A Systematic Approach to Excellence in Communities: Using a Baldrige-based Framework to Lead TransformationBeginning in October of 2017 - A twelve month learning opportunity to accelerate the results of your community’s efforts to improve the health, safety, educational attainment and economic vitality of residents.
The challenges communities face today and in the future require a higher level of performance—a commitment to community performance excellence that grows out of the recognition that the social determinants of educational achievement, economic vitality, and health status are inextricably interwoven. A commitment among leaders across sectors and generations to take a systematic approach to community performance. Such an approach exists for individual organizations — the Baldrige Principles of Performance Excellence — that the founders of Communities of Excellence 2026 have successfully used to improve the performance of organizations they have led. This proven, comprehensive and systematic approach can accelerate a community’s drive to improve quality of life for residents. Adaptation of the Baldrige Framework and Criteria for Performance Excellence to communities began with a team of experts in 2012. Since then the Communities of Excellence Framework and criteria has undergone multiple iterations based on feedback from community leaders, Baldrige experts and program staff, and engaged community partners.
Imagine a time when leaders within a community – official leaders (those elected or appointed to their formal positions) as well as the many informal community leaders – work together to set community vision; listen to community stakeholders to better understand community assets and needs; (re)allocate resources to address community issues or advance community initiatives; use community scorecards to monitor progress of those initiatives and the outcomes they intend to impact; and engage, mobilize, and align people resources – workers, volunteers, and citizenry – on the initiatives that will make a difference in a given community. That’s how high performing organizations succeed; we believe that’s how high performing communities will succeed.
The Communities of Excellence Framework includes a set of key questions for improving the performance of communities and the people who lead and live in them. Rather than prescribe how communities should structure their community leadership, shared initiatives or action plans, or what the mission, goals and measures should be, the Framework asks you to make those decisions as a community with input from all key sectors and generations involved.
Our vision is that communities that participate in this learning collaborative will be national role models for community performance excellence through ongoing collaboration. These groups will become the catalyst in a movement to reshape the future of America’s communities.
The Collaborative will officially begin in October, 2017. There will be an in-person meeting on October 26th - 27th, 2017 in Tempe, Arizona during the Baldrige Regional Fall Conference. Prior to this date and beginning immediately upon joining there will be an introductory phase consisting of a welcome call with faculty, a confirmation of key dates, roles, and expectations, an initial community assessment and instructions and assignments in preparation for our first session. The Learning Phase - October through September 2017-2018 - will consist of regular online webinars, collaborative discussions sessions, and expert reviews to support your collaborative leadership development, Community Profile, and Community Strategic Plan. While we only ask communities to commit to one year at a time, this collaborative was designed as a multi-year engagement effort. At the end of the first Learning Phase communities will have the opportunity to join the collaborative for a second year.
At the end of year one of the collaborative each community will:
Develop a Baldrige-based Community Profile and use it to identify the next steps towards their community of excellence journey.
Identify desired community outcomes and develop a Community Strategic Plan focused on these outcomes.
Establish a diverse, values-driven leadership team comprised of residents from the community’s key sectors, generations, social and economic group
Module One - Why Pursue Excellence
This first session will provide an introduction to the concepts and overview of the yearlong process. First, co-founders Lowell Kruse and Rick Norling will discuss the meaning of "excellence" and the motivation and ramifications of systematically pursuing excellence across the community. They will focus on the core values that underpin a community of excellence as well as the behaviors that get you there and ground rules for teams. Finally, they will talk about the different types of governance systems and explain different leadership models, the leadership competencies that are required to do good cross-sector work and the role of backbone organizations.
Module Two – Introduction to the Baldrige and Communities of Excellence Framework
This teaching session will begin with a report-out from each community on its assignment from Module One. Faculty will then explain the categories of community performance excellence in more detail by walking through the questions in the Community Profile and the seven categories, and discussing how they inter-connect. This session will also include a high-level introduction to the way community processes and results are assessed in the Communities of Excellence Framework.
Module Three – Creating a Community Profile Part I
The session with will focus on the Community Profile—key questions that together form a snapshot of the community, the key influences on how it operates, and the key challenges it faces. The presenter will expand on the importance of the Profile as the starting point for community excellence and on the connectivity between it and the seven categories of excellence. Stories from pilot communities will assist in addressing the more challenging components of the Profile.
Module Four – Creating a Community Profile Part II
This session will be a continuation of Module Three.
Module Five – Introduction to Community Leadership
This session will focus on understanding your community’s leadership system and using it to lead a community wide strategy development process. Opportunities for Improvement (Ofis) from the profile will assist with establishing or expanding the current leadership system. We will use your Community Profile responses to address gaps in leadership and approaches to improvement.
Module Six – Community Strategic Planning
How does leadership, in conjunction with the backbone organization, begin the initial development of a community strategic plan? What are the key decision making processes that need to be in place for sustained change? How can communities get input from key resident groups and people/organizational resources? These questions as well as key strategic challenges from the Community Profile will be addressed.
Module Seven – A Focus on Results
What do we know about the results we are seeking? This session will start with a discussion of where to focus efforts in the community and how to identify the processes that need to exist or already exist to address the areas of improvement.
