This year EFQM celebrates its 25th Anniversary. Who would have thought, back when our 14 founding members pledged too create what became EFQM in 1989, that their initiative would achieve so much? In 25 years, we have developed and improved a robust Excellence Model used by more than 30.000 organisations, extended our network in Europe and beyond through 36 partnerships and above all helped all kinds of organizations reach a higher level of overall performance.
But this is only the tip of the iceberg. EFQM created a Community of Excellence that we are proud to call our family. EFQM sustains the ambition to become excellent, to address the needs and expectations of our stakeholders and bring your organisation to the next level! In short, we strive to keep moving forward. It is fair to say we collectively have made strong progress towards to initial mission, i.e. to create conditions for our economy to become more competitive. At the same time, I would be the first one to recognize we still have a long way to go.
In this issue of Excellence in Action, you will find out who the Nominees of the EFQM Excellence Awards 2014 are. We hope they will give you inspiration and ideas for your own Journey towards Excellence. I look forward to seeing many of you at the Forum next October 20-21.
I became an assessor in order to learn more about best practice. This is still the case today. In my job I can think of no better annual training and education that to spend two weeks studying an excellent organisation using the Excellence Model.
Professional bookshelves are filled with uncountable titles about Process Management but many users find them difficult to understand. A recent telephone interview with top executives confirmed that most leaders do not have even a basic understanding of Process Management, although most of them have at least one running Process Improvement project in their organization, and all of them pay external consultants for support in this matter. Many of those consultants perpetuate the confusion, maintaining a belief that Process Management is so complex and challenging that no one can understand it without them – this allows them to generate huge amounts of consulting revenues, while they generate more complexity through their work. But Process Management is actually very closely related to Common Sense, and its neither rocket science nor difficult to learn.
The following methodology, developed by the author, can be used to create a complete Process Management system, in only 5 steps. The methodology has been used since 5 years with many private and governmental organizations of different size, and it always worked.
Few would disagree that lean systems are the right way to improve operational efficiency. Their structured, systematic approaches can be used to reduce lead time and inventory, to improve quality and to increase productivity for example – all with easily measurable results. It is less easy, however, to use lean to support the strategic goals of the business as a whole. Business excellence frameworks, such as the one provided by EFQM, are designed to do just that. The EFQM business Excellence framework enables all areas of an organization to be assessed and ensures that all activities are aligned with the company’s overall vision.
In an event entitled “Leadership by Culture of Excellence”, the Operating business unit of Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) had invited visitors to its industrial workshop in Olten. The 30 or so participants got to experience SBB’s safety and quality culture with specialist talks and examples taken from practice.