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Graduating Baldrige Fellows Inspired to Continue Excellence

Fifteen senior leaders from a variety of U.S. organizations recently joined 149 other executives  as graduates of the Baldrige Executive Fellows Program. Using as their roadmap the Baldrige Excellence Framework, the Baldrige Fellows explored how world-class organizations from many sectors—Baldrige Award recipients—have achieved performance excellence and stimulated extraordinary innovations.

Best Practices in Action

The cohort began its year-long leadership development program in April 2023 at the Baldrige Program’s 34th Quest for Excellence® Conference. Baldrige Fellows compared and contrasted leadership strategies from across sectors, and they sought solutions and best practices that helped them emerge with a broader perspective on role-model leadership characteristics; strategic planning; workforce and customer support and engagement; innovation; integration of processes, plans, resources, and goals; and measurement of key performance indicators—all to achieve an organization’s desired results. 

Interactive sessions on visionary leadership, operational intelligence, and leading for engagement included visits to the following Baldrige Award recipient organizations: Wellstar Paulding Hospital in Georgia, with a tour of a historic Atlanta park revitalized by Freese and Nichols; the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE) in Pennsylvania, with leadership participation from Stoner Inc. and MEDRAD; and the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner in Virginia, with leadership participation from AARP. Baldrige Fellows also heard directly from executives from Baldrige Award recipient and high-performing organizations Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, Altus Schools, Ohio National Guard/Army, PRO-TEC Coating Company, and Southcentral Foundation. 

Capstone Projects Led to Innovative Solutions

Between sessions, the 2023 Baldrige Fellows continued to work on their individual capstone projects, which each addressed a strategic need within their organizations. They shared progress and sought input and advice from Baldrige Award recipient leaders, Baldrige Executive Fellows faculty members, and one another. At the end of the program, capstone presentations showcased each Baldrige Fellow’s progress and next steps to benefit their organizations. Capstone projects included expanding technology/clinical practices to increase transplantable organs and tissues, deploying delivery robots in a hospital setting, defining and developing a management operating system, improving outcomes through composite scores, achieving zero patient harm, creating a system for risk tolerance, optimizing the utilization of operating rooms, creating a tool for tracking achievement in a laboratory setting, increasing throughput, and achieving ISO standards.

Peer Network

Throughout the program, the Baldrige Fellows developed a peer network of executives to tap into now and into the future as a way to continue to build the knowledge and capabilities necessary for ongoing organizational success.

“The Baldrige Executive Fellowship Program was an invaluable experience. I had the opportunity to learn from the expertise of the faculty, industry-leading alumni, numerous awardees, and a multi-industry group of classmates. This fellowship deepened my knowledge of the Baldrige framework, reinforced my commitment to it, and expanded my network of committed executives who are transforming industries throughout the U.S. I'm deeply grateful for the learning and experience.”--Callie Andrews, MSHA, MBA, FACHE, 2022 Baldrige Executive Fellow

Since its inception in 2010, the Baldrige Executive Fellows has been recognized for being among the best U.S. and global continuing-education programs for leadership development. 

In conjunction with NIST and the private sector, the Baldrige Program manages the Baldrige Award, which was established by Congress in 1987. The Baldrige Program promotes innovation, excellence, resilience, and long-term success in organizational performance, recognizes the achievements and results of U.S. organizations, and publicizes successful performance strategies. The Baldrige Program also offers the 2023–2024 Baldrige Excellence Framework: Proven leadership and management practices for high performance, which includes the regularly revised and world-emulated Criteria for Performance Excellence. 

The Baldrige Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, supports the long-term financial growth and viability of the Baldrige Program and organizational performance excellence in the United States and throughout the world.

Released April 22, 2024