Friday, 17 April 2020


The Business Excellence, Malcolm Banbridge and EFQM models have been around for a long time now, but that have always been a favourite of mine because they address the fact that excellence is not about being good at one thing, but achieving a balance across the business.

Using an analogy from my days as a Commonwealth Games Triathlete: I would not be much of a Triathlete if I was excellent on the bike and terrible at swimming and running.

The same is true in business and despite the huge sums of money spent on management and leadership perhaps do not compensate for weaknesses elsewhere which a simple diagnostic can reveal.


We would all recognise that an organisations people form its culture and many of us are thinking about how peoples reactions to the Coronavirus will affect business and indeed the national culture.

On this basis each change of people, new recruits entering and others leaving will change the culture. But it is also true that if we are what we repeatedly do (Aristotle) then process has a role in culture.

Indeed process (either formal or informal) may codify and set culture and so when we look at the balance of people, process and technology in models like EFQM perhaps we need to re-examine process and how that shapes and directs management and leadership.

Additionally, I believe premises can also affect culture: Our collective mood is different in lock-down and working from home from what it would be working in the office. It is obvious and true that work in an area of 10 x 10 in a deck chair, in a cage, with no windows or with no roof will obviously affect us. This is why some organisations invest so heavily in the working environment with ideas such as kitchens, table tennis, bean bags and even colour choices to engage us.

So indeed, there are many ingredients which in different combinations create different results. Perhaps what is needed it to reappraise what is in our kitchen cupboards and what we would like to create.


Below is a sample of the questions in the self-assessment evaluation. If you would like to try our diagnostic tool get in touch.

1Are all the senior managers personally involved and visible in generating and communicating a strategic statement for the purpose, direction and culture of the organisation (including its quality values and priorities)?
5Are all the managers taking actions to meet with customers, suppliers and others outside the organisation and be actively involved in promoting partnerships and improvement initiatives with them?
Policy and Strategy
1Does your organisation use widespread and appropriate data inputs to develop its strategy and business plans and does this data include the performance, customer requirements and satisfaction, competitor and benchmark data?
4is there good evidence that the organisation has the ability and methods to recognise when to change its strategies, policies, markets and offerings - even if the CEO of the organisation were to depart?
1Are the people plans (e.g. hiring, training, development) directly derived from the needs of the strategic plans and goals and capable of ensuring that plans and goals will be achieved
5Are people's effort in generating improvement and contributing to the organisation's success recognised values and rewarded comparably to other factors (e.g. sales commissions, length of service, qualifications)?
Partnerships and Resources
1Are Partnership relationships developed through a proactive and structured approach and do these partnerships identify and achieve extra opportunities in products, services, markets and financial performance?
5Is there a routine method for ensuring that alternative and new technologies are developed and implemented, and the use of intellectual property and knowledge optimised in order to gain and advantage on both products and services?
1Does your organisation have a system to ensure that all activities used to produce products or services operate and are controlled, to the prescribed standards or requirements (e.g. through the use of ISO9000 and ISO 14000
7Are the support (backroom) activities (e.g. accounts, IT, despatch, data processing, personnel, legal and secretarial) documented, controlled and continuously improved to al least the same level as the main product and service activities?
Customer Results
1Does your organisation evaluate its management of the customer relationship through relevant measures that predict trends or influence customer satisfaction and loyalty such as response accuracy and timeliness, returns, lost customers, customer gains, warranty claims, complaints, and praises etc., and which effectively predict the likely trends in customer loyalty?
9Can your organisation show that the results of surveys are always effectively used to improve the products or services it provides?
People Results
1Does the organisation regularly measure and evaluate aspects which predict trends or influence people satisfaction and morale such as absenteeism, sickness, staff turnover, early leavers, levels of training, internal promotions, accident levels, recognition levels, grievances and does it act on the results?
5Are the results (particularly the actual perceptions of people satisfaction) generally showing an improving trends or sustained high level and can they be shown to be comparable with equivalent organisations and other benchmarks?
Society Results
1Can you demonstrate that your organisation has achieved results preventing or reducing harm or nuisance to neighbours and the general environment, on conserving and protecting global resources (e.g. energy, recycling, waste) and on positively contributing to the community (charitable, education, sports and leisure, leadership in professional matters)?
3Can the organisation show , through results of surveys or other mean, that neighbours and society in general think highly of them and that their reputation is improving?
Key Performance Results
1Do the results of your organisations key financial and non-financial outcomes(e.g. profits, margins, market share etc.) show an improving trend?
7Are the results of the support and administration on activities (e.g. IT planning, legal, security, accounts) showing an improving trend and can they be shown to be comparable/better than other organisations?

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