Module Eight – Residents, Other Customers, People and Organizational Resources
This session will provide a detailed presentation of Categories 3 (Residents and Other Customers) and 5 (People and Organizational Resources). Key questions that have surfaced in these categories and discussion of profile information regarding this will be emphasized as well as the importance of resident engagement and an assessment of organizational/people resources in place to support community strategies.
Module Nine– Measurement, Knowledge Management and Analysis
We will discuss how to connect key metrics to community strategy and vision as well as the importance of identifying process metrics that help you get to your results.
Module Ten – Community Processes
This module will focus on defining and identifying core community processes. An introduction to process mapping for analysis will provide opportunities to identify and spread best practices in the community.
Module Eleven – Presentations of Community Strategic Plans
Communities will present their community strategic plans and hear from participating communities on strengths and opportunities for improvement.
Module Twelve – The Road to 2026
The final session will be a discussion of what went well in the collaborative, what communities would like to see for year two, what could be improved and to celebrate our efforts.
Communities will have the opportunity to continue to participate in the Learning Collaborative at the end of year one. In year two we will move from planning to action through a curriculum that will focus on responding to the full Criteria for Community Performance Excellence, deployment of Action Plans that derive from the Community Strategic Plan you developed in year one, and expansion of the Community Leadership System and further engagement of residents and key stakeholders. In order to address the requirements of communities in differing stages of readiness, we will work with each community in year one to determine how we can best facilitate their year two journey.
Learn from and network with other communities on their community performance excellence journeys.
Gain in-depth knowledge of this innovative approach to community performance.
Collaborate with sector leaders and Baldrige experts; sharing approaches, innovations, best practices, successes, and failures to accelerate their community’s collective efforts.
Become trailblazers to an innovative approach to community improvement.
Learn how to apply CQI strategies to build, sustain and spread prioritized action plans to advance your community’s mission.
Engage with community leaders and Baldrige experts in facilitated discussions designed to accelerate your systems thinking knowledge.
Our current pilot communities range from a small rural community of 5000 residents to a large urban region of 350,000. What they have in common are cross-sector, inter-generational groups of formal and informal community leaders who are committed to applying the principles of community performance excellence with a backbone organization to support them.
This Learning Collaborative is designed for communities of any size or complexity who are committed to the journey to community performance excellence. They must recognize that meaningful, lasting change does not happen overnight, but takes all sectors and all generations of the community working towards a shared community vision with shared community values.
We are looking for communities that:
Have a pre-existing community leadership team representing all sectors and generations. This could take many forms including regional coalitions or a pre-existing collaborative, or;
Have commitments from members of key sectors: health, education, business, government and safety to participate.
Have an identified backbone organization that will serve as the key contact.
Are willing to share generously and commit the time and resources required to meaningfully engage in implementing the Communities of Excellence Framework.
Possess a knowledge of Baldrige Performance Excellence Principles or a strong desire to learn.
The cost for one year of participation is $20,000.
Contact Stephanie Norling at email@example.com
Ellen Garshick is the program analyst for the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. She has served on the Baldrige staff since 2007, leading projects such as Baldrige Criteria revision, research on program-related issues, and the writing and production of numerous program publications. She has worked in a range of Baldrige Program activities, including serving as a monitor and technical editor for the Baldrige Award process. Her pre-Baldrige background includes 20 years of experience writing, editing, and producing all kinds of publications and 8 years as a teacher of English and academic skills to speakers of other languages.
Brian Lassiter has been president of the Performance Excellence Network (formerly Minnesota Council for Quality) since 2001. Previously, he was managing director for Ian Alliott Consulting, principal consultant for Norstan Consulting, corporate quality consultant for the St. Paul Companies, consultant for Price Waterhouse, and quality manager for Boatmen’s National Bank. In these roles, Lassiter has worked with dozens of organizations in a variety of industries to help them improve their performance and competitiveness.
From 1998 to 2012, Lassiter served on the board of examiners for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. He has also served as a senior evaluator for the Minnesota Quality Award, as a judge for the Veteran’s Administration Baldrige-based Carey Award, a judge for the Baldrige-based American Health Care Association (long-term care) quality awards, and as a member of the board of directors for Goodwill/Easter Seals of Minnesota. He is chair of the board of directors of the Alliance for Performance Excellence, the national consortium of all state and local quality awards, and is also chair of Benedictine Health System, a long-term care system based in Duluth, Minn.
Sandra Potthoff PhD is Professor and Department Head in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of South Florida in Tampa. She earned her undergraduate degree in Social Work, and her Master’s and PhD degrees in Industrial Engineering, specializing in health systems, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. Potthoff’s research expertise is in operational analytics and modeling for systems improvement and effectiveness in healthcare delivery. In addition, she has studied the impact of home telemedicine for the elderly, and has conducted program evaluation of youth development programs. She teaches in the areas of data analytics and operations research in health care, problem solving in health service organizations, information uses in long-term care, and interprofessional teamwork in health care. She was Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health, Division of Health Policy and Management and the former director of the Master of Healthcare Administration Program at the University of Minnesota, a past board member of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration, and a past board member, vice president, and president of the Health Applications Section of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.