key management areas.
"I see the Baldrige process as a powerful set of mechanisms for disciplined people engaged in disciplined thought and taking disciplined action to create great organizations that produce exceptional results," says Jim Collins, author of Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap ... and Others Don't